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Κυριακή, 20 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Intention - by Moss Arnold

He sounds like Hippocrates, ...at times!


One point that I touched on briefly in Appendix C p228 of my Book “Chi-Reflexology : Guidelines for the Middle way” was Intention. This was an afterthought that I had wished I had included as a Chapter in the body of the book, as it is an area that I have increasingly become aware is a major issue and has been rather neglected by most authors and presenters. To begin to rectify this neglect, I have written the following.

The first point is that most therapists, including reflexologists have only a vague and generalized idea of what their intentions actually are. Generally it is a largely unconscious or subconscious concept along the lines of doing “good’. What is “good”? It can have any meaning whatsoever, from “good” being inflicting pain and suffering and doing a great deal of harm, through to “it feels good and relaxing”; and everything in-between.

It is my experience that very few therapists have ever stopped and asked themselves some difficult questions. Not only what am I doing, but why? Is it to heal? Is it to treat? To relax? To be responsible for another’s health? To help? To harm? To ………

So the first step is for all therapists to ask themselves these questions and many others. To begin to take responsibility for what they do, how they do it and why they do it. You cannot do this if you have never even considered your intentions. This is the reason that your intentions are so paramount! They are the basis or premise upon which all that you do as a therapist is based. If you do not know, recognize and acknowledge your intentions very specifically, how can you be responsible for what you do and don’t do?

This is the beginning. Next many therapists, including reflexologists, argue that it is your intent that is the most important and that as long as your intent is “good” you cannot do harm. There is a degree of truth in this statement, for if your intent is a positive one, it greatly decreases the chance of doing harm. So intent is paramount. Yet, if you think about this, it is rather a “cop out”. A nice neat little package designed to avoid responsibility. Even with the best of intentions, harm can be done. For example, we all know the person with the highest intentions, who none the less causes havoc everywhere they go and every time they do something. They do not intend this to happen and, in fact, their intention is exactly the opposite but the outcome is something completely different. The “do-gooder” if you like. Intention then is of the utmost importance, but this alone does not eliminate our responsibility to ourselves, our work, and the receivers of our therapy.

I work very consciously. I increasingly know what I am doing and why along each step of the way. This is working with intent! When I treat, I treat! When I balance, I balance! I do not mix things together. I have a clear intention every step of the way. This way I am responsible for what I do. There is no guesswork and accidents in the Chi-Reflexology approach. All the positive and negative responses to our treatment, we as therapists have a role to play in their manifestation, whether we deliberately try to make it happen or not.

            So the first step is to stop and question yourself. Work out your questions and be honest with yourself. Own your own decisions. Be conscious, this I believe is what enlightenment is all about. Being more and more conscious of yourself and others.

            There are no right and wrong answers – unto thyself be true. What is important is to ask! As long as you are questioning, you too are safe. It is when you think you have the answer that you are in trouble.

When I first became a therapist, I was discussing many questions concerning my role and responsibility in the healing process with a mature therapist friend of mine. During the discussion, I asked – “What am I responsible for and what am I not responsible for?” and he replied “You’ve got it!”  I did not appreciate his response until he explained – “As long as you are asking and in this dilemma, you are safe. It is when you think you know the answers that you are in trouble!” I thank him for his insight and wisdom. He helped me greatly with my journey.

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.

Socrates
            The more I learn, the less I know! The more questions I answer, the more questions arise! The more I think I know, the more there is to learn! The merry-go-round! The wheel! Yin and Yang at play! The process of change! The ebb and flow of life! The cycle of growth!

            Once you have recognised your own intentions in the healing process, then you can begin to own and accept them. In this way you can begin to work more consciously, clearly, and mentally and your treatments will be intensified, while at the same time the “negative” responses will decrease! This is my experience – the more conscious I am while I work the less chance of doing harm! Remember, though, this is a process. It is not an end in itself! I am constantly questioning my intentions and myself. It is a never-ending process.


