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#1786 - 03/30/03 01:56 PM My First Student Clinic
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
I am going to post this because the entire day was a growing process for me as well as a day of healing for me. For those who do not know my history, there are many reasons why this is such a milestone for me. They include being paralyzed in 1991, fighting with anxiety attacks throughout my life, struggling with touch in myself and others, just finding the courage to go and meet people I don't know. I've come a long ways but I still struggle with a lot of issues in my life related to the abuse. And so today's clinic was a major mile stone for me.

Just a note, I am in school to become a licensed massage therapist and the clinic I am talking about is our first interaction with the public as a class. We have 10 saturdays where we do 3 massages each day with people who come in off the street. It is just one part of our training.

Anyway, here is what I wrote in my journal about the day and hopefully it will give other some encouragement as well. If I make it look like it was easy, I will let you in on a secret (it wasn't).

Quote:
03/29/03

My First Student Clinic

Today was the day! The one that I have been training for during the past 5-6 months! But it did not come without plenty of reservation, nervousness, excitement and fear. Waking up early Saturday morning because I could not sleep out of nervousness and anticipation, I took my time in getting to the school. I did arrive at the school almost 30 minutes before I was supposed to be there but we will blame that on the very light traffic through Miami.

On the way to school, I played Yanni’s ethnicity CD and really focused on the song at the end “At First Site”. I tried to let the music focus and center me within the universe as I pronounced that I need the strength, energy and protection of the universe while I would give back to it all that I could. The sun was shining brightly which helped set my mood and outlook for the day as well.

Once in the school, I waited and waited for everyone else to show up. The instructors were late and so it caused a “hurry” to get everything set up. A classmate and I made sure we were close to the window and that the instructor left one curtain open. It is very hard for me and I found it was hard for this classmate to be in an enclosed room for that long without light or a way to see out. Can we say claustrophobia?

Soon everyone was set up and ready to go as it was almost time for our first clients. Every person there, regardless if they admitted it or not, were extremely nervous of what to expect and of wondering if we could do all of this. I kept joking with everyone that if we got to nervous, we could just do oscillation.

My first client was M, a middle aged lady. She was a very kind and compassionate lady. When she told me, “I’ve been here before, don’t worry you guys know what you are doing”, that helped really set my mind at ease. I talked with her briefly to find more out about her and she told me that she did have a massage a few days ago but it was not very good. She was just here for relaxation. So we continued through the massage session and when I got finished, I could tell she was feeling very good and was very relaxed. She did not want the session to end and loved every minute of it. It was reflected in the evaluation she gave me as well.

Coming out of the very client I ever worked on, I was ecstatic and excited! It was the boost of self-confidence that I so badly needed for my first person. It helped set the mood and the tone for the rest of the day.

The next client was a lady who had never had a massage before and was 20 minutes late getting there. When I did the initial interview with her, she seemed to be very irritated by me asking her any questions and she emphasized that she wanted very deep work although she had never received a massage before (supposedly). Of course her attitude and responses didn’t help me but I proceeded any ways to see what I could learn from the situation. Not too long ago, I would not have been able to deal with a situation like that so I at least kept myself focused and tried to do what I was taught to do.

Things did not go well with this client and she kept telling me to go deeper which I was trying (we have not been trained very well in this area yet). When I got to the point in the session to turn her over, her response was “I don’t know how you guys do this, because this is boring”. That’s not a response you want to hear because it told me she was not enjoying it at all (sort of obvious). I felt like I did not have the skills necessary to do what she wanted so I just tried to do the best I could and there were only about 15 minutes left. I knew that I would not get a good evaluation from her and I tried to keep things in perspective that it maybe wasn’t so much me, as it was the place she was at in her life. She also only allowed me to work on her lower legs and upper back and that was about it. I did try to explain to her that this was our first clinic and I am just learning which I think she did accept, but her desire for deeper work was stronger than her acceptance. The evaluation form did show this, which I was not surprised by.

After this one, I thought, whew that was over! But to my surprise the next client I got, was her husband! Of all people to get! I was trying to figure out how I pulled that unlucky card. The instructor we have (who is a great person to learn from) came to talk to me and help get me focused once again. She knew it would be hard for me but I think she knew I was ready for the challenge as well. So I asked her to come and help teach me more about doing the deep work because I was not sure what to do. She agreed that she would do this.

Of course when this guy came into my cubicle, he made the comment that his wife did not like the massage (which I had already figured out anyway). I once again told him that this was our first clinic, and we were all new at what we were doing. In addition, I told him that our instructor would most likely be coming in to help me learn more about the deep work.

My instructor did help me a lot and taught me many things about doing the deep work. At once point, I got so deep (after he kept begging for deeper work) that he actually said, ‘that’s too much’! When I got done, he was very happy with what I did. I did share with him that personally I do not like deep work, but I like more easy work done on myself and that seemed to shock him. Sometimes people think that deep work is best but what I am finding is that lighter work has much more healing qualities to it. He did give me a good evaluation and thanked me personally as well.

When everything was done, the lady that runs the reception area and lining people up told me that I had some very good comments given about me. I told her that I know one was probably not positive but she said; no you had some very good comments. That was very good for me to hear and I am appreciative that she shared that with me. All in all, it was a good day and I learned a lot. Now, the next time we do this, it will be much easier and it reinforces with me that I want to do this. I’m glad it was a very positive day for myself. Seeing that I was able to do more than I thought I could do is a lesson all to itself for me.


_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#1787 - 03/30/03 02:21 PM Re: My First Student Clinic
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
What a great post and what a sucess for you Don. See when it comes right down to it we do have worth and I bet it did wonders for your self image. Keep it up brother. What a RUSH for you.
From what you relate you handled yourself like a professional and that is what you are trained to be. It took a lot of guts to do what you did. I for one am very proud of you.

_________________________
Mikey

IT REALLY IS OK TO STUMBLE. NONE OF US ARE PERFECT.

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#1788 - 03/30/03 07:03 PM Re: My First Student Clinic
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Don
my back is aching and my neck is stiff, I wish I could be there.

Dave \:D

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#1789 - 04/02/03 02:47 PM Re: My First Student Clinic
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
MikeChurch,
Yes it did wonders for my self esteem, self confidence. Don't tell my "self" but I think my "self" is able to do more than it realizes. I think this massage thing is going to open up worlds which I don't even know exist right now or too afraid to bring into focus.

Lloydy,
If you were close by, I would be more than happy to give you a massage. I am getting ready to order my own massage table and massage chair... so I can start practicing outside of school.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

Top
#1790 - 04/02/03 03:31 PM Re: My First Student Clinic
Cement Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
Very cool post, Don...

I am proud of you and what courage it takes to do it!

Peace,
JAmes

_________________________
And let the darkness fear our light.

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#1791 - 04/02/03 11:45 PM Re: My First Student Clinic
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Don that's great WTG!

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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