As our move back to the northern homeland begins to loom larger in the forefront of our minds, it is natural for those around us to be curious what I will do while my sweet husband begins to work in ministry. I have been asked quite a bit lately about what I want to do when we move back to Minnesota.
When I think about what my dreams are, I have never hesitated to let people know my plans to return to working in the field of massage therapy. Yes, I am out of practice. Yes, my hands are weak now, since I rarely give massages, and never more than one in a day. Yes, I need to review my anatomy and kinesiology books to brush up on technical terms, along with the insertion and origin of muscles. Yes, I have no idea where we will be living, or what type of environment we will be in, or whether or not massage therapy will be an accepted practice in the town we go to.
But yes, that is my calling.
And I plan on living in my calling, and utilizing my gifts, even if it isn’t profitable, or accepted, or, well…whatever.
I am passionate about the work that I do in the field of massage. It is not just about helping someone to relax, or to work out a few kinks in their muscles.
No, it is so much more.
It is a healing art. It is beautiful work, and it stirs me to the depth of my soul. I ache to provide a safe space, free of judgement, free of condemnation. I pray that it is a space where a person’s condemnation and judgement on their own body can cease, at least for a time. A place where every person’s body is accepted, where they can attune their mind with their body, where they can connect the physical to the emotional and the spiritual.
We live in a world of disconnect. We are taught from a young age to control our emotions, to hold our tongue, that there are acceptable times and places to emote, to speak, to be honest, and to be vulnerable. We are taught to “manage” our feelings…and what we essentially do is stuff them down, cover them up, and disengage with them.
But our bodies know the truth.
Our bodies hold memories, hold emotion, hold truth. When we do not release these, our bodies can suffer. It can cause us illness or pain. Emotions not expressed can result in our physical bodies breaking down. The more research that is done on the mind-body connection, the more we understand how our emotional health manifests in our physical health. It is beautiful, really, how we have been designed and created to integrate our bodies with our spirits, and how they reflect one another.
I love the human body. I believe that we are a miracle, a beautiful work of art. The way the muscles curve and bend, the way the skin highlights every angle, the loveliness of the fingers, the length of the limbs. We are intricate creations, made in the image of God, and we are beautiful and unique. This is probably why I loved life drawing class in college. The body amazes me now, and it amazed me then.
We are created to crave touch, to connect through touch. There is so much research on the benefit of touch therapy, beginning in infancy and extending through the adult years of our lives. Babies thrive when given touch, in weight gain and physical development. Seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s have less behavioral and wandering issues when given regular massage. Those of us in the middle years of our lives have better general health when touch therapy is utilized. It is beautiful how we are created to flourish through healthy touch, in every decade of our lives. And it is wonderful that there is now research being done to help confirm this fact.
And the work that I love? This work that is my calling, the work of massage therapy that doesn’t feel like work?
I am blessed to know what my calling is. I am blessed to help connect the disconnected, to use the power of touch to center and ground another. I am blessed to use touch to help heal the wounded, give connection, and to be able to use the gifts that I have been given . I am excited to return to this field that I love, in this new season of my life. I have an even greater appreciation of these beautiful creatures that we are, and the miracle of healing.