No doubt about it, few things in life are as amazing as a good massage. How would you feel about a tool that would allow you to take your business as a massage therapist to another level?
I fell in love with massage as a practitioner first, before I started muscle testing. I loved the immediate change in a client; the way I could literally feel them relaxing and healing themselves under my hands and the exchange of energy involved. And yet, massage has its limitations. It can be frustrating for instance, when you realize that the basis of the issue is stress-related, but you don’t have any techniques that would allow you to work with the emotions. Or when people return with the same issues time after time; feeling good when they leave your office, but having symptoms return soon after.
Muscle testing (or monitoring) as it is taught in Touch for Health and other Specialized Kinesiology classes, uses muscles as indicators, allowing everyone involved to see and feel the way energy is working in the body. Muscles correlate to specific meridians. Meridian flow is the same energy that is being accessed through acupuncture and acupressure, and an experienced practitioner of these modalities can usually tell where energy is blocked fairly easily. They will briefly feel your pulses and might say that your ‘heart energy feels stringy’ or that the ‘liver is too damp’, leaving you to wonder 1) what the heck does that mean? And 2) how can they tell that by simply holding your wrists? Years of practice and a thorough understanding of the qualities of this energy in your body make this an interesting diagnostic tool, but most of us don’t have time to spend the next several years learning this.
Muscle testing allows a muscle to ‘speak’ for the involved meridian. If the energy flow through the meridian is in balance, the muscle is too. If it’s not, it is easy to tell. This is an easy skill that can be taught to anyone. Over four levels of Touch for Health representing only 60 hours of in-class training, students learn 42 different muscles that can be used to assess energy flow in the 14 major meridians of the body and several unique corrections to address energy blockages on all levels.
Experience with muscle testing can allow you to see connections throughout the body. For example, the Upper trapezius muscles, the psoas and the illiacus are all associated with the kidney meridian. So when you observe tension or weakness in these three muscles (and there isn’t an obvious injury to account for it), perhaps the real issue is in the kidney energy. This doesn’t mean that the person’s kidneys are diseased or failing (and we would never suggest that they are, as that would be practicing medicine without a license and can get you into lots of trouble!), but there could be a problem with energy flow and there are easy corrections that can help with that. Maybe the client would benefit from something as simple as drinking more water.
So massage is wonderful, but it could be made even better by combining it with some of the features that Specialized Kinesiology has to offer. A couple of years ago I wrote a course designed to help people become better practitioners called GEMS. One of the ideas behind this was the ability to move easily between modalities and incorporate whatever the client needs at the time. Doing a short GEMS session before a massage would allow you to easily determine where the client’s stress really lies and if any corrections (other than the massage itself) would be beneficial. When you do this, your client gets more out of their session as the full breadth of the problem is being addressed, not just the tight muscles. They feel understood on a deep level and the benefits are likely to hold much longer. This of course, leads to more referrals!
GEMS also addresses business start-up and marketing, and this is something that is available to all practitioners of all modalities who want to take their business to the next level. Are you allowing your personality, values and goals to shine through your marketing? Are you making use of social media and non-traditional forms of advertising to build relationships – not just broadcasting that people should use your services, but really connecting with them and providing information of value?
In a service-based competitive field like massage therapy, there needs to be a reason for people to choose to work with you. Some of this is personality, some is as simple as location, but there are things you can do to help them make the choice. Imagine the advantage you would have if you could balance energy flow within the body, figure out the root of the stress through muscle testing and had a clearer plan of how to run your business!
It probably sounds ridiculously simple, but one of the ways I introduced my massage clients to muscle testing was by using a muscle to determine which essential oils would be helpful for the client that day. I would check for the best oils, put them together in the correct ratio and then explain to the client what those oils are used for. It’s that easy. When people see and feel that their body can provide information of this sort, they usually want more.
In most places, classes like Touch for Health and other Specialized Kinesiology classes are recognized for continuing education credits and credits can also be obtained by attending conferences. If you have any questions about how muscle testing works, how to connect with fellow practitioners, finding a class in your area or what the weather’s like where I am, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Alexis Costello is an instructor, practitioner, speaker and writer for Specialized Kinesiology, currently living in Costa Rica with her ever-expanding crew of children and animals. Visit www.alexiscostello.com for more details or follow @healthylexi