What does an Arneson Method session look like?
The Arneson Method's pain relief protocol involves no manipulation, massage, acupuncture, energy medicine, devices, movement, breathing exercises, guided visualization, or hypnosis. The client remains fully clothed and covered with sheet and blanket(s) while lying flat on a soft treatment table. No music is played. The client faces upward only. Unless otherwise instructed, the eyes are kept open because a fully awake state is more energizing. Client and practitioner may even chat casually. The client simply rests on the table, motionless. The whole session is elegant and dignified.
After climbing onto the table, the client is guided through relaxation procedures with either verbal or nonverbal cues. Clients are not talked through step by step instructions, such as guided visualization or hypnotic induction. Instead, most of the procedures are imperceptible. The practitioner perceives the client’s needs for boundaries, “centering,” detachment from stressful situations, and so forth, then meets those needs with procedures requiring no movement, dialogue, or explanation. Typically, clients cannot identify distinct procedures, yet they feel extraordinarily comfortable, rested, and energized. Also, since the goal is total comfort, no invasive or embarrassing procedures are used. The method meets the client's emotional needs comprehensively (which are technically behavior needs), making relaxation and medical benefits dependable, even for people who have difficulty relaxing.
Comprehensive relaxation affords biological self-regulation, such as elimination of chronic neck exhaustion, migraine cessation, auto-adjustment of the spine, or SNS pain discharge from injury sites. Since the above are all involuntary nervous system events—spontaneous effects of relaxation—the Arneson Method is purely a relaxation method.
The Arneson Method is not a standardized formula that can be easily taught or repeated by others. Every session must be customized to accommodate individual comfort needs, of which the client is largely unaware. Every session entails a direct rapport with the client's self-regulation forces, both behavioral and biological, in continuous fluctuation. The method is the product of more than two decades of clinical research and the behavior science that emerged from that study.