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Treatment Work

Grounding and Centering

To a certain degree, grounding and centering are used interchangeably and mean the same thing.

Grounding is similar to grounding electricity. But in bodywork, it means more of an anchoring, stabilizing, or connecting with your immediate working environment. 

According to “Mosby’s Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage,” centering is “The ability to focus the mind by screening out sensation.”  I personally don’t care much for this definition.  I prefer to think of it in terms of achieving a sense of inner calm or stillness where my attention and intention is completely focused on what I am doing, where I am blocking out extraneous distractions.  When I first got into the massage program, I used to refer to it as mentally “going within.”  

How do you do it?  There are a number of ways and what works best for one person doesn’t necessarily work as well or even at all for someone else.  I have never personally had a problem with it myself, even in the beginning.  It was just something that came naturally for me.  There are times, however, when I will deliberately reinforce it with certain mental and/or breathing routines while I am working.

One technique used by many energy workers is to go into a “squat” position with feet flat on the floor and hind-end as low to the ground as the knees will comfortably permit,  and to then do a series of deep breathing exercises.  One breathing routine is called the microcosmic orbit.  Breathe in through your nose, visualizing the breath coming from your feet, up through your spine. Do it slowly on a count of 3-5 seconds for the inhalation, hold for a count of 3-5, and then breathe out through your mouth (also on a 3-5 count) while visualizing your breath going out and down the front  

If you are into mediation, you can also do that.    

As for music, some practitioners like to work with it, others don’t.  I personally do.  But if you are going to have music, you need to keep it low in volume so it is not distracting.  You also want something that is non-rhythmic (New Age type stuff is great).  The problem with rhythmic music is the mind will focus on the repetitive pattern and that is distracting.   

Regardless of whatever kind of spin the modality involved puts on it, the real issue with Grounding and Centering is that it allows the practitioner to achieve the necessary brain wave state to facilitate entrainment with the client.  Without entrainment, nothing happens.  

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