Grief therapy experience
What is the grief therapy experience?
Our healing grief therapy experience will help you when you’re feeling low. And sad. It’s generally a full body Swedish massage during which your therapist will use long, smooth massage strokes to relieve tension and improve the circulation of blood in the muscles near the surface of your skin. This is a great way to help you pick up your emotional pieces following a bereavement while you’re suffering from the effects of grief and loss. Read on to understand why and how.
Why is this?
When we’re sad and mourning, we don’t move much. When you book a grief therapy experience with Essential Feeling, we’re working with the physical effects of your emotional pain. For instance, this technique will help you to solve some of the physical illnesses that manifest as a result of us not being so mobile. All while giving you the opportunity to talk in a safe environment if you choose. It’s your choice, if you want to get away from it all, then this is also your time to switch off and drift to another place. This therapy is about you. It’s all your choice.
What massage therapy techniques will you use in my grief therapy experience?
Predominantly we’ll use Swedish massage, but we are likely to also combine some Balinese massage into your grief therapy experience. This therapy technique rolls and kneads to freshen your blood flow. We may also add in some techniques from shiatsu (stimulating pressure points) to focus on releasing knotty tissue. We could also use a gentle stretching techniques to stimulate while soothing your skin. Depending on what you need, we could tie in some lymphatic drainage techniques to stimulate your lymphatic system (remove toxins and water retention) and promote your blood circulation and thus oxygen around your body.
Your therapist could also use a fairly deep pressure during your massage to work on the tissue of the deep knots and muscle damage that could have developed through lack of mobility.
The end result is one of happiness, calm and deep relaxation.
How long does the grief therapy experience take?
Because this massage includes many different elements, it is important to leave enough time. That’s why the minimum time is two hours, which includes 15 minutes to relax in the room after the end. Massage can release emotions associated with our grief which we’ve locked away and allows them to leave us, so having a massage while you’re suffering from a bereavement can be quite an emotional experience, However, once you’ve processed these feelings, you’ll notice that sure, you’re still grieving, it doesn’t just stop, but you’ll find yourself more able to immerse yourself in the most relaxed and consistent feelings of release. This is why we allow you the fifteen minutes at the end of this massage therapy session.
Is there a consultation process before I start the grief therapy?
Yes. All our sessions have a full consultation. Before your grief therapy session you’ll need to complete and return a consultation form and then we’ll discuss this with you, as well as some of the details surrounding your bereavement, before you start your massage therapy session.
This is the time to tell us if you don’t want any part of the massage styles mentioned above so that your therapist knows that you for example don’t want any deep tissue therapy work done. You can always change your mind during your massage.
What are the seven stages of grief?
The seven stages of grief, we believe help you to guide you back to a quiet place of happiness because as you pass from one phase to another, you know that you’re making progress. You can read more about the stages of grief, here.
Shock and amazement at their death
You can not believe and somehow are numb to pain which in itself can lead to guilt as you feel you should feel more. This is the way your body cleverly protects you from what would otherwise be overwhelming and is a valid part of the grief process.
You may also lack confidence emotionally, but physically it’s not uncommon to experience dizziness and nausea. After a while, we begin to establish that our loved one is gone (note this is not accepting it, just acknowledging it). This is when other emotions and feelings appear.
Whether it’s someone else’s death or a relationship, this is uncharted terrain and it’s not unusual for one loss to catapult the way we grieve more (or less) than others because every relationship we have with people is unique.
Denial of your loved one’s death
This does not necessarily mean that you deny the event or your bereavement. You may know that someone died, but you can’t bring yourself to understand this emotionally. You’ll constantly be looking at the door or going to text them etc.
On the other hand, you may just flat out deny that your loved one is dead. And this is also a normal part of the grief process. At all stages of grieving, grief can be presented in many different ways.
You may experience a lot of emotions under the surface that you can’t admit openly. The rejection a death can make us feel can take quite a while until you feel ready to move on the next stage.
Your feelings of denial at your loss can be derived from a lack of understanding about how the death happened, so there are things you can do to help yourself more realistic and move through this stage. Record your way through painful sensations by writing down how you feel during this process of being bereaved and what you are thinking. Your frustrations can help you understand your loss.
Guilt can occur within the bereavement process if a person regrets something they’ve not said or if you what you don’t have. We can get the sense that we didn’t make enough effort with the person when they were alive. This part of bereavement stems from a desire to have them come back again and again so we can live something differently.
Ultimately, this part of grief may lead to thinking that their death is your mistake. Your mind does not necessarily determine logical or illogical sensations. We are trying to make sense of something that is difficult to handle in the complex process of pain.
During this time of grieving, life can feel very scary and confusing. Bereavement inevitably brings with it a lot of stress.
