I have been a massage therapist, for over 24 years and Craniosacral Therapist for about 20 years. I work primarily trauma in adults and children. For most clients their condition is a result of caused from injury, chronic pain/conditions interwoven with a body-mind component. I also work with families and their children who live with developmental disability or unique special needs.
In 2000, I met Ronald Murray after relocating from Europe. I researched CranioSacral Therapists in the Washington DC and surrounding areas. He was one of three therapists I contacted to explore a “right fit”.
Originally, I participated in his DC Craniosacral Study Group. I also had lived with chronic pain from an automobile accident. I have a sensitive system, and knew that I would know the quality of his work when he first worked on me in this study group whether I had had discovered someone I wanted to study with and potentially receive work from. Though he only worked on me momentarily, the sensitivity and respect, and personal stillness required for the work he does was clear immediately, and I felt welcome kindness and generosity.
This began our multi-dimensional relationship. He was open to mentoring with me, which I did for 6 months where I shadowed his practice one day a week, as he generously cleared with clients for the opportunity for me to be a co-therapist (multiple hands-on work) in his sessions one day per week. During this time I also received his work weekly for a number of weeks to gain not only support for my injuries, but to gain a deeper understanding of the work being performed. Sometimes I received work two times a week in order to perform my own work as a therapist. Eventually, obtaining a role as a Parent Case Coordinator and Co-Therapist for a program Ron was the Director of called Innerlinks. This program provided wrap around services (MD, psychotherapy, Massage and a variety of manual therapies lead by Ron).
During these years, I was asked to assistant teach with him when he lead introductory talks and taught intro or beginning level CST classes. Ron shines in this role as an extension of his sessions. He has the ability welcome all levels of ability in a way where someone who knows less is guided in a unique way to meet individual needs, while never compromising quality of information or respect a student feels.
As and LMT with a Med-SE, I believe excellent teachers do this. What one might regard as the “weakest link” student in a room, is met where they are from a space of non-judgement patience (just as he works therapeutically in his private practice).
True holistic practitioners and Teachers share the ability: to have every student feel a welcome, and the ability to “hold” a room. Leaders have the ability to delegate and know that it subtracts nothing their role as teacher because delegated roles were picked with intention for the goal of what is being taught.
Great teachers, know how to emphasize information that is important and where firm clarity is needed… mindful of the sacred role and responsibility a therapist working with a client has. This is particularly, clients that are off balance. Finally, lack of health is viewed as imbalance, not as a moral weakness, the client is simply met from a neutral space. Lack of knowledge is approached the same way, a place someone is on a continuum. It is opportunity. Every great teacher understands that the teacher can learn from every student, they are a gift, it is an honor. This is consistent with our relationship.
Eventually, as the years passed, and I worked at a different center, our relationship deepened and uniquely evolved into one I hold dear on different levels. Our relationship today is one of friend, professional, and continues to be mentor with clients I seek extra guidance with client consent by phone.
I refer to Ron and we work collaboratively with clients. I know what I don’t know, and have taken ownership and expanded what I have been taught. Though he has been instrumental on many challenges I have faced (which has included life altering pain), and mind-spirit challenges faced over the years, in truth, when I think of Ron what surfaces is gratitude.
Nishanka Lahr MEd-SE, ECSE, CMT