Ashleigh Sharman discusses the highs and lows of client energy exchange.
As you go about your day, in salon, spa or clinic, energy ebbs and flows all around: the energy you bring to your workplace, the energy received from co-workers and, in particular, clients can all have a dramatic effect on how you are feeling and how you are performing treatments.
“Energy shapes how we are in the world – how we feel and how we respond to things,” says Jacqui Lewis, Vedic meditation teacher, wellness expert and co-founder of The Broad Place.
“Energetically, we want to feel refreshed and inspired, not sluggish and slow. Having an awareness of how other people’s energy affects ours, and how ours affects others, is important as it can really shape an experience.”
It therefore makes sense that not absorbing negative energy but learning to offload it can help both mental and physical health. Yet this is something that, despite simple in concept, can be difficult to realise in a busy workplace and in an environment where it is client, and not therapist, wellbeing that is prioritised.
This is something Brisbane-based facialist, Neralee Flanagan, is all too familiar with. “As therapists, acknowledging and nurturing our own energy and wellbeing as a priority ensures we can efficiently hold space for our clients,” she says.
“Until I worked for a mentor that held energy as a top priority, I had underestimated the most important, yet under-utilised, way of servicing clients in the highest good while preventing burnout.
“I am responsible for the energy I bring to my day and my clients and this has transformed the way I work.”
Neralee also recommends beginning each treatment with an intention, a short breathing exercise and staying on top of hydration.
Jacqui agrees that in such a role it is vitally important to begin in a great space energetically – using a meditation practice and taking a few minutes to be thankful for the opportunity to share an experience and knowledge.
“I recommend one to two minutes before each client to sit with the eyes closed and ground down the energy within. Begin with three deep breaths through the nose while imagining positive energy entering and negative energy exiting with each breath.
“Follow this by keeping the eyes closed and placing your attention from your head and working down the whole body to the feet. Then a big smile with the eyes closed, relaxing the face and ever-so-slowly opening the eyes.
“This calming practice ensures that any negative energy absorbed by the past client leaves you and doesn’t carry with you into the next client,” Jacqui explains.
Whether you prefer a deep cleansing breath, light meditation, energy-clearing sprays, salt lamps, incense, chimes or singing bowls, consider your own energy state before and after each treatment.
Stress affects both client and therapist so, with consideration of energy release in your workplace, you can give wholeheartedly, minus the burnout.