Touch is our first language. Watch other primates and see how much they touch each other.
As a massage therapist, touch is a huge part of my life. I’ve had many clients ask in amazement. “How did you know I hurt there? I didn’t know that was sore.” Well, for starters. I’ve had some amazing teachers. One of my favorites, would always tell us. “You have brains in your fingers. Trust your hands.”
Sacred might be a strong word, for some. When someone you just met, opens up and tells you where they hurt on multiple levels. Not just the pain in their back but the broken heart, mother issues, fertility treatments, dying parents, substance abusing siblings, and it goes on. When they lay, vulnerable on the table and trust me to make them feel better. I have wept with people I’ve just met a few minutes prior. Emotionally fragile people who are trying to keep it together. Until I tell them. “You’re safe here. No worries while you’re on my table.” One woman just burst into tears when I told her the next hour was all about her. An over worked mother who was in desperate need of some TLC. How can that not be sacred?
I’ve run into a lot of body workers who don’t subscribe to the same idea. That’s fine. Some are more focused on a purely physical treatment plan. They are great PTs and sports massage specialists. What really grates my soul are the body workers who are disrespectful, condescending, ego driven, divas. They do more harm than good.
I went to a recommended, TCM practitioner for some work. The initial interview was them just fluffing out their ego. Telling me about all the cool Masters they got to train under. Not once did they ask me about my issues. They were rude, insulting and called me a cry baby when I had an emotional release after a brutal adjustment. I called them out on their shitty presence. They laughed and told me I needed to just let things go. Well, I did. I’ll never cross that threshold again. I don’t understand how they’re still in practice. The horrible feeling of being vulnerable and then being assaulted, verbally and emotionally. It made me feel like a bullied kid on the playground. That treatment could have left me in a very bad place, if I were much more fragile than I am. People wonder why I have trust issues. This is one of the reasons.
Then, there are the ones who just don’t care. Either they lost their love for the work or they never had it. These people inhabit the chain places. I’ve worked with some of these people and it breaks my heart and enrages me at the same time. Some, have just had the joy worked out of them. Not enough self care and over working can kill the passion. Others, bought into the adds telling people that they can make a lot of money as a massage therapists. They didn’t give a second thought to the people they worked on. I overheard a few even say that they hated clients/people. Massage was just a job.
It’s physically and emotionally demanding. You have to keep firm boundaries. Not everyone will love the work you do. Keep doing it. A teacher once told me when I was fretting about drawing clientele who wanted work I didn’t like to do. “You will attract those who need your work.” She was right.