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Energy self-protection when practicing massage/bodywork


Hi :) I am a massge therapy student and have been studying for few months and have done apx. 50 massages. We have been tought by our lecturer to protect ourselves when giving massage by drawing the white light circle around our bodies.

I am used to doing so as I use it in other situations too, though it doesnt seem to work lately. After I give massage I am left drained, emotionally and mentally, sometimes to the point my abdomen hurts, my gut feeling tells me it's psychosomatic rather than physical. I was wondering..what do you do to protect yourself? Or what do other people do? One of my colleagues told me..maybe I give too much energy out...

Thank you for your input.



Hello Milly. There are a few related posts on this forum where I've offered my opinion on this matter. The most recent one I could find is here. I can never quite find the right words to discuss this matter without seeming somewhat confrontational - but basically I don't believe in this kind of transference and thinking about it in the terms that get tossed around by many practitioners leads to far more detriment (for them and their patients) than any kind of good. Giving out "too much" energy, taking in "evil qi" - all of these are quite negative in many ways and show a poor understanding of what is (and isn't) happening when working on other people. A recent study, for example, found that just by looking at someone who is sick your immune system is activated - imagine what happens when you throw in working directly with them and on top of that some altruism.... Nothing bad assuredly.

All that said, this type of work is physically, emotionally and mentally demanding - much more so than many think initially. Because of this I always recommend the daily practice of tai chi and/or qi gong (certainly more so than meditation, yoga, running, whatever). Nothing against any other self-help/exercise tool but tai chi and qi gong not only build your personal reservoir of qi but they increase your sensitivity to energy (both in "issuing" and in what you may be receiving). Essentially if your personal energy is strong and your sensitivity is well cultivated the whole good energy/bad energy argument becomes a mute point.

On the physical side, obviously correct form and technique is crucial, starting slow and working up slowly so your body can develop correctly. In China many of the tuina massage practitioners spent years cultivating their own energy, understanding theory, and working their muscles through various exercises, massaging rice bags, etc. until they were even allowed to touch a patient. As our schools are setup to get you working as quickly as possible we are obviously missing out on much of this. As someone who plans to practice for a long period of time, then, taking some of this development work upon yourself is important.

For Tai Chi and Qi Gong training I would suggest you look locally for a practitioner as that is best. Qi gong routines are generally easier to learn than Tai Chi (although there are short forms), our tai chi/qi gong section has a number of books and dvds. On the qi gong side I am partial to the Da Peng Gong and on the Tai Chi side the 12 movement yang style form would be a good place to start (in DVD) if you cannot find a teacher locally.


Hi Chad, thank you for the prompt and extensive :) reply, I have had a look at the other posts you recommended and have now better understanding of it all, I do agree with you on the fact that more we give attention to something, the more it becomes apparent (that's how our mind works sometimes), so will try and not focus on it anymore as much. Thanks for the advices on tai chi and/or qi gong, will look it up in my area.

All the best, Milly


Hi Milly,

I agree with Chad whole heartedly. Always remember to disconnect from energy after a massage, like shaking your hands vigourosly. They say that if you rub or put angelica essential oils on shoulders, you can block energy from getting to you. I have been seriously getting into Myofascia release, it is gentler and takes must less physical energy, plus it really works.

John F Barnes myofascial release, it is definitely the way to go, hope that helps


Many beginner Tong Ren healers also fall into the same energy well.

In my very limited experience, I see energy work as an individual journey, where each practitioner needs to find their own strength, abilities and energy source connections. I don't feel that there is only one way to describe personal energy work to all people, as different people are attuned to it in many different disciplines.

I have found help in chi gong, Tai Chi and the "washing up" taught in Tong Ren (rubbing the hands and face to stop energy flow). I have also found help in basic Reiki practice of being connected to the universal energy source. Dowsing practices can also be helpful in clearing personal issues that waste energy.

I am just a part time Tong Ren healer, practicing at first for my own benefit, but now handling about 15 patient visits per week over the internet.

I can only suggest that you try a number of different ideas to find what suits you best. You will know the right methods by feeling your energy grow.