            The worst scenario is the two extremes – Yin and Yang at play again, and they are –



  1. The New Age healers who believe that as long as their intentions are good and their ideals high, whatever happens is not their doing; and they deny their responsibility by inventing the concept of the “healing crisis”. Their emphasis is on emotional healing (rather than wholistic, or even spiritual) for their client’s highest “good”, which they interpret and define.

 
  1. The physical manipulators of human beings, who work only on a physical level, and are only responsible for the physical healing that they do. They work mechanically and repetitively and when they get negative responses, like the first group, they obviate their responsibility by claiming “it is the healing crisis”.

 

Both groups are very quick to accept the praise when what they do has positive responses,
but are very slow in the reverse scenario. Again, you cannot accept one without the other! It is also interesting that both groups have come up with the same reasoning and excuse for what happens!

 
            As to the “Healing crisis” my experience is that it does not exist, unless we as therapists create it! Perhaps a definition of the “healing crisis” would be worthwhile at this point. Most would say that it is the body, as a result of the treatment, rectifying the imbalances in the body and that it takes a day or two, or perhaps a few to happen.

 
            This is quite a logical explanation, until you introduce the concept that the body itself is designed to take care of itself, and further, that the body is the only thing that can heal. It is not a therapist or his/her therapy that heals! Just like drugs do not heal! It is the human being that has the potential to heal. If you truly believe this, then no therapy or therapist is a healer, or can heal. All that we can do as therapists is to HELP the body to achieve what it was designed to do in the first place, and that is to heal itself as it sees fit! It knows best! Not me, nor you! Not the mind, which is but a sophisticated computer! Not the personality! Not Reflexology! Not any therapy or therapist! The body knows best! It was designed to take care of itself, all we can do is help or hinder this most natural of all processes. And my experience is, again, that most therapists and therapies hinder rather than help this process!


            Think carefully. If the body is designed to take care of itself, it knows what it needs. It does not need you or me to tell it! Nor to make it heal itself! I am not a healer! I do no healing! Chi-Reflexology does not heal! It has been designed to help the body to achieve what it desires, and in whatever way it desires it, and on all levels of existence – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual! This is what Chi-Reflexology does – it works with the body, not against it. It does not make it harder for the body to do its natural job! But rather is designed to help make that job as easy as possible! Again, intention is quite clear and specific! No vague concepts of “healing” and “good” here, but very specific intentions! This is what protects me! And my clients!

 

            My definition, therefore, of a “healing crisis” is that the therapy (and often the therapist) actually create it. Further that they are designed to do this! To force the body to do it’s bidding! Force the mechanical apparatus that is the body to obey its master! How dare you! What harm is being done in the name of “good” intentions! What right have you to impose your will on another, especially in the therapeutic situation! As you can see I get really emotional about this. It is a subject that is close to my heart! For my basic premise is that I shall do no harm! And yet I see so many trainings that do not even attempt to get their students to look at this whole issue! It is totally ignored. And so, we are producing either mechanical robot therapists who do not think, or New Age healers who are responsible for the health and wellbeing of another, without any responsibility whatsoever! To me this is not only immoral, unethical and unprofessional, but amounts to violation of the human being! Is this not what the worldwide medical profession

advocate – they are responsible for your health! They know the answers! They have the cures! Do we really want to follow in their footsteps? Is this what the natural therapies are actually all about? I hope not! But I suspect so!


So if a healing crisis does occur after a treatment, you need to look closely at what you do, when, and how and your intentions at the time! I have done harm to clients. Any honest therapist would admit this, at least to himself or herself. But I have learnt from my mistakes. And I have promised myself that I would not do it again.


            Check out the Case Histories in my book, and you will see that there are very few if any healing crises that occur after a Chi-Reflexology treatment. What does happen is that sometimes clients have strange, weird, out-of-the-ordinary responses to a treatment or series of treatments. This may be their healing I grant you, but it is not a crisis! There is no increase in pain or symptoms. They do not feel worse after the treatment! They do not take days to recover! And it is unique to them! This is the difference and, to my way of thinking, it is a significant difference. If a client walks out of my clinic feeling worse than they walked in, I will never do it again! It is as simple as that! I may not do any good (and accept this possibility happily), but I definitely will not do harm! Even short-term harm is harm!

