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  • Writer's pictureStacey Lynn

What is Bodywork Therapy?

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

New clients often comment that my style of 'massage' is unlike any other massage they have ever received. These comments are regularly expressed with a combination of bewilderment and gratitude. The gratitude comes from the great relief experienced in receiving a treatment that is genuinely effective for them. I'm told the bewilderment comes from simply not understanding, in all the years these clients have been receiving massages, that they could possibly experience something so new to them. The only answer I have is that I am not a Massage Therapist, I am a Bodywork Therapist.

Bodywork Therapy is an umbrella term for which many body based therapies intended to support not just a client's physical well-being, but also to support a client's mental, emotional and even spiritual well-being, fall within. And, like many Bodywork Therapists, I am trained in many different body based therapies. In all of my training and experience I have learned that Bodywork Therapy requires a level of intuition, empathy, genuine connection and collaboration with the client which creates a truly safe space for deep healing.

When booking a Bodywork session with me, you are not signing up for a generic relaxation massage. My mantra helps communicate what I mean by this:


Bodywork Therapy is a collaborative experience, encouraging you to actively receive, to be present with and to be willing to feel into places that haven't been felt for sometimes, a very long time. Your presence and willingness is what makes room for you to be with and move through the discomfort of unwinding long held patterns of tension and allow for your body to remember patterns of rest and ease.

With Bodywork Therapy, it is my role to bring attention to your tension in a safe and supportive way because having our tension deeply held and acknowledged can often feel quite uncomfortable.

When our bodies, either from physical trauma (injury), repetitive strain (work) or emotional trauma (life!), get twisted and pulled on, our minds often turn away from these places of strain with the intention of persevering. Bringing our attention back to these places of strain can be physically, emotionally and mentally overwhelming and it is the practice of a skilled Bodywork Therapist to hold space for this return to your body, to give you the tools to safely let go and to encourage the mindfulness of noticing a tendency to pick the tension back up.

For example, in the context of injury, let's imagine an individual tore a muscle in their right shoulder years back and during their session we discover the shoulder has lost it's range of motion. As techniques are chosen to increase the range of motion, we discover a pattern of protection. In other words, the individual is unconsciously tightening the muscles of the injured shoulder which prevents full range of motion. The person needed this protection way back when the injury occurred in order to avoid further harm, but because this protection has since become the shoulder's habit of moving (or not moving) problems have arisen as other areas of the body compensate. So, we work together to safely unwind these patterns and ease you into a new pattern. In introducing a new pattern, the old pattern is challenged. Depending on how deeply ingrained the old pattern has become, challenging it can be very overwhelming as change is resisted only with intention of helping you maintain the protection. A skilled Bodywork Therapist purposefully guides the person's awareness into the pattern of protection while providing the tools of body awareness that allow for the pattern to be released.

To learn more about this, please read my blog posts, 'What is a Bodymind Connection' and 'Why does massage hurt?'.

Clients are amazed a the capacity of their own bodies to experience less pain and a greater range of motion and how this is done is by connecting the person with the person. Learning to check in and noticing the tendency to check out.

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