In Energetic Kinesiology we use the term ‘permissions’ to talk about the participation of the client in their session. No matter what modalities you work with or where you live, asking for permissions should be the first thing you do when a client comes in. Different modalities and practitioners have different preferred methods of asking permissions, but here are some ideas for how to integrate this essential element into your balances.
There is likely to be a different process for first-time clients than if they have been to see you before. Depending on where you live and what the rules are, you may need new clients to sign a form or give you some more information. But permission is especially important for new clients. Whether they have heard all about you and are super excited or they have been dragged in by a family member, you need to make sure that they understand what you do and how it is going to affect them. Especially if you use a modality with lots of physical corrections, or one that puts a lot of focus on the self-responsibility model, the client needs to understand and consent to the idea of being touched. They must also know that they can change their mind or inform you of discomfort at any time and you will respect their needs. Your session’s goal is to help their body heal itself, so they must be comfortable with, or at least open to, the process in order for it to work. The best way to accomplish all this is to simply tell them out loud what a typical session with you looks like so they know what to expect, and then asking them, “Is that okay?” or “Do I have permission to work with you in this way?” This verbal challenge can be accompanied by a muscle test to confirm that the body agrees with the words being said. This can also be a good time to ask if they have any injuries or conditions which might affect how you work with them, which will give them the opportunity to tell you how they would like to participate in this session. You can also continue to ask how they feel or if something is okay as you work through the session and apply different techniques.
People who have been coming to see you for a long time likely have a pretty good idea of what to expect from a session with you, and the fact that they keep coming back is a pretty good sign that you have permission to work with them. But it is still important to ask when they come in because sometimes a change in situation or a specific goal that is set is too much and the body is not ready to work through it yet. The method you use to ask for permissions can be a little bit less formal at this point, though. If your client is comfortable with you and your work you may not have to outright ask, “Do I have permission?” You may be able to ask in your head and simply use an indicator muscle to confirm, use a favoured method from your modality of choice, or create some other signal for yourself which you can challenge at the beginning of your session. It may also be appropriate to do your prechecks first and then ask for permissions once the goal for the session has been set.
What if I Don’t Have Permission?
If you have talked your client through the process and asked permission but they still seem uncomfortable with the idea (or they say yes but an indicator muscle suggests this is not true), you may have to find another solution. Perhaps you can ask them what would make them feel better about it and do your best to accommodate, or if they are unwilling to be touched for any reason you could try using a surrogate. Occasionally you may end up talking to someone who truly does not want to be there or whose body is not ready to deal with an issue right now, and there may be nothing you can do to convince them. In this case, do not try to convince them, but use the information you have about the person and what they are dealing with to recommend a different practitioner or course of action. It could be that this is not the right service for that person at this time, which is totally fine, and they may be better helped elsewhere. This likely has nothing to do with you or your skills, just that person’s healing journey needs to go in a different direction.
It is also possible to receive a negative response when asking a client you know well for permissions. This could be because something in their life or in your office has changed and this isn’t what their body needs anymore; you’ve done all you can do for them right now. In which case you can refer them to someone else who might be able to help them continue their journey. You may also not get permission if you try to work with a goal or issue that the body is not ready to deal with yet. This can happen even if the person says they want to work on it, an indicator muscle may disagree. You may need to narrow down the issue into a more manageable piece, or work on something else entirely in order to got permissions to work. It is also possible that you simply tested an indicator and got a negative response but if you ask the person aloud they say yes and then the indicator agrees; the body just needed a conscious response.
Permissions make sure the client is an active part of the session, that they are ready to heal, and that they have a say in what happens to them. This does mean that permissions can change partway through a session or a series of sessions if the person either consciously or subconsciously decides that they don’t want you to carry on with something. Make sure the client knows this and is able to tell you if they ever feel uncomfortable. You can also find that your indicator muscle has stopped responding and will not balance out no matter what you do, this is an indication that you may no longer have permission to keep working. It can be possible to regain permission by talking about what you are doing with your client.
Permissions work both ways. You as the practitioner should always know what to expect from a session and how it will affect you, and if you don’t respond well to that person, this can mean that you are not the right practitioner for them and it is appropriate to refer them to somebody better suited. If you ever feel uncomfortable working with them, it is within your rights to decide that they do not have permission to be in your space anymore.
Remember that the goal is to help the person heal themselves, so if either of you decide that working together is not accomplishing this effectively, it is perfectly reasonable to help them find another path and send them on their way.