Don, a few thots from my experience as a survivor, working with survivors, and massage...
As to #3, you may have a built-in "advantage" in being a survivor yourself. I have a kind of "survivor tracking radar," and I think many survivors do once they open up. You seem open.
My MT has never said she is a survivor of any kind of abuse. But she knew before I told her that I am a survivor of abuse, and I'm convinced she knows I'm a survivor of SA specifically.
She is very relaxed, very versatile, very focused, very sensitive. Some of this could come out of her own life experiences in some way & probably does. But she also has a lot of solid training & practice both behind her & keeping current. And she looks upon this as a ministry, a service; her intentional specific emphasis is the connecting of & healing of the whole person.
I know she works with other abuse survivors. I think she thru practice, relaxation focus, and empathy is able to feel in one's body not only that they've been abused but even where & how sometimes.
Don, I'm confident you will be able to do this.
On #4, you can advertise being an MT who works with abuse survivors, PTSD survivors, however you'd want to word it. If you can find or know of survivor groups you can offer them literature, even give a talk. This will help them with feeling safe with you, too.
Progression & triggers--you'll learn to sense plenty I'll bet. Ask a lot of questions too. People will probably really appreciate it.
#5: This is kinda for me. I want to do more Yoga, maybe Tai Chi, other relaxation & exercise work. My T is into all these. My chiropractor is too; he's taught Yoga for years, and will soon have a home-use video coming out--I plan to purchase the first (ok maybe second) copy! I think using as many massage, relaxation, stretch & touch therapies you can will only enable you to help more people in more ways.
#6: Also kinda for me. My MT has suggested journaling how my body feels, what I feel, what my body says to me, how I respond. Good suggestion; I just need to do it!
I'm blessed to have a T, MT & chiro all working in the same office group, keeping confidences & yet working closely together on my behalf. I highly recommend you doing something like this if at all possible.
#7: Perhaps I've connected more closely with my MT than many clients do with their MTs, I dunno. But she & I talk a lot about a lot of things.
Just yesterday I caught myself starting to say a bit more than usual (nothing detailed or anything tho), and I said, "Oh oh, now I'm turning you into another therapist." (Which she is but she knew what I meant). She just replied she was used to it and didn't mind.
This comes out of her emphasis on mind-body connection & healing. Tho she'd be quick to say she's a good listener & can share her experience, but is not a trained counselor. But she's better than many of them, IMNSHO! Don you will be too!
My MT & I haven't had to deal with triggers, I think becuz we're both cautious and there are clear tho largely unspoken boundaries. I'm careful not to share horror stories or go into graphic detail. If I did I'm sure she'd gently put a stop to it and I'd expect her too. She in turn is open but never pries.
Well Don that's more than enuf from me. I wish yo the best on this paper and look forward to reading it, maybe hearing you present it at a conference or retreat or something!
Take care my friend
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."