Anger and negotiation
Anger is a very real part of the bereavement process. Losses turn into feelings of doubt which turn into frustration and anger. The idea of “why this is happening to me?” is common. In addition, you can become angry with people who have nothing to do with this situation. Acknowledge this as being part of the grief you’re suffering with and apologise for any outbursts.
This is often a time in your grief process when you’re full of reflection. It’s common to negotiate losses with whoever it is that is out there that we speak to. It’s all a way for us to try and find ways to reverse this death and our subsequent grief. When it doesn’t work, this is where we end up feeling angry.
Finding a healthy way to deal with your anger is the key to overcoming this phase in the grief process. Facing the situation that makes you angry will help you take back some control which is important because once you master this, you really can take positive steps in dealing with the bereavement surrounding your loss. If you’re in this stage, we’d recommend that when you have the grief therapy experience, you choose to talk to the therapist without holding back. This is your safe place to discuss your grief in a private, non-confrontational environment.
Depression, Loneliness, Reflection
You might be feeling more able to accept the loss but you’re still not able to cope with your grief. One of the most difficult emotions is feeling alone. However, loneliness can be accompanied by feelings of depression, so watch out for it. It may float in and out, leaving you wanting to be totally isolated, while being overwhelmed with what is ahead.
This is normal.
Use this time to reflect on your joint pasts. Smile, because this is the first sign of acceptance. You are opening yourself up to a new, adjusted situation and starting to put your grief, not your loved one, behind you.
This is a natural stage of grief so don’t let well-meaning outsiders talk you out of it. Their inclination is to make you feel better right away. And while that’s well-intentioned, moving through these feelings will assist you in shifting towards peace.
However, do not take this that it’s okay to wallow. It’s not. You need to be actively moving through this process. Don’t allow it to swallow you up. Being active helps!
Reconstruction and Working Through Your Grief
As time goes on, you’ll be able to be more functional. Your mind will wake up a little. These are good signs. You’ll still carry your sadness with you, your anger will resurface as will some depression, guilt and anything else you’ve transitioned through. But, your mind will be clearer and you’ll be more able to look ahead as you take the first tentative steps into a normal, if not adjusted, life.
These are the times when you will begin to look at how you can move forward from the stages in the grieving process. You could start to deal with financial and practical issues that you’ve kept on the back burner. You may book sessions with Essential Feeling because you’re taking back control of your life. And this is when you’ll move into the last stage of the grieving process.
This is when you’ll finally feel ready to cope with your loss. You won’t be “be over it”, but you’ll feel okay again. What happens at this stage is that you put the grief behind you, but not your loved one. You’ll find yourself thinking about the person who died, you’ll be able to talk about them and have them on your mind without that incredible debilitating pain.
This is where you’ll dare to hope. You’ve accepted life won’t be the same again, but it does go on. You’ll finally have found that sense of peace and happiness.
7 Stages of Grief: Final Thoughts
There is no right or wrong way to experience and work grief. You might skip through some of these stages and bounce around in the next for longer than you expect. But, the key thing is to acknowledge where you are on your path to healing. And to accept it.
You may also experience the stages of grief in a different order. Or, particularly in the case of a prolonged illness, perhaps you’ve done your first stage of grief during the diagnosis and caring path. The key thing to note is that this is your experience, and you need to work through it in the way that is best for you to end up at the acceptance stage in the best possible way.
How long does mourning last?
Everyone is different in how they deal with grief. As we’ve discussed above, people deal with this in a truly personal way. After twelve months, you may still feel as though everything happened only yesterday. Or it could feel like a lifetime ago. The two could be intertwined. This is your process and it’s important to accept that your road will take as long as is right for you.
Does counselling really help?
The issue with answering this question is that counselling, and therapy of any kind, is such a personal experience, because grief is personal. For you who is going through the feelings associated with bereavement, but also for your grief counsellor. That’s why, in this therapy session we allow you to speak if you choose, or if you’d prefer to keep your thoughts to yourself and enjoy some escapism, we’re not going to push you.
Researchers of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have noted that talk therapy works anywhere between 4% to 60%. At Essential Feeling, we think this is because as we’ve discussed above, your journey is totally unique. What works for you may not work for someone else because their experiences of grief are different.
You should decide whether counselling will help you. But, if you’re in the midst of depression, take heed on our note about wallowing. If it’s time to get up and flush off the negativity so you can move through to the next stage of the grief experience, then grasp that by both hands and allow someone to help you in a private environment. We’re here for you.
How long does the grief therapy experience take?
It’s a 2 hour minimum session for the reasons described above. You may book using the booking system below, or if you would prefer to speak to us, text us in the first instance on 07941 668456 and we’ll come back to you as soon as we are able. For more information on our other therapies to ease your bereavement process, click back here.