Body Sense

SPRING | 2015

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Page 14 of 17

I NEED A MASSAGE I have four massage clients today—a typical day that I feel good about. I see an array of people in my massage practice, ranging from those who just want to relax, to those who need specific muscle work, to those who can't live without seeing me every week. People often ask me how I do it: "Don't your hands get sore?" One afternoon after a massage, a client said she wished she could receive a massage every week. When I told her I have several clients who do just that, she was shocked and followed up with the inferential question, "How do you handle working on people who complain all the time?" I'd never thought of it like that, but after she asked me, the wheels started turning in my mind. I asked a few of my weekly clients if they still needed their weekly visits. I wanted to be fair, and let them know I could refer them to someone who might offer something I couldn't. Every one of them looked at me as if I was crazy. Their reactions made me realize it's perfectly fine to get a massage "just because." Too often, we feel like we have to justify taking care of our health. Too often, we feel like we need a "reason" to get a massage: "I'm getting a massage because I hurt my back." "I've been so stressed lately … I need a massage." NOW'S THE TIME! Sign up for a free monthly enewsletter on the benefits of massage.—your resource for all things bodywork 13 The truth is, I—and many of my clients—receive frequent massage because for one hour every week, we get to feel really good … and that's enough. I know I can't be fixed. Trust me, I've tried everything. But with massage, I have an hour where pain is not my focus. In the past few weeks, I have come to realize the importance of massage and massage therapists more than ever before. Before my diagnosis, I knew I was touching lives and making people feel better—I went into this profession just as much for myself as I did to help others, and I love the way I feel when being able to offer people the benefits of such beautiful work. But these days, I listen to my chronic pain clients a little more. I hear them tell me the same things over and over every week, and I hear it as though it is their first time telling it. Because sometimes it is the first time, and sometimes, they just need someone to really hear them. I don't just hear them—I feel their pain. I won't forget their pain when they leave, either. I, too, take it with me, and I, too, don't get to forget. B S Carrie Jones is a licensed massage therapist and internationally certified neuromuscular therapist.

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