Nurturing the Client by Nurturing the Practitioner

Massage News Summer 2010 June 30, 2010
Practitioner giving a Breema bodywork session

When I received my first Breema session from Jon Schreiber, director of the Breema Center and the Breema Clinic, it seemed like a dance for two. No effort was required of me, yet the movements had a balanced give-and-take of body weight, a naturally rhythmic flow, and an unexpected variety. I didn’t at all feel that someone was doing something to me or for me, but rather with me—an active partner and a receptive one. My body relaxed as it was stretched, leaned on, leaned into, moved around, rocked, held—always so well-supported that I felt perfectly safe, despite the chronic back pain which had led me to seek treatment. My mind dropped its expectations and slipped into a state of receptivity and trust. Even the more complex moves and postres were comfortable and seemed timed to my breathing. I wasn’t being treated like a person with a back problem, and the anxiety and need I’d come with were transformed into contentment and gratitude. As I walked down the sidewalk after the session was over, I had a new respect for my body and how alive and good it felt. The pain had not been totally erased, but I was grateful to it instead of afraid of it. If it hadn’t inspired me to try Breema bodywork, I might never have experienced my own vitality so clearly!

Once I decided to take a Breema class I was again amazed. It was so much fun! The only confusing thing was being told to do it “for myself.” I wanted to be good at giving Breema sessions! I wanted the people I practiced on to give me their approval and gratitude. “Why be selfish about it?”, I wondered. I had lots of goodwill and physical dexterity to share, and I would benefit by serving others.

One night in class I was practicing a very simple rhythmic leaning motion that was a component of that evening’s Breema sequence. I heard the instructor saying, once again, “Do Breema for yourself. Register that your body is breathing and that your body has weight and movement. Participate fully in what you are doing.” At that moment, I became willing to include myself in my activity, instead of performing it for the benefit and approval of someone else. What a new experience that was. I could have kept leaning all evening—there was such joy in being so connected to my own body. That simple bit of bodywork gave me one of my life’s most deeply fulfilling moments, and led to many more.

If someone is interested in Breema, I encourage them to receive a session, or to come to a class so they can “taste” Breema for themselves.

*Nurturing the Client by Nurturing the Practitioner was written by Mary Cuneo and was originally published in Massage News.