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#41501 - 02/08/03 01:14 PM Massage School update
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Tomorrow I am going to volunteer to give chair massages at a local event. This will be the first time I have done this "in and to the public" because most of what we have done up to this point has been on fellow classmates. Yes I am a little scared but so looking forward to it.

Thursday night in class we had full body massage with one of the classes that are graduting soon. I picked another woman to be paired up with because I am actually more afraid of massaging women than men. She worked on me first and it was a very good massage (you know the tough life of massage school... massages all the time). When it was my turn to work on her, she told me that she is pregnant. I was like ok... so what can I do, what can't I do... I'll tell ya, I got to confront a lot of fears that night. The instructors worked with me and so did she which helped a lot. But you know what when I got done, she looked at me and said that massage was "perfect". She gave me a couple of pointers but said my touch was firm and supportive, but very caring and safe.

One of the things that I try to do in my massage is be very gentle as my hands come in contact with the body. I hate it when people let their hands drop on me and then begin the massage moves. My body reacts badly to strong sudden touch but those that learn how to come in and make easy contact with my body are much more effective. Anyway we were talking about this and she said, that's just how you do it to others,, and part of what makes my touch safe.

But it felt so good to get this feedback from her and to watch her just melt into the massage table through out the hour massage. I'm so scared that I'm not going to be good enough or as good as others or won't be able to do it... and then after the other night, I realized that I was getting it.

It was a big confidence booster for me.... and an enormous growing point as well.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#41502 - 02/09/03 01:08 AM Re: Massage School update
RJD Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
I'm glad things are going well for you MrDon. Your teachers and classmates do sound so comforting.

I don't know If I could do message school. Although I did ok when I worked with patients in hospitals.

Hats off to ya!


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#41503 - 02/09/03 06:52 AM Re: Massage School update
Jess Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 107
Loc: California
Dear MrDon,
It sounds to me like you are a great massage therapist who has the perfect gentle caring touch. This would be a wonderful thing for a person like me who cannot be touched. Not only because of childhood sa, but also because my spine was surgically fused when I was 8 years old. Now, after decades since this surgery, would you believe it, the deep scar tissue which runs the length of my back is still too tender for me to allow anyone to touch my back directly. I still jump whenever anyone pats me on the back. Most people don't know how awful this can be to others, and especially to someone like me. However, After reading your story about massaging the pregnant woman and her comments to you, I think that I could probably be massaged by someone who has that same kind of caring touch. I could relate to that de>

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#41504 - 02/09/03 09:38 PM Re: Massage School update
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Don,
I have confidence in you. I think you'll do just fine. And I'm thinking about getting my second massage. Good luck!
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#41505 - 02/10/03 12:23 AM Re: Massage School update
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Thanks guys.... I appreciate all that you said. The experience went very well and here is what I wrote in my journal about it...

February 9, 2003

Today I got to spend an opportunity of my life at a charity event doing chair massages for $1 with the proceeds going to help the foster kids here. Wow.. that isnít powerful enough to sum it all up! I donít know if I could find the words to sum up exactly how powerful a day this was. This was my first public appearance with massage to people who didnít know me and I didnít know them. We had nothing in common except that I was offering a chair massage and they desired one. Seeing the looks, hearing the non-verbal feedback and the verbal feedback is all I need to know that I am progressing along my path at Educating Hands and I have the skills I need to build on in the future. I was able to do about 20-25 people today in about 3.5 hours time. In the following paragraphs are some highlights from today.

1) When I got there I was nervous but excited, reluctant but willing and hopeful as well as energetic. Dava took some time to share with us how to do a chair massage but emphasized to all of us that we knew all we needed to know to do this. We already had the knowledge and today was about applying it. My first massage was on Jeff (he was a safe person to me because I know him very wellÖ. Heís a lucky guy and so am I). After that it was off and running with people coming constantly and usually we had a line of people waiting for one.

2) The kids were more difficult to me because I have never worked on someone that small and my hands seem a little too big for them. I wasnít sure how much pressure to apply to them and I wasnít sure if they would be able to speak up for themselves and let me know if something didnít feel right. I tried to check in with them through out the massage, but I proceeded with caution. So instead, I tried to make sure that I just offered them safe and supportive, nurturing touch as all kids need that with an emphasis on relaxing and engaging the various muscles. Most kids didnít respond too much on how the massage felt but they did keep coming back to all of us for more massages which may speak volumes.

3) One guy who was rather large came to my chair. I was nervous because I knew he was going to be more difficult to do. I began with the pressure and checked in with him to make sure it was ok. Of course he told me that he could take more. Unfortunately, I wasnít sure how to do more than I was already doing. When I finished, I made it a point to ask him how it was and he said it was very good, although he could have taken more pressure. He then asked me how long I had been in school and I told him 4 months, which he was very shocked and it gave me a smile.

