About Me

My photo
I live in Kent with my husband, toddler Tilly (henceforth known as Monkey) and another baby due in November. We have two cats, Duncan and Lady Macbeth, and four chickens who kindly lay us eggs daily. We live in the picturesque seaside town of Broadstairs. I enjoy reading, knitting and cooking. I'm trying to be a bit 'greener' (not sure how successfully), and to be a gentle parent. Extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping don't freak me out, we use cloth nappies and try to follow some of the ideals of Attachment Parenting. If that sounds as if I know what I'm doing, I don't! I am also a psychotherapist with an interest in Focusing-oriented therapy, and I have a small private practice in the area.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


Just got back from a wonderful massage. I haven't had a regular massage therapist before but I think I've found The One. I feel like my neck is 2 inches longer and my shoulders have dropped a couple of inches too! I could literally feel her hands making space inside me. Oh bliss! It was a very interesting process for me, observing my thoughts and feelings as she took a brief history and then began to work on me. First, it really hit me that, Yes, I really do only get about 6 or 7 hours (broken) sleep a night. And then I got to thinking about self-care, that's therapist self-care and mama self-care, of course. Why is it that I only have a massage once every blue moon? Especially when my neck and shoulders are as knotted as they are. I 'treat' myself often, I reward myself with food, nice things, the odd glass of champagne, but I don't know if I'm very good at caring for myself, and that's a completely different thing. Laying on the couch, being touched, made me realise how pragmatically I live my life at the moment. Perhaps being a mother has contributed to that, days are about tasks, meeting the needs of a baby, a partner, clients. My thoughts are practical, as are my concerns. But another realm, another aspect is being unlived and unnurtured. How to change that? How to nourish the spirit?
People often think that therapists get filled up with 'bad stuff', that clients 'dump' their problems and feelings in us, like a rubbish bin, which we then dispose of on their behalf. Nah. They ask how we can cope with the job, how can we do it week after week? Good therapists don't take on clients bad stuff. Our job is to facilitate a digestive process for the client, to help the client to process their own bad feelings. I think I'm pretty good at that, I don't feel like I take my work home with me, and apart from the odd 'toxic' client, I don't feel damaged by the work. But I do wonder about Energy. I don't know much about the energy therapies and I know they have gained in popularity and reputation, I must refresh my knowledge. I wonder about the space in which I work, I question how to keep it clear and flowing, and what about my own energy and how that may be impacted by the work I do? Ha ha, and then my pragmatic side comes in and scoffs at the subject as unscientific, unprovable. Hmmm.
But I digress. I think I need to make myself a Charter for Self-Care. And stick to it. Starting with earlier nights, so I'll come back to this another time.


Joxy said...

scientists don't like to reminded hon; but what's now known as quantum physics... has been known to witches and folkes of similar ilk for many a generation... 'cept we call it "magic".

Remember, science has not and probably can not explain everything.

docwitch said...

I'm where you're at with self-care. I really need to work on getting more sleep, which means earlier nights - something I struggle with. And massage is incredible isn't it?

My dearest friend is a massage therapist and has been giving me massages in return for a quilt Im making her. Whenever I have one of her massages I wonder how I could not have regular massages. They makes such a difference. Glad you were able to do this.

willow81 said...

Joxy, you are right. And therapy as I practice it is an 'art' rather than a science, so I don't know quite what my reservations are. I guess when I do therapy I don't make claims to 'cure', whereas I feel the energy therapies seem to make such claims. Must chat with you more about witches and witchery, I'm fascinated!

Docwitch, the early nights are a real challenge, particularly with my blog feed beckoning me! But you have taken a huge step towards self-care recently, so congratulations for that.

Mon said...

I have been wanting/needing a massage since about my 2nd trimester - so that's what, 1.5 years? argh

Self-care is crucial, and often a neglected part in the lives of wives and mothers.

Science recognises energy, and they are always 'discvering' things that spiritual people have always known. Science is one teeny tiny part of our world, except we have put it on a pedestal so that we think it's more important than it is.

sol y luna said...

Gorgeous post, and a very timely one for me. I'm an MT too, and like most of us, I'm terrible at taking my own medicine.

A lot has been coming up recently about needing to balance all my giving with a lot more receiving...which I find very confronting.

When I finally do get bodywork. Ahhh. I know how you feel.I soften and open and release, and... yes, I'm booking in somewhere first thing tomorrow. Thank you!

I love seeing the impact that even a short massage can make in someone's day, and I'm always fascinated by my own reactions to receiving treatment. Where do your store most of your tension? For me, it's the usual areas in the shoulders and neck, but also, strangely, the arms and hamstrings are extremely (in)tense. I feel a build up of restless energy in those areas that is almost unbearable, but exquisite. The touch of kind and skilled hands brings much needed focus to each area. It is so good and right to be in the body, in the moment.

Women, especially Mums, need to get regular massage, and know that it is not a luxury, but about vital nourishment and maintenance. I'm very drawn to pregnancy massage, but especially, post-natal care of new mothers. Birth has such a huge impact on the body, mind and spirit, and massage can be therapeutic for each of these, but also play such a powerful role in honouring her new stage.

More on energy, it's such a complex issue. So much of what I do and how I relate to clients is intuitive. I work a lot with blocks, and have seen some powerful emotional releases from working in certain areas. Energetic blocks in my own body can mean that I find it harder to heal and be in the moment, and my reserves of oomph are limited. I definitely agree that we're not dumping grounds, but facilitators.

I'll stop nattering, and get some rest. Thanks again. Healer heal thyself, and all that.