This Valentine’s Day has me thinking about what I love most about being a Massage Therapist. I actually love everything about it (except paperwork!) and it’s hard to pick a Top Five. But here they are, in no particular order…
1. I love the opportunity to have a healing connection with my clients. It is an honor and a privilege to be able to connect with people on an intimate level and impart healing energy at the same time. I have always loved people, a good healing touch, overall good health practices, and making a difference in people’s lives…and I have found a way to do it all with massage. I get to help people relax, feel better, loosen up, reduce stress, relieve pain, and sometimes be transported to a totally different place. I get to do this on a very regular basis, and each time it is hugely rewarding and makes me feel really good about the profession I have chosen.
2. None of this would be possible without my clients. I love my clients! I am sure many massage therapists say this, but I really do think I have the best clients ever. I love the variety of people that come to see me with their diverse and varied circumstances and challenges. I get to see people as young as fourteen and as old as seventy. I get to work with athletes and post-surgical clients and those with chronic health conditions and pain and those with a desire to be the best that they can be in their lives. I love the diversity of need and the yearning to feel better that meets me every day I work, and it’s always a pleasure to work with each client at each visit.
3. I love the challenge of figuring out how I can best serve each client during their massage on that day. Every massage is an opportunity to ask “How can I help? What does this person need today? What else is going on behind the scenes, besides what he or she is presenting with?” Sometimes it’s obvious (when a client states they have pain or an injury or muscle tightness or a health condition…), sometimes less so (emotional pain or trauma, extreme stress or tension affecting the entire body, or a desire to simply be acknowledged with a heating touch). All of these needs are equally valuable and important to acknowledge in order to deliver the very best massage experience that I can each time I work with someone.
4. I love that the experiences I have had with my physical body and those I have seen in my clients make it easier to relate to a client’s circumstances. In my lifetime I have had countless orthopedic injuries and conditions and surgeries, as well as been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and experienced chronic pain for 15 years of my life. I know what pain is and often have a good sense of what causes it and what to do about it. I don’t pretend to personally understand the intricacies of all health conditions, and I absolutely recognize that no two bodies are alike even when they present with the same diagnosis. There are trends that occur in the human body, however, where this presenting complaint tends to respond to this particular method of massage, and often relief is the result. I feel thankful for my personal experiences, my training, and all of my clients who have allowed me to work with them in various capacities to continue to understand the complexities of the human body and how it works.
5. I love that the body wants to heal itself! It never ceases to amaze me that we can and do heal given half the opportunity to do so. Our bodies want to function effectively and work for us, not against us. We make it difficult sometimes when we pile on the stress, work long hours hunched over our desks. ignore nagging aches and pains, think we are invincible, or when life deals us a hand that we don’t ask for. Accidents and injuries happen, disease happens, age happens, habits of postural compensation happen. The list of things that can go wrong is endless. But what I repeatedly see as a massage therapist is that, when focussed positive healing energy is placed in the direction of need, change begins to take place. Sometimes it is slow and subtle, and sometimes it takes time. But giving our bodies the love and attention they deserve is always a good thing, and being able to deliver that through massage is pure joy.