 
Where do you go from here? Firstly by looking at all I have written about above, thinking about it and making your own decisions. And then by developing your sensitivity, while at the same time constantly furthering your knowledge, along with your ability to be unemotionally objective and detached. In this way you will also develop your ability to work increasingly more consciously.


Unemotional like Mr.Spock
            Now what do I mean by unemotional objectivity and detachment? Firstly, whenever I get emotionally involved experience has taught me that I not only do myself harm, but the receiver. So I have learnt to be unemotional while working, which comes about by developing my objectivity and detachment from their situation. Part of the process of doing this involves learning the difference between sympathy and empathy. Now I have read a number of opposite definitions of these two concepts. To sympathize with a receiver is to simply share the emotion, while empathize with a receiver is to understand what they are emotionally experiencing. Sympathy is a trap as you simply share the emotions, feel what they are feeling, which not only does you and them no good, but also undermines your objectivity and ability to remain detached. Once this happens I guarantee that harm results. To empathize with a receiver, is to understand but not to share, and in this way you can maintain your objectivity and detachment! This results in increasing the likelihood of positive, rather than negative responses, for both the giver and the receiver! An example of this problem is that so many therapists mention that they feel worse after a treatment as they have “taken on” the receiver’s stuff! Why? Because they want to heal, and so it is what they unconsciously want to do, or because they have not even stopped to think about why this is happening! Part of the reason for this happening is that they want to share the emotions of the receiver!

 
            Further, therapists become consciously or unconsciously, emotionally involved and are in fact attempting to perform “emotional healing”. This is an extremely misleading and poorly understood concept that also adds to the dilemma. What is emotional healing? Can an emotion be healed? Think about it. All emotions are natural. Society, and New Age healers attempt to tell us that there are “good” and “bad” emotions. The truth is that there is no such thing. It is subjective and emotive, excuse the pun. To the Chinese all emotions are natural and therefore cannot and do not need to be healed! It is a ridiculous proposition! So I do not believe in emotional healing! What actually causes a problem is not an emotion, but what we do with them. If we suppress and reject an emotion, or hold on to an emotion once we have experienced it, the Chinese argue that, not the emotion, but the energy or chi of that suppression/rejection/holding onto, resides in a particular organ of the body and over time “crushes said organ. So all organ dis-ease is the result of longer-term suppression, rejection or “holding” of the energy. So all that needs to happen is to release the energy or chi that is causing problems for said organ/s. One does not have to revisit or re-experience the emotion at all. My experience is that “emotional healing” does not exist, and the process of releasing the energy is a very simple and profound one. It is again a natural process that does no harm to the body, the person, or the soul!

One other important aspect of this is to not introduce any negativity into the equation in any way at all. Too often therapists take responsibility from their clients and depower them. By telling them what to do, how to do it, when to do it, etc. By putting them down. What needs to happen is the reverse – empower clients. How? By letting them know that they are responsible for their health, and by not introducing anything that might depower them. It is as simple as that!

 

“Harm that’s done with “good” intent beats all the lies you can invent.”

 

            Remember with all that is said above be gentle with yourself. You are human and will make mistakes. That is so human! Do not beat yourself up for it, but learn from it, and move on. Be responsible for what you do and make conscious decisions about it. And then  “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.”


Finally, what follows is a list of questions that are in no particular order. I deliberately did not sequence them? Why? For many reasons, and most importantly because all questions you ask yourself are of equal importance! It is the beginning of working consciously rather than mechanically and unconsciously.

 
            I have attempted to cover the whole spectrum of questions relating to reflexology, Chi-Reflexology and natural therapies. I am sure there are other questions I have forgotten to include. For this I apologize. This list then are the questions I have asked and am constantly asking myself. Have I discovered the definitive answers to each? NO.  Am I still searching, thinking, asking and growing? YES! For this reason I have included my responses to the question and the final column for you to respond. It is a quiz! Have fun! Enjoy discovering your own attitudes and opinions. What do you think? Hopefully making you think! Its purpose!



