I have always liked working with my hands and body
When I was three, my favorite things were to join my mother in the kitchen or in the vegetable garden, to be active and helpful.
In high school, I was never athletic, but I loved working with my hands doing woodwork and pottery.
In college, the huge arts studio was my savior as we wrestled with Newton, Kant, and the Greek philosophers. It had throwing wheels, multiple premixed glazes, and a handy assistant to fire everything for us. Friends still have random bits of my pottery lying around their rooms to this day.
After college came vegetable and fruit farming, moving continuously throughout the day. Bending to sow, weed, and harvest. Shoveling anything and everything. Pushing wheelbarrows up and down the sloped walled garden. And so on.
I loved every moment of all that movement.
Over the years, I met people who worked in massage therapy. They would describe their work to me. The active nature of massage was appealing, as well as the offering of something so transformative and healing.
They got to me when I was young!
Childhood memories are a rather vague haze for me. Trips with my mother for craniosacral therapy and reflexology form the clearest images of those I have. And I cherish them now that she has passed.
- I remember the physical sensations. I remember feeling held and safe and clear and curious.
- I remember interesting ceiling mobiles hanging above me.
- I remember the thick Russian accent and soft smile of the old man. He would chat quietly with my mother during my reflexology session.
- I remember driving the long journey to get there, to Brighton and Tunbridge Wells.
- I remember feeling so happy and well afterwards.
I see self-care and right living as essential keys to whatever control we may have over our health and happiness
I truly had no idea what massage can do for a person when I began massage school. I know now about injury prevention and recovery, chronic pain relief, trauma recovery, stress relief, the deep powers of relaxation, chronic illness care, and so on.
Before all that, I knew through personal experience that taking care of yourself every day led to dramatic improvements in health and happiness.
I knew the open and positive frame of mind that can arise so strongly after a good massage, and how that frame of mind can improve health and life as a whole.
I believe strongly in prevention as good medicine. Massage therapy fits perfectly into the prevention category, as well as the treatment one.
When I signed up for massage school, I wanted to earn the skills needed to be a health and wellness provider for others, and help them live their best lives.
Personal experience with the efficacy of massage therapy & bodywork in injury recovery
In 2006, after 4 years of heavy farm work without any self-care or strengthening, I was laid out flat with excruciating disc-related back pain.
It took me about 6 months to get back on my feet, but I did so with the help of:
- a craniosacral osteopath
- a Hanna Somatics practitioner
- massage therapy
- lots of strength training
The importance of those practitioners is a lasting memory. It informed my thinking when I decided to go to massage therapy school.
Bodywork helped get me on my feet, but it also helped me to notice areas that were tighter or more sore. This then directed my stretching and strengthening work.
Most importantly of all, bodywork helped me feel good about myself again. After treatments, I had a more positive frame of mind. I realized that my body was capable of pleasure as well as pain. I was aware of the areas that didn’t hurt at all, despite the injury. These feelings and experiences were all integral to my recovery and moving past the persistent and crippling pain.