While I disagree in the non-belief of transference of energies (If you can transfer emotions, why not energies? But that&#39s not what her problem sounds like. I don&#39t believe in "evil qi" as you put it, though. Qi is qi!, in general, though there are different kinds, theyre not "good" or "bad" that I know of . . . . but I am sort of new at this!!) , I do agree in the methods of resolution to this issue that Chad and the others have mentioned. However, I definitely highly recommend yoga, in addition to a Tai Chi or Qi Gong practice. They are very complimentary to each other. Pranayamic Yoga practices have been extremely helpful to me . . . because their are few things more important than breath.

One question though, what is "Tong Ren"? . . . just curious. Is there an article or post on that somewhere on this website?


Click on the “tong ren” button on the main menu bar…


*smacks forhead* . . . . .Doh! Now I feel silly! Did I mention I&#39m new to this site?!


It&#39s ok. There is a lot of information here and as much as we try to make it accessible it can be a bit overwhelming at times....


Hello Milly

You should never feel exhausted after a massage it should be the opposite.

I am always energy regenerated after a massage

I always wash my hands after a massage.

When i am doing a massage i am bearfoot sucking energy from earth and transmitting it through my hands.

I focus my energy along with the natural slow motion flow of superior energy fields.

I smile inside and am completey detached from the person on the bed.

I connect my intuition, eliminate my ego and concentrate on the wellness of human body.

god luck



Excellent, Helene!

I agree, and always feel better and more energetic after a massage where I fell I performed well.

As for barefoot, I wish I could be barefoot every time. Sounds great!


open kd 1 and Du20 to receive sky and earth energy is good way to do energy treatment, and after treatment use Qi Gong practice to sedate out the sick energy also is very important.


Hi Milly

Blessed I am to share these Great tidings

Because the answer is all of the above

Including the residual feeling of personal energetic-

empowerment. Till we all can become so enthusiastic

however, I recommend

The/a revitalizing regimen/practice that can be actively /-

-in real time, be incorporated into treatments-before, during

& after.

The Simplistic practices of properly breathing

rhythmically & moving in a harmony w/nature & @ a pace

that nature’s sky & Earth energy can be incorporated into

the powers of your body awareness and intentions.

Exercises like Qi gong’s Shen Zheng (unconditional Love)

practice. See: master Li June? He is a dedicated practitioner

of His craft, & philosophy of universal amalgamation.

Also study under Master (Mani Tak’chia) a Taoist philosopher

and wellness practitioner. Also on youTube & last but not least

See” Master David Harris’s youTube series, beginning with

“How to heal others with Qi gong.”

He will show you some great-

manual-energy manipulation systems movements and mudras.

I suppose that the last word is, you have chosen a corer that requires A mindful lifestyle and presents some distinct challenges.

It stands to reason’ that being a part of the medical profession we are subject to the contraction some of the symptoms and residual external energy influences?

Remember energy is High & low week or strong,ht orcold fast or slow, moving or stagnent but never not good or bad. Also, that approx. 8 of 10 touch practitioners don’t master the craft?

But don’t be afraid, be informed and be pro-active.

Good luck in your research, God has Blessed us w/Youtube

the greatest learning Opportunity eveah use it.

go to qi gong learn it develop a personal program & seek to understand the innate value of being in personal internal energetic balance & how to reconcile w/the ever-loving creation, anxiety overwhelm grief depression anger we touch-healers are ever-being exposed to these silent drains/distractions from our

cause. To have something/extra to give & wisdom to share.

Good job Milly you asked for help that means you love what you do enough! YGG


Hi Milly

Yin & Yang as you know

Are the basic energetic functional antagonist w/in nature!

Sun & Moon are among them

The Sun Yang

The Moon Yin

Palms circling right= Sun-strokes

Palms circling left’ Moon strokes

“circle 1-Lunar stroke per-every 3 Solar."

Use earth Chi 1st. (Rises strong/mighty) then inner-Self Chi & Hara

( by grounding & orbiting personaql eergies internally) from sacrum to (Tantien)

see (The Iron shirt exorcises) on youTube )

see: Master Mantak Chi and others/

then gather’ Sky Chi –(pervasive powerful) Solar Luner etc,

Honor the 6 directions and let your heart travel in/towards

the Tao (East)” TCM

So you see Milly this shows in brief

our vast supports &

Also YouTube really the place to go to learn

Study and observe hr.s of skill building

Practitioners to help you develop your own

celestial victory dance. & to have enough

personal energetic integrity and balance

to be healthy and reserves enough to

enable a pried of rest & balance for someone

else as well.

