Tonification, what is it?
The Word “Tonify”
1. (verb):- To impart tone to (the body or part of it)
2. Of acupuncture or herbal medicine – increase the available energy of (an
organ, part, or system of the body)
3. Bodywork/ Shiatsu:- to create a flow of energy and bring life to a body
Zen shiatsu would indicate that this is an area which requires holding in order for the qi to flow into it and restore the flow.
The problem with this concept, in my opinion is that in today’s rush and hurry world the average client requires change at least in one or two sessions, therefore different approaches are a good idea to satisfy your clients.
Look at your diagnosis, take into account the age and general vitality of your client. This will determine what technique would be good for them.
Tonification may not simply refer to emptiness, flaccidity or coldness after all. It can also refer to stasis and protection, so all these conditions need to be factored into any original diagnosis.
Very often the client will be in fairly good overall health, but a part of their life indicates a need (it may be emotional or psychological) which has manifested in the physical as a need for tonification. So, depending on how robust they are physical techniques, other than holding, might be:-
Kenbiki . Tapping . Rubbing to induce heat . Stretching . Pummeling with fingertips or soft fists …
Think of how to induce qi and blood flow, and use it.
Tonification is not just physical. It is emotional and psychological. If you have the right qualifications to help with this, then perhaps this is the right form of treatment. If not, it is a good idea to have a network of contacts to which you can refer clients.
Encourage your client, if they do take up another therapy to continue with bodywork, for I find that a client will progress very quickly if the two therapies continue hand in hand.
Above all when the client visits you, make it a memorable one. YOU may be just the “tonic” they need.
Let me know what you use to tonify clients in the comments box below.