QUESTION
My Response
Your
Response
Am I a healer?
NO
 
Am I responsible for someone else’s health?
NO
 
Am I responsible for someone else’s healing?
NO
 
Am I biased toward China, everything Chinese and its philosophy?
YES
 
Do I heal?
NO
 
Do I want to hurt people?
NO
 
Do I want to do harm?
NO
 
Do I want to create happiness?
NO
 
Do I want to help?
YES
 
Do I want what is the highest good for a person?
YES
 
Can I judge what is for a person’s highest good?
NO
 
Who can judge what is your highest good?
YOU
 
Who is the best judge of what is best for you?
YOU
 
Who heals? The Therapist or the Client?
The Client
 
Do I want to empower people?
YES
 
Do I want to depower people?
NO
 
If in doubt, don’t!
YES
 
Do I want to make a difference?
YES
 
Do I tell receivers what to do?
NO
 
Do I answer receiver’s questions?
YES
 
Do each and every one of us have the answers within?
YES
 
Do I allow receivers to decide?
YES
 
Do I give myself over to the process?
YES
 
Do I allow my intuition to guide me?
YES
 
Do I respect & honour the dignity of working with another?
YES
 
Do I aim to treat what I am asked to treat?
YES
 
Do I aim to balance?
YES
 
Do I allow what needs to happen to happen?
YES
 
Do I try to make things happen?
NO
 
Do I tell people what to do?
NO
 
Do people have to deal with imbalances?
NO
 
QUESTION
My Response
Your
Response
Do I work with the person?
YES
 
Do I work against the person?
NO
 
Do I work wholistically?
YES
 
Do I respect the whole person?
YES
 
Do I make people deal with physical imbalances?
NO
 
Do I make people deal with emotional imbalances?
NO
 
Do I make people deal with mental imbalances?
NO
 
Do I make people deal with spiritual imbalances?
NO
 
Do I do what I am asked and then balance?
YES
 
Do I aim to force the body to respond?
NO
 
Do I cause pain?
NO?
 
Do I aim to ease suffering?
NO
 
Do I share with others?
YES
 
Do I give of myself for the benefit of others?
YES
 
Do I know what is best for another person?
NO
 
Do I wish to end “bad”?
NO
 
Do I wish to create “good”?
NO
 
Do I accept people as they are?
YES
 
Do I sanitize feet before working?
NO
 
Do I use any lotions on the feet at the beginning or during a treatment?
NO
 
Do I want to change people?
NO
 
Are people always changing?
YES
 
Does good and bad exist in everything?
YES
 
Do I diagnose dis-ease?
NO
 
Do I diagnose energy imbalances?
YES
 
Do I treat energy imbalances by balancing them?
YES
 
Do I look for the underlying energy cause?
YES
 
Do I treat symptoms?
YES
 
Must people deal with their imbalances?
NO
 
What does Chi-Reflexology do?
Balance
 
Is Chi-Reflexology, Chinese Reflexology?
NO
 
Is Chi-Reflexology for everyone?
NO
 
QUESTION
My Response
Your
Response
Do I love what I do?
YES
 
Does what I do “fire my soul”?
YES
 
Is what I do my passion?
YES
 
Do I constantly question myself?
YES
 
Do I perform reflexology (or therapy) I do, mechanically?
NO
 
Is reflexology (or therapy) dead?
NO
 
Is reflexology (or therapy) I do an art?
YES
 
Is reflexology (or therapy) alive and living?
YES
 
Does my intent matter?
YES
 
Does my intent prevent harm?
NO
 
Does my intent reduce the chance of doing harm?
YES
 
Do I treat each individual as unique?
YES
 
Do I do what I do for the benefit of others?
YES
 
Do I do what I do for money?
NO
 
Do I want to share?
YES
 
Does anyone have the answers?
NO
 
Does each person know?
YES
 
Is life interesting?
YES
 
Is life full of contradictions?
YES
 
Is living worth living?
YES
 
Is the journey worthwhile?
YES
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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