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As parents, friends, colleagues, as well as citizens, we are all teachers. We teach by example, knowledge, wisdom and experience. Sometimes we teach those who are in our spheres of influence what to do and sometimes what not to do. As therapist, colleague, friend and as an aging human, the more I find myself in the role of teacher.
The farther down the CST road one travels, the more each therapist realizes that at least part of what he or she is, is teacher. We must describe this manual approach of seemingly "nothing touch, feather touch, light touch" as a real deal treatment having an effect on chronic illness such as back pain, headaches, developmental delay and the like. And if that was not enough, we touch in strange places like the feet, tailbone, throat and head. So we need to be versed in what to say. It requires one to be a source of knowledge, having specific understanding of anatomy, human bioscience, human nature, research and practical application in describing, in common language, what is happening. We must be aware and have personal experience with pain, suffering and the vastness of human experience of that. There is also a kind of social interaction required in being able to successfully cross into an area that may be considered uncomfortable -- holding space, gaining trust, and facilitating a healing effect for the patient.
So we are blending with the body and Inner Wisdom of the patient and at the same time helping the owner of the body understand what there is to be understood and learned about what is happening. Whatever else we are, we are teachers one and all.
I have always counseled my student teachers that we must always engage students, patients, colleagues, or whomever with courtesy, respect, honor, dignity, patience and compassion. We must honor our bodies as well as their bodies as the chalice of life, universal wisdom and precious teaching gift this lifetime is.
Do not ever think that when you are working with and helping the person within your touch that you are not also working on yourself. I am reminded of that phrase, "There but for the grace of God go I." This is why we need to have done the work in our own self-healing and understanding. Having done so, we can hold space for an animated somato-emotional process knowing that it is emotional, but that in the end will be very beneficial. We are simple facilitators helping those in need heal themselves and by extension we are helping to heal ourselves.
People have asked me, "Don, when are you going to retire?" I say, "Well, I am." I say this because I meet people of every age, culture, socio-economic strata every day. They come to me. I listen. I get to hear their stories. I travel the world and share what I know. If I see a dozen patients a week, I feel grateful. If I teach a few hundred students a year who see a dozen patients a week I feel humbled, honored and grateful. I guess this is my retirement. I love it and would wish the same for each of you.
Thank you for reading. Comments welcome.
Wendy Peters (motorcycle mama cheesehead) (Monday, 21 January 2019 20:08)
Beautifully said Don. I turn 65 this year and my clients have been asking me too if I'm going to retire, and I say the same thing. I am retired! There's nothing else I'd rather do than CST and be a witness to others & myself. Because through doing and receiving CST I've observed healing and growth in both my clients and myself. We're helping to make the world a touch better!