That (balance & that rest) is the

opportunity for their recovery.

The energy movement & or palpation’s and or

Divine` gestures we can incorporate

is just all the better!

Earth is more Yang

Yin is more Divine/heavenly

Milly these new`on-sess

According to my understanding that are

The tools of our trade, the ingredients

of the sacred space that is one’s personal space

and that of our client s.

Like master David Harris says’

We’er just there to level the playing field”

“But our strokes tend to be/have a flattining afect "more like

the marines sweeping through a town

So of course we need the skills to rebuild

The energetic infrastructure/free flowing Chi afterwards. “

*See: YouTube you have picked a winner Milly (saring carring touch) hang in there.

Ps. Milly gving/sharing lots of energy is fine, just make mine a cocktail. So No need to stand so alone.Pss. it for certn that you will aways hvea need and a place for fresh eergies in TCM they say" Chi is like water geep it cleen and moving&#39 and there will be less problums"

Embrace the need to understand all about energys


These are great replies. They&#39ll be of use to me as well.



When I first began practicing acupuncture I found myself experiencing the symptoms of my patients- a sore neck, stomach pain, etc. I found, over time, that the answer lay in being solidly grounded in my own energy. In martial arts there is a term for this- it means literally "the power to deflect", and refers to being filled with your own qi so that you can deflect attack. My experience is that this is real, and can be cultivated by Qigong or Taiji. My beginners advice is- remain consciously in your own body while with your patient, grounded in your own physical sensations and breath. Do not leave your body to focus on their feelings or on thoughts, but remain grounded all the way to your feet. That will probably be enough to keep you balanced.


I was talking to a remedial massage therapist today, where he had seen a lady for treatment after her father died, experiencing greif and anxiety, and reflecting in the body tightness in the upper body - when the practitioner went home, he too was experiencing sadness and depressive state of mind. when he told me about his interaction, he said to her, that he had been in that situation loosing someone as well, this connection to himself began the manifestation to feel and explore the experience he had had, not necessarily taking on her problems, but the practitioner then began his own journey of un dealt with emotions. seperating yourself from clients problems, and not relating to them and making it personal is something that takes time to develop however the awareness of this manifestation can help to alleviate it happening. although in saying that, by all means if your ready for the journey yourself relate it, but as a practitioner i believe that the journey is for the client and its their space to talk and reflect, and be heard, which allows healing to take place, not so much about the practitioners journey. washing hands and staying present, and separating yourself from their journey by not personalising and relating it to your own life is important in this case. and i found it to be an interesting observation in the practitioner chat, so i thought it was relevant here to share. feelind drained is not great, and can take its toll. make sure you are eating well before treatments and lots of local fruits and vegies as well as meat for sustaining energy.

good luck


One of the most compelling things I&#39ve learned over 15 years of full time massage practice is that the idea of "protecting" oneself from absorbing a client&#39s energy doesn&#39t quite work the way we think it should. White Light Never works for me or anyone other Therapist I&#39ve met. Forget about trying to create a "bubble of light" around yourself. If you are truly an Empath, you will feel your clients: Their thoughts, emotions, and physical pain, as though it were your own. The real mastery here is to be able to distinguish that what you are feeling is not yours. In other words, don&#39t take ownership of it. This requires an ability to witness what you seem to be "taking on" after working on people. If anything is sticking to you, it is merely because you have personal resonance with the issues. Let this inform you where you need to go into deeper healing for yourself. And take care of yourself quickly! I recommend getting bodywork yourself regularly and a meditation practice to process your own issues and keep a strong witnessing-detachment- consciousness for whatever you are feeling from clients. This alone, has helped keep me clear more than any effort to "protect" myself. And remember, there is really no separation in the first place. We can&#39t wall ourselves off from clients, people or life. We are in a sea of energy and we are all connected. No need to "protect." We only need to develop awareness, identify with the peace and silence, and above all else: See the job, do the job, and stay out of the misery!

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