Massage all started because of my mom. My siblings and I were not only were her dear children, but we were also her shoulder rubbing slaves. We took turns kneading her tired shoulders, but because I had stronger hands, I always seemed to be stuck doing it.
When I reached high school, I would lend my hands to help friends who complained of sore necks. Word of my skills spread like an epidemic and people would form lines on couches at house parties just to get a taste of “Tessa’s magic hands.”
During my senior year, I ended up taking part in a massage therapy mentor program. My mentor was the woman in charge of the massage program at the local community college. She opened my eyes to the incredible world of massage and all it had to offer in a physical, spiritual, and business sense. I knew this was what I wanted to do.
The following fall, I became a full-time massage student as well as a full-time college student and full-time employee. I was sure that within weeks I would be breaking down, crying my eyes out for the umpteenth time wondering what I got myself into. But this was what I wanted and I was ready for it.
The months dragged on as I simultaneously battled statistical projects and massage endeavors. One afternoon, while in the library, I got to chatting with a student who was also overloaded. Then I realized that even though I was undertaking a lot, I seemed to be handling it well. I was a little tired, but not exhausted; I had missed some homework but nothing that would ruin my grades; I had not needed to request time off of my job; and my body hurt very little despite the loads of books I was hauling around like a nomad.
Then it dawned on me – it was massage! I was receiving massage on a regular basis thanks to my classes at massage school and it was because of those massages that I wasn’t having a nervous breakdown! Just like those 15 minutes of massage that relaxed my mom! And those 10 minute massages that made my friends feel better for the rest of the day!
I finally understood the power of touch. It’s a force felt by everyone. It’s felt in the hug you recieve from a friend when you’re upset. It’s felt in the surge that rushes through you when your lover brushes your arm. It was felt in the gentle stroke of your mother’s fingers through you hair when you napped on her lap.
I believe in the ability of my hands to share the power of touch. It’s incredible how important touch is in our lives and I feel blessed to be able to use massage to focus that touch to bring about healing, balance, relief, and peace to those I work on. I pray that God allows my hands to share that for many years to come.
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