I believe in the healing nature of positive, caring touch. For many years I was a clinical social worker, now I am a certified massage therapist. As a social worker, I worked with survivors of sexual abuse, children in play therapy, anger and stress management, chemical dependency and domestic violence. As a massage therapist I work with everyone.
I am also a survivor of sexual abuse. Which caused me to be emotionally needy and physically confused. I spent most of my life being stressed out, tense and fearful, – one solid knot of aching tightness. Years of therapy helped, but I was still not at peace with my whole self.
Touch is complicated. I often wanted to hug my clients. I had to assess if there was enough trust to touch them on the arm or shoulder. I knew that safe and positive touch could be helpful at countering the effects of negative, abusive touch. But I also knew it takes hard work and time before feeling ready to receive it.
As a massage therapist, I marvel at the level of trust granted to me, often on first meeting. I feel so grateful for and respectful of that trust. I love this work of nurturing touch.
To me it seems that we are sorely in need of more positive, healing touch in our world. War, violence, anger, poverty, disease and loneliness seem to dominate our lives and create barriers to healthy, loving touch. Years ago I read that we need at least seven hugs a day to be emotionally healthy. Wow. I know that many of us fall very short.
Children give healthy touch so freely. Even from my most wounded and angry young clients, I often received powerfully joyous touches and hugs! And I have two wonderful sons, who showered me with loving hugs and all kinds of playful, positive touch as they grew up. As young men, they are both still very comfortable with hugs. Their loving touch did much to help me heal, relax and grow.
My first massage blew me away! I couldn’t believe how relaxed I felt. Nagging aches and pains gone. But, there was more. There was a deeper sense of healing, as my mind and body were able to totally release as one, a direct result of the therapist’s caring touch. Exercise and sleep bring me close to such relaxation, but I don’t let go as completely. Many people testify that they don’t awaken truly rested. Stresses are too constant. Our minds dream and struggle with problems at night. I love that unique joining of mind and body, during a massage, allowing both to, simultaneously, drift and relax. Powerfully uniting in relaxation and regeneration.
Most people come in wanting help with injury, stiffness, or extra stress at work or home. I believe they receive a little more. I love feeling their breath slow and deepen, and their muscles loosen. I believe in the healing nature of positive, caring touch.
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