Chandra came rushing in a few minutes late, spilling her tea as she set it down, very apologetic about the small puddle on the waterproof table. She was a young mom with an 8-month-old baby, her life hectic and sleep deprived. She was overwhelmed and felt inadequate, convinced that all other new moms were managing better. We reviewed her health history, talked for a few more minutes, and then she got on the massage table. As I arranged pillows and blankets making sure she was comfortable she burst into tears. “No one has taken care of me in so long” she cried. I handed her some tissue and encouraged her to let it out.
As she settled I took a moment to focus, then gently rested my hands on the bottoms of her feet. Immediately I could “feel” her exhaustion and hypervigilance in taking care of the baby. The sensation spilled out of her feet, and I stayed with it till her body was done sharing. Slowly she felt more grounded, sinking into deeper and deeper levels of rest. After about 40 minutes I felt her energy disconnect from me, so I took my hands off her. We were done for today. A moment later she sat up, stretched and returned to the chair where she had begun. She was groggy but smiling. She said that, strangely, she felt both calmer and more energetic. When she came in for her next session the following week she told me she had begun looking for a moms’ group— hoping to find other moms with whom she could share her concerns and triumphs.
After a total of three sessions she was on her way. She had found a support group and, along with the weekly meetings, they were beginning to trade brief periods of childcare. She was calmer, and she and her baby were sleeping much better. There were still moments of fatigue and worry, but they were moments instead of all the time. She scheduled another session a month later, a “tune up” to nurture herself and help maintain her clarity and energy.