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Clean Up on Aisle Sisyphus

I have always felt very blessed, to understand from a very young age that my desire and what gives me purpose, is to be of service to others.  However there is such thing as care giver burnout and I am deep in the trenches of what I see happening to our society.  By being a massage therapist I take the brunt force of a world rushing around and filling their days with endless task and obligations that subsequently fill people’s bodies up with pain, stress and chronic tension.

Though we are taught proper body mechanics in massage school so we do not hurt our own bodies and taught visualizations and techniques to prevent sucking up others pain and frantic energy, a lot of it still leaks through when you are doing massage all day long on people.   Sometimes you get so tired you just kind of give up and just let others energy in because you don’t have the energy to keep defending your own energetic protection bubble.  In this way you could say massage therapist are on the front lines of seeing what is happening to this world.

This piece of writing is not a diatribe of a cynical massage therapist bitching about my job, although I could certainly like anyone fill a few pages with rants about that.  This is a commentary on what has happened to people of the world as well as the issue of self- care.

When you finally decide you need some self-care and you schedule a massage-  Good for you!  That is awesome and I love to be a part of that decision and help facilitate healing and awareness in your body.  However it is ultimately your job to eliminate the pain and stress stuck in your body, I am just a facilitator.  So refusing to breathe in your session, or refusing to communicate with me about pressure/feedback and never doing any of your stretches or suggested methods to get better and then coming back in a month and complaining of the same symptoms is futile and you are never going to feel better.   Trying to squeeze your massage into some small window in your schedule and then telling me I need to “make it quick” or checking your watch as I am trying to teach you stretches that will help what you hired me to help you with is also an exercise in futility for you and for me.  If you receive a massage try to schedule it when you have proper time to arrive on time and not frantic so you can dedicate that time to cultivating more peace and being present and allow enough time in your schedule after so you can take a nap, a walk or go chill however you do that.
While I understand fitting massage or any self-care  into your schedule anyway you can is better than not doing it at all; running out of a massage session so you can go back to physical labor, or your job that stresses you out, or your next task you have convinced yourself you need to rush into, is totally defeating your good efforts.   I am a two time cancer survivor who still takes on the very physically, emotionally and spiritually draining job of helping others with their pain and stress.  I have to ice my hands down for an hour every night and do yoga sometimes 2x a day just to stay in the game to help you.  My whole life is wrapped around self-care so that I can stay well enough to help others, so I really don’t see any room for excuses when people tell me “they just don’t have the time” for something like caring about their own wellness.  

What if it was your job, every time someone accidently dropped and spilled milk in the super market, to clean it up, but as soon as you cleaned it up someone came along and dropped another carton in the same spot.  Frustrating! You bet!  But the worst part is the same people dropping that milk point their finger outward and say “ the world is such a mess” or “the world is so crazy”.  But you people are “the world” and every time you participate in choosing monkey mind and rushing around filling your schedules to the brim and ignoring your own self-care you are “the world” and your behavior represents the problems in it.  You are the person who keeps dropping the milk in the same spot.  And when there are therapist like me who have chosen to dedicate their only pair of hands, elbows, knees, back, spirit and heart to helping you and you treat them like a subservient Geisha that is only there to keep “fixing you” without you ever participating in your own healing you are part of the problem not the solution.  Gee I hate to have to go and tell the truth because it pisses so many people off but I really must reiterate……

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” – Lao Tzu


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