Seeking holistic care is not for the faint of heart.
At first glance, it seems as though it must be easy – after all, no one’s coming in for a root canal. But it takes a brave soul to come through the door, to share the story of their body or their heart, to undress, to be willing to be touched or fully heard, to trust a practitioner with their whole, imperfect selves. In short, whether clients come in asking for help or pain relief or a listening ear or a gentle pampering, they must be vulnerable.
And being vulnerable is hard. When you receive a holistic wellness service, you are choosing to slow down in a world asking you to speed up. You may have to take time out of a busy day when you are pulled in all directions. You might have to fight to put yourself first when you are drowning in external demands. Taking a moment to do something as important and vital as reacquainting yourself with your body, mind, and spirit can mean swimming upstream.
No matter what, whether it's getting a massage, meeting with a therapist, receiving an energy work session, or taking your first yoga class – these are all radical acts of self-love. At Freed, we know the power of vulnerability, and we honor the intention that comes with making decisions that center your self-care. Here's what some of our practitioners have to say about the role vulnerability plays in their work:
"As a massage therapist, I'm caring for people through their massage. Often it matters less where I work on you than how I work on you. Some people care about you taking care of that thing in their shoulder, and we do that, too. But a lot of people care about being cared for, and that's the core of our work."
"The first thing that makes a massage work is not our awesome technical skills (awesome though they be). It's about our ability to create a space where you can be vulnerable. Where you can tell us what really hurts and possibly why. Where you can talk openly and honestly about who you are. Where you can get naked with a stranger and have that be a positive experience. There are things it's tough to get in life if we can't let down our (quite reasonable) walls of self-protection. Providing a safe and respectful space for a person to be vulnerable is actually my first responsibility as a massage therapist."
"It is my belief that in order to accomplish the goals we set in life and truly be happy, at some point, you will have to be utterly vulnerable. Whether to yourself, someone else, or to the world, it’ll need to happen. But that SUCKS! No one likes it. I don’t like it and I’m a therapist. But I’ve learned and fairly accepted (it’s a path folks) that it’s necessary for growth, fulfillment, and happiness. I know it’s hard to bare your truths to someone you don’t know, to be naked in that way. So I’m eternally grateful when folks allow me to walk their path with them, sharing in their vulnerability, while building their strengths so they might come out the other side able to take on life in a different way."
"Vulnerability can be a freeing, exhilarating, or downright uncomfortable experience for many. We as practitioners have to create a safe, welcoming space that is backed by professional standards and technical skills, as well as teamwork. Sometimes it takes a village. Vulnerability can be honored with insight, support, communication, feedback, but most importantly - a respectful space that allows for people to be comfortable in their own skin. No judgment - just bodies and therapy. Thanking an individual for allowing me to share that space or work on their temple (their body) is a way that I honor the vulnerability that they express or experience."
"I regularly say to people things like: Let the weight of your head drop into my hands and relax your neck completely. Let me do all of the moving of your head. That is asking someone to trust me so completely. I need them to feel like I am being 100% honest with them from the moment I meet them in the lobby through the very end of their session. Being authentically myself is the best way I know best how to show, not tell someone, that I'm present and trustworthy. That kind of authenticity makes me vulnerable but it allows me to do the healing work that I do."
"Clients come to me for psychotherapy to improve relationships; gain insight about behaviors; adapt to difficult changes; or relieve sadness, doubt, apathy, anxiety, anger, or suffering. Every day I see the strength in vulnerability exposed. Every day I hear the power in trust afforded me. Every day I feel the potential in each new insight. My role is to bear witness, to safely contain the hurt and confusion, and to help make sense of the world. I too am a client, and being on the "other side of the couch" helps me better help my clients. Here is what I have learned as a therapist and as a client: the place that houses our fears, our shame, and our vulnerabilities is the same place that houses our potential for growth."
While an intrepid spirit can be necessary for the services Freed provides, Freed seeks to be a place where you can bring your full, courageous self. As Aviva notes, "We try to make it easier for people to be brave.” Today and all days, Team Freed celebrates the bold, vulnerable you.