4) Another guy came to my chair and when I started the pressure and checked in with him, he said the pressure was fine. However I noticed that his muscles were saying totally the opposite and so I backed off. He really didnít say anything one way or the other. While the massage may have felt good to him, he didnít really give me a lot of feedback when it was done. He was also having a hard time relaxing and allowing me to work with him which makes relaxation harder. I tried to be sensitive and work with him all I could but in 10 minutes there is only so much you can do.

5) I had many ladies that showed up to my chair which is good because I am very scared to work on the ladies (afraid that I will touch them in some inappropriate way) and that stems back to some early days in my life. But it was kewl because they loved the massage and you could pretty much tell if it was effective for them or not. They are so much more expressive than the guys that came to get a massage todayÖ

6) One lady in particular came to me and said she had scoliosis and that her back and shoulders hurt. So I began to work on her and after working one side of her, I started to work on the other side of her. About that time, I noticed a couple of hard places in her back region and I began to work on them. She rose up and asked me if I noticed anything different from one side to the next and I told her what I had just found. Once I started working in that area again, the tight places went away. They vanished! I worked on her a little longer than most but when I was done, she had almost fallen asleep and was so thrilled. You could see it in her eyes as she thanked me verbally as well. Then later she found the instructor and made sure she told the instructor just what great of a job I had done. That did more for my confidence today than any other thing.

7) Of all the things I noticed today, learning to sense things when I touch people is coming together for me. I was picking up on things in people that I didnít realize I could and it was just so awesome of a feeling. It is indescribable to say the least! I found myself drawing on all these things I had learned so far in school and they were just there when I needed them. I didnít have to think about them or search for them, I just let happen naturally what needed to happen.

8) After all these massages, I was a little tired because I had basically gone 3 hours non-stop and so my body needed a rest. I was a little tired for a while but once I sat down and rested, my body was revived and I could go for more, most likely. However because this is the first time I have ever done this much massage at one time, I will take it easy. My arms and hands do not hurt which is a good thing as I was very concerned about this.

9) Overall it was a very good day. I learned some things about myself, such as when I need to draw on that inner place of myself for focus and strength it is there. I canít describe how I get there, but I know I go there when I need to. There is a major part of myself that I often forget about and it is the source of my strength, my confidence and my ability to do what I need to do.

10) There are things that I learned as well watching the others like finding the personís first name even in a setting such as this today, helps you connect with the person you are working on. I just plain forgot to do this today. I also learned I need to ask a few things about the person before I begin working on them (which I do know, but again my mind went into never-never land on this one). I guess there was a lot on my mind and so the next time I do this, hopefully these things will be more automatic. I canít complain about any of it because it was all-good today.

If I would have let the fears rule my life today that I had when I woke up this morning, they would have kept me from going there today. However, I would have missed out on such an opportunity today that I was able to experience. My life would have missed a lot and so I am glad that once again, I told fear that it had no home. Right now Iím smiling and still riding on cloud nine!

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#41506 - 02/10/03 10:26 AM Re: Massage School update
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Quote:
If I would have let the fears rule my life today that I had when I woke up this morning, they would have kept me from going there today. However, I would have missed out on such an opportunity today that I was able to experience. My life would have missed a lot and so I am glad that once again, I told fear that it had no home. Right now I'm smiling and still riding on cloud nine!
MrDon, taking these risks sure is hard but the rewards can be so great. I'm glad you took the risk and reaped some great rewards, as did those you massaged! Thanks for sharing your inspiration,
courage & hope.

Well I've missed my massages (and other therapies)
the last two weeks. Time to make an appointment & get back to it...

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#41507 - 02/10/03 12:37 PM Re: Massage School update
guy43 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Don,

Thank you soooooooo much for sharing all of this with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To hear about another survivor attaining a measure of success and accomplishment is indeed inspiring as Victor put it.

Years ago I shared a house with a female cousin and some other friends. My cousin made a career change to become a masuse and I was a lucky recipiant of her practise during her training. \:\)

Congrats Don! You faced your fear about doing the fair and reaped the rewards! I've no doubt you'll quickly learn how to not be insecure with your new skill. It sure sounds like you already know how to read/understand what your hands tell you, trust yourself Don. And trust that your clients will tell you what they need.

jer


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#41508 - 02/10/03 12:58 PM Re: Massage School update
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Don
you're an inspiration to us all, it's great to see you doing what you want, so well.

Dave \:D

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#41509 - 02/11/03 01:12 AM Re: Massage School update
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Thanks guys,,, I draw strength from your words as well... and they mean a lot to me.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#41510 - 02/11/03 04:53 AM Re: Massage School update
Jess Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 107
Loc: California
Dear MrDon:

BRAVO!

Jess


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