"Are we hugging....?"
This is a question that just quite recently I have heard from various friends I meet. As lockdown in the UK is easing the idea of touch is slowly becoming one which is starting to be accepted back again. However questions like this highlight the fact that we are still just not sure and people are still cautious and fearful about the idea of someone hugging them again or even being less that 2 metres away from them.
As a hands- on therapist I am very mindful of my approach the body when I start back practising. Some clients may have lacked touch or a hug since lockdown began and to be touched may be very overwhelming or trigger things for them. Others may have had a very stressful lockdown, lost loved ones and broken up with partners or family members. The emotional element of this in the body will also be something that I as a bodywork therapist am going to be gentle with and mindful of.
The current measures require hands-on therapists to wear PPE which I have yet to experience as I have not started back at work yet. However just as it is for the client it is very important that the therapist too feels connected to the body. With PPE to me I feel it may loose vital connections and that important skin to skin bond may be lost or at least reduced. To be honest whilst I feel this will be awkward at first I am aware that people need to be treated and i need to follow safe regulations.
I am due to go back to work on the 4th August to start practicing again and it really feels like I am entering into the unknown. Though I have spoken to many therapists who have started back and told me their stories (both good and bad with regards to using PPE) I am still not quite ready in myself to go back. I am taking my time and I think not being in control of who I book in is quite a worry for me which is probably where my worries lay. I work for a wellness centre and spa which is linked to a hotel and they take these bookings for treatments so I hope that they will be mindful of this.
I have however in the lockdown found a new part of myself that I did not give time to flourish before...which is my voice and through numerous voice notes sent over the last few months I have found they have helped me to connect to people but also to myself and my own thoughts and ideas. So much that I have decided to launch a podcast to not just share stories and speak to fellow therapists and bodyworkers but to ensure I keep up to date as now more than ever it is important to ensure we are aware of what is happening so we feel safe, supported and connected.
Please keep a look out for my podcast as it will be launching soon!
Also an amazing article about the power of a hug...