Emotionally it is very tough to be a healer. There is a level of responsibility and authority that is akin to being a demi-god. Our clients are vulnerable because of the intimacy of the bodywork session, and the role of trust in the relationship between client and practitioner is paramount. This is a role that priests, doctors, and scientists once held in our society, but are rapidly losing due to abuses of power and growing distrust in the general population. Many people seeking a better solution to their health problems are turning to alternative therapies like massage and bodywork.

We have a lot of expectations to deal with in the session. We not only have to deal with out clients’ expectations in a compassionate and non-judgmental manner, we also have our own ideals, human drives, and internal conflicts to deal with as well. We have a responsibility as a healer to respond to every client with integrity, and to not abuse our power of authority.

If we can keep reminding ourselves we are only guides on the path of healing, and not omniscient powers, we can keep our responsibilities in perspective and actually aid people in doing some real healing.

—Excerpted from The Ultimate Hand Book: Self-Care for Bodyworkers and Massage Therapists, by Maja Evans, C.M.T., D.H.