Teaching a Touch for Health Retreat for One Student and What I Have Learned
I didn’t want to come here to teach this class with one student. Not just because it’s financially ridiculous (which it is); but because I was concerned about the student’s experience. How would it work? Would she really ‘get it’ without having a variety of people (and their associated issues) to work on? Here’s what I learned form teaching a Touch for Health Intensive (all four levels over eight days) with just one student here for a retreat.
A reminder of how well this stuff works.
While this was an extremely challenging week for me in some ways, in other ways it was brilliant. I have never in my years as an instructor received so many TFH balances in such a short period of time. Every single technique needs to be practiced, so by the time we were reaching the last day of Level Four I was struggling to find anything that still felt stressful enough to require balancing. This is a powerful reminder for me; as a practitioner and instructor, I know these tools work and what they can do, but to be honest, it has been awhile since I was on the receiving end of many of them. I could feel myself grinning in appreciation as I reassess pain and emotional stress and realize, yes, it is truly gone!
The fun in teaching to a specific style alone.
Normally when teaching a class, you have to keep all the various learning styles of your students in mind, making sure you are teaching to each type in the group so no-one gets left behind. With only one student in front of me, it was pretty easy to figure out what worked well for her. As a result, we were able to spend even more time actually hands-on (see above!). She mentioned more than once how much she appreciated the one-on-one approach; that she will sometimes let questions slide in a group so she doesn’t feel like she is slowing down the class. Which made me wonder if lots of students do that, even though I always ask if there are any questions. So my takeaway from that is to make sure that no matter how large the class is, I make time for a quiet moment with each student so that they can ask their questions without fear of looking silly or slowing down the group.
Watching the progression
This last point has to do more with the format than with the number of students. I have never taught all four levels as an intensive before. I wasn’t sure if it would be too much information to take in; at the end of the week, would they be properly equipped to actually go out and use this on their own? In any TFH series, the change between day one Level One (where students are tentatively pushing down on an arm and glancing up anxiously to see if they did it right, unsure as to what they have noticed); and day 2 Level Four (where they are whipping through pre-checks, testing 42 muscles, adding the applicable emotions, charting the energetic patterns and applying corrective techniques) is ridiculous. No university course is going to give someone that much in only eight days. To see it happen, eight days in a row with no practice time in between was amazing.
Because of the Retreat format, my student was here in Costa Rica, staying at a lovely resort with meals taken care, of so none of the stresses of day-to-day life and work really apply, allowing for focus, relaxation and time for integration. I had friends from the area come in for balances so she did get to work on people other than myself, experiencing how different a ‘lock’ or ‘unlock’ can look for some people and muscle monitoring with individuals whose body’s don’t immediately jump into position for each muscle. Watching her last balance in Level Four there was no longer any doubt in my mind that someone could absorb all the information – she obviously had it in her pocket. (Also Matthew Thie teaches this way and if he says it works, who am I to argue?)
I know some people are going to want to tell me all of the things I should have done here to ensure that I had more students. I had late cancelations, for totally legitimate reasons, one of the students getting extremely sick and being hospitalized literally days before class was scheduled. I contacted the student who was still confirmed and explained the situation; giving her the option of changing it, but as she had already made all of her travel plans she wished to continue as scheduled. Fortunately, we had met before and I knew we were reasonably compatible – while TFH people in general are pretty awesome, I couldn’t imagine working that closely for that many hours a day one-on-one with someone you really didn’t get along with! I am planning to teach Touch for Health Intensives here in the future (next one is in February 2018!) and this past week has made it more solid in my mind. While I hope to have better attendance for the future classes, I know that, worst case scenario, if it ends up just me and one other person, we will still be OK. We will part ways with them knowing they have the tools in hand, ready to change the world and me knowing I did my best to support them. And we will have shared some pineapples in the meantime.