Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Massage Therapy

So massage, huh?
Most people are a little curious as to why I decided to become a massage therapist and what it entails.
How it all started—After my first two semesters at BYU, I decided I wanted to get a job and work that summer. I spent a weekend in St. George, hoping to find a summer job. I applied to many places, mostly spas. I was looking for front desk/secretarial work. A couple days into applying at various places, I decided I wanted to become a massage therapist. Yes, it was rather random and a very quick decision. The best decisions I’ve made seem to be made like that. After my little weekend trip was finished, I went back to Provo and started researching massage therapy schools. Within two weeks, I’d researched different schools, their programs and costs, made my decisions and presented my plan to my parents. (Little side note here: My parents are just amazing. They are supportive and loving and trusting of me. I love them so much!)
So massage therapy school began. It was a rather rigorous program, taken over 7½ months. Classes started at 9am and ended at 5:30pm, Monday through Thursday. We learned different modalities including: Swedish, Reflexology, Cranial Sacral, Trigger-point, Structural, Hydrotherapy, Sports, Russian, Acupressure and Shiatsu. We were able to take anatomy and pathology and, let me tell you, the human body is amazing. I’ve gained such an appreciation for the body. God knows what he’s doing concerning our bodies.
A few weeks into the program, we started Saturday clinics, which is where the school provided discounted massages for the pubic. We as students were required to give 5 massages in a row every Saturday for the next consecutive 21 weekends. The last two months I was able to work in Friday clinic. It was an interesting and hard experience, but so amazing. Never before had I had the chance to work with people (my clients) to achieve the purpose they had in mind. It was so great. Learning to really listen to people, while incorporating listening to what their body says while working on them, is one of the coolest experiences.  

This is where my late night mind wanderings and philosophies on life come out. A little peek inside my mind, if you will. So enjoy reading what I think I know about life. :) 

I will never be able to write or express everything that I learned during this period in my life, but here are a few personal realizations that continue to influence who I am:
It’s one of those experiences that has so much behind it that has influenced me formed me, but what is seen is only the surface. I think that is an amazing thing. Behind what everybody says or does, are the experiences that shaped them. And we only get to see that very small part that they choose to show (and sometimes what they unconsciously show. I love it when that happens). It’s amazing and humbling to realize what people have more to them than we initially see. Friendship is an amazing thing, because you learn to love them for who they really are, not just as what they appear or initially say. When you judge someone, you cut off that opportunity to love them. So no judgments here.
Throughout this whole experience, I’ve realized that there is a higher way of living. There is so much more than we can’t even grasp in this life! I’ve learned to listen to my body and spirit. Everything is connected. Our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, our beliefs, our actions, what we see, what we say, what we surround ourselves with. Our body is inextricably bound up with our spirit and our mind. I’ve learned to connect with something larger than myself. And to pay attention the tiniest details. I’ve learned to open my mind and heart. I‘ve learned to love.
As massage therapists touch is, obviously, a very significant part of our practice. If we understand how important touch is and how easy it is to communicate emotion through touch, we could help facilitate healing through out therapeutic emotional connection others.  Professional side aside, I’ve learned how much a hug can mean, how reaching out to hold someone’s hand can mean. It’s amazing that our physical bodies have the capability to touch another’s soul. It’s a sacred and beautiful thing that should be used to show love on many levels: parents, brother, sister, acquaintances, friends, spouse.  
I hope to remind people that they are important and beautiful. To remind them that life is beautiful.  People can be broken, sad and hurt. In this world of judgment, hate and pain, I want to help people realize that they are so much more, through love and acceptance. Because life is so much more. This life is here for us to actually live. We can’t do that if weighed down by whatever we let weigh us down.
We won’t find ourselves in someone else.  Living inward to establish, then outward to experience.  We must be stable in our beliefs, thoughts, opinions before we can serve others. Never as a superior, but as an equal with different understandings. This idea of self-actualization fascinates, sustains and invigorates me. Living on a higher plane, a transcendent way of living.
I hope to become more than I am. 
There is so much out there. There is a world with billions of people on it. People that have grown up in different places of the world, been in diverse situations, had many experiences and hardships, seen views of the world, formed opinions, know languages, phrases, words and had ideas that I have never even thought of before. I want to experience this, through people, with no judgment and no restrictions to hold me back from expanding my mind.
 Every experience I have will continue to open my eyes to everything I want to become.  It’s another opportunity to improve upon myself.  Always striving for better. By no means am I perfect in practicing everything that I’ve learned. But I’m so thankful the Lord has opened my eyes enough to at least see these things, if not incorporate them in my life.     

And through this life long process I want to come to know me.  I want to glimpse the potential and always strive for better. I want to find what I love. I hope to reach higher and expand and learn. I hope to be happy and truly enjoy everything that life has to offer, every moment. And help others do the same. Making connections through people, places, food, experiences, laughs, cries, the love felt and the healing and happiness that occurs by and around people who have found this peace in their life. And help people realize this same thing, and thus assist in healing them. We’re here to be happy. And happiness comes from love, comfort, peace, service, honesty, respect, vitality, self-actualization, transcendence. What a beautiful thing to be able to experience life. 

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