Whenever anyone asks me how I got into doing Bodywork, I always say “I got a massage.” And truthfully, it really is that simple.
When I was 25 years old a girlfriend gave me a therapeutic massage as a birthday present. She was a therapist herself and the experience was amazing. She set up a massage table, made up with sheets and blanket, in my living room. There was soft music playing in the background and the phones were off the hook. She left the room while I got undressed and on the table covered by the sheets. I was nervous and excited. I had no idea what to expect.
What came next was a Revelation.
She was fully present with me, quiet and attentive. Her hands were warm and loving, her touch both intimate and completely professional. The long flowing strokes on my back felt amazing. The kneading of my muscles was delicious. The flow was gentle and thorough. Her ability to sense and find tender and painful places seemed magical. Each time she completed her techniques on one area of my body she covered me back up so I stayed cozy and warm. I always felt secure and safe.
I could feel my body relaxing, my breath deepening and my mind beginning to settle down -- which in those days was a very rare treat indeed. By the time I was to turn over to lie on my back, my brain was in that other place that massage takes you -- half way here, half way to the moon. Total Bliss.
Then came the head rub – my favorite still. And the work on the arms and hands as well as the feet. I could not believe how good it felt. I could not believe how much my body needed touch like that, and that I never knew it before I received it for the first time.
How could I not have known about this before???
I was hooked. Being a natural giver, I wanted to know how to do this for others. So I asked my friend so show me some things and I practiced on her. Being a Massage Therapist who also suffered from Sinus Headaches it is no surprise that the first techniques she taught me were for sinus pressure points and headache relief -- still a specialty of mine -- and techniques to sooth aching and tired arms, wrists, and hands.
So I went on to become that person. You know the one. The one who was giving head and neck rubs to my co-workers at the call center where I worked. I had one manager who would call me in to her office to work on her shoulders because she hurt so bad. But I was never sure if they liked it or not. Did they say they felt better because they really did, or did they just want me to stop and go away? I didn’t know…
One day, a co-worker was reaching into her drawer to pull out her bottle of Advil. I asked if she was okay. She shook a few capsules into her hand and said she had a headache. I asked if she would like me to try to do a few things. She said sure.
So I worked the sinus points I had learned and relaxed the tight muscles of her neck and shoulders. After about 5 minutes I saw her take the pills that she was holding and put them back in the bottle. No seriously, she put the pills back in the bottle! Her headache was gone and she felt great. And I felt like I was floating on air. I was so thrilled to have truly helped her.
In that moment I thought to myself, this is a gift that I have been given. I can really help people. Why am I not doing this for a living???
Like all lives, mine is a journey. This was the beginning of my bodywork journey, and there have been many stops along the way. My work has never been just like the massage I described above that so changed my life. But I believe that the work I do has many of the same elements.
I bring myself, fully present, to my clients.
I offer safe, intimate, and professional touch.
I sense where the areas of greatest need are, even when you don't know it yourself.
I help breath deepen, muscles relax and minds settle. I relieve pain.
I love helping my clients come out of pain. I love to help them remember what it feels like to feel good in their bodies. I love to remind them (or teach them if they don't know it yet) that pain is not a symptom of aging! If you are wanting to know more about my gift and how it might help you, call me and we can talk.
My work is all about Connection. I would love to Connect with you!
I've got Grudge Against Chronic Pain. It’s why I do what I do. I’ve seen the results of pain on human beings, and it ain’t pretty.
First, we hold our breath. Our diaphragm contracts. It’s like we want to say “no thanks” to the experience of that pain. We
want to NOT invite it in. And so we stop breathing, as if to reject the very moment of life that brings us that experience. This is understandable and we all do it unconsciously.
Second, other muscles in our body contact. Whether it’s the specific muscle in pain that suddenly goes into rapid or continuous contraction – a spasm – or some other muscles that tend to “hold stress” – like the jaw, the neck & shoulder, or the glute muscles – the result of pain is that these muscles tighten up.
Third – and this may sound a little dramatic, but it really isn’t – Chronic Pain is a soul destroyer. Truly. Chronic pain causes problems with sleep, decreases immune function, causes depression, and limits our ability to do the things with our bodies that we love.
Sounds pretty soul crushing to me. When it goes on long enough, it drains your energy and begins to mess with your ability to be hopeful about the future.
Here’s the good news! And here’s where I see so many people get stuck. You think that this pain you’re slowly “getting used to” is normal, natural, or an inevitable result of getting older.
* But it is not! Seriously, I cannot stress this enough. Pain is not an inevitable result of aging. *
Your body is miraculous and able to repair itself of the majority of what’s wrong with it. Sometimes things get in the way of that self-repairing mechanism and that’s when you need some help.
* Go get bodywork!! *
Get a chiropractor that you like. I can recommend one. Schedule regular massages. Get Physical Therapy. Get acupuncture. Or any of the dozens of amazing therapies that are out there. One of them (or a combination) is just right for you.
But more important than seeing me is that you see SOMEONE. Living with Chronic Pain is a Deal Breaker if you want a happy and fulfilling life.
If you want more info about my work, or to get some recommendations on what might work best for you, give me a call at 404.222.0334.
Or email me at Susan@ConnectedBodyTherapy.com.