Helping Patients with Massage – Beyond the hands

I have heard it all. From the 80-something-year-old, never having had a massage, wanting me to ‘cure’ them, to the 14-year-old, also a beginner, and needing me to help them feel less pain after a car accident. Not to the mention the occasional, ‘my last massage was in Nam’ patient. Awkward silence usually follows that statement.

However, when I first started working, as a massage therapist, I was afraid of these types of patients. They had such high expectations it always made me nervous that I’d let them down. Yet, they have become some favorites over my 15 years of experience. I get the responsibility and honor of giving them their very first massage! Or it's their first massage since their war years. When they leave, with even the slightest bit of relief, they are so very grateful…and so our relationship begins.

I will always be THAT first massage therapist. Not going to lie. It’s quite a good feeling. I get to learn about their bodies and their personalities. I’ve also had my fair share of ‘grumpy,’ ‘fidgety,’ ‘demanding,’ and ‘Debbie downers.’ Sometimes you just can’t win at all, but I still enjoy trying after all these years.

Some days, being a therapist is just downright HARD. It’s emotionally and physically taxing on your body and mind. People’s energy can either bring you down or pull you up. Sometimes, I’d rather not hear about your divorce or your awesome vacation, and I just want to focus on your very disturbing muscle tension. With all that being said, I still enjoy being a massage therapist and get excited about hearing how I have helped someone discover massage therapy. Every day, every hour and every patient is completely different. Thankfully!

To read more from Laura Mitchell visit her personal blog here.