Incorporating NLP into bodywork sessions: two stories

I want to share a couple of stories about how I’ve used my NLP training (practitioner, master practitioner, advanced techniques) to help my bodywork clients with issues in their lives.

One client, a creative musician and jewelry maker who comes in for Ashiatsu and occasionally Swedish, mentioned that she had been plagued by an inner voice that sounded just like the voice of her father, a critical man who had belittled her up until his death. She felt depressed and stuck, unable to move forward with her creative projects. His voice still haunted her long after his death. (What a sad legacy to leave.)

Babies aren’t born with negative self-talk. It’s learned. And it can be passed down through the generations.

Having learned about parts in NLP practitioner training, I asked her if she had any other ancestors whom she had looked up to. She said, why, yes, she had a great grandfather who done some notable things in the realm of film. She felt proud to be descended from this ancestor and clearly identified with his creative successes.

I merely suggested that she invite the father and the great grandfather to sit at the table with her and ask them what they wanted for her life, and to listen to what each had to say and to invite them to listen to each other.

Because critical inner voices actually do want something positive for us.

The next time I saw her, she said that after the initial meeting, these two men, who’d been so influential in her life, had been having a long conversation that she occasionally dropped in on, and that the creative great grandfather part had been able to convince the critical father part that if he couldn’t outright support her creative work, he could at least hold his critical tongue, because it wasn’t helping her at all.

I’ve worked on her a couple of times since then, and each time she has mentioned how marvelous it is that that critical inner voice has become silent, allowing her to focus on her creative projects with renewed energy and optimism. She has thanked me each time.

Another client, who comes in for biodynamic craniosacral therapy, is a student in a healing profession, and she mentioned that she was feeling anxious about an upcoming test. Her test anxiety was preventing her from focusing on the material she needed to study.

Knowing about the neurological levels, plus personal experience, led me to tell her that I believed she had been a healer for many, many lifetimes before this one, and that she had mastered the area she was being tested on completely. It might seem like the material was new and difficult, but in reality, it was only new in this lifetime.

I reminded her that she’d studied this material many times, and she’d also taught this subject.

I invited her to try on these beliefs as if they were true, presupposing that she is a masterful healer.

When I saw her again, she said she hadn’t gotten her grade on the test yet, but she had gone into it feeling much less anxiety and probably had done better than she would have otherwise.

What this belief/identity change does is give the conscious mind more confidence in the abilities of the unconscious mind, which is vast and full of resources that we’re simply not conscious of, because it’s the (duh) unconscious mind. That overrides anxiety in the conscious mind and makes the material feel more familiar and memorable so the conscious mind can more easily call it up when needed.

I got that idea because I was once told by a psychic that I’d been a healer for many lifetimes, and I tried on that belief and liked how it felt, so I kept it. It helped me learn. I don’t know if it’s really true! How could I? I do know that beliefs are changeable, and if your beliefs don’t feel good and help you live your life well, then you can change them.

What beliefs work for you?

These are just a couple of examples of how I’ve integrated NLP into my bodywork sessions.

Oh, and I should add that many of my bodywork sessions are done mostly in silence. The NLP comes either early in the session or as the client is preparing to leave.

Whether a session is pure bodywork or incorporates NLP, the client walks out a more relaxed and resourceful person than when he or she walked in.

It’s changework.

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