This is what I embark on each time I see a new client or more accurately it is what we embark on together. This is just as true for the client with the utilitarian request that I help them with their back pain that they have had since lifting something badly as it is for the client with a morass of complex emotions from PTSD.
This journey that starts with my greeting the client in the waiting room at the Salus Wellness Centre in central Cambridge or my front door if I am seeing them at home in Trumpington. On this journey I am learning something of their beauty as a person and my task is for us both to learn something of this, avoiding obstacles like political opinions I might find distasteful on my part and doubts that anything can help on my client’s part. These are not the only possible barriers to a treatment that helps my client but examples chosen from a list that contains many many more.
The majority of my clients come to me with issues that are more on the emotional side rather than physical but the two are always tied together. Most with chronic pain suffer from depression. Chronic emotional problems often lead to physical problems which can be anything from headaches or shoulder pain to constipation or other digestive problems.
So, where does beauty come into this? On the physical side, there is something wonderful about helping the human body to function at it’s best. Far more complex than any car and yet most of them are thrown on the scrap heap long before the average age of my clients and even longer before their average life expectancy!
On the emotional side, I see my clients increasingly letting me see their vulnerability and in doing so also their strength. All too often when they tell me things that bring tears to both of our eyes, I find myself saying, “Where did you find the strength to survive?” In choosing oils for the Aromatherapy Massage I might choose ones to help them remember that strength or perhaps ones to help still their mind and help them to just be mindful of what they have achieved.
When I say, “I” I really mean that we choose the oils together depending on what the client wants to achieve. When I worked in mental health, I would often ask the young adults and their carers/parents, “What would have to happen during this admission for each of you to say it has been worthwhile?” We would re-visit that question regularly during their stay.
I like to keep that question sometimes posed as what would be the minimum change that would make it worthwhile alive during the journey. Often we make new discoveries together of the client’s beauty that make it worthwhile but neither of us had thought of them at the outset. These are moments that make the job really worthwhile!