A Touch of Thankfulness – a Massage Therapist’s Perspective
By Leslie Byrd LMT, CHAI graduate and contributing author to the CHAI Massage Blog.
The difference between a client’s demeanor when first walking into the office or arriving to student clinic, versus at the end of their session, can often be substantial. At first, there is perhaps hesitation or anxiety – if they have never received massage before, if they are seeing a new therapist for the first time, or if they are dealing with a new symptom or pathology. They may be experiencing a great deal of stress of discomfort. They may not know what to expect or if a massage session will even be good for them.
After the massage session, a client’s demeanor is often changed somewhat, even if they are experienced in receiving massage. Clients may leave feeling relaxed and totally at ease. They may leave with lessened pain or tightness. They may experience new found hope for a way to manage some of the issues they are having. And they almost certainly will leave with a smile of satisfaction or an air of appreciation for what massage therapy can help to accomplish.
From the perspective of a massage therapist, it is with appreciation that each client is greeted. It is with gentle concern and care that the therapist works with the client to create a session plan and facilitates that plan to move them toward relaxation and possibly better health. It is with humbleness and gratitude that the therapist lay hands on each client. It is with wisdom and with purposeful intention that therapeutic touch is applied. There is tremendous respect and trust involved within each massage session between a client and their practitioner. It should be regarded as an honor to feel so thoroughly trusted that a client would allow their massage therapist to work with them toward relaxation, stress relief or decreasing their discomfort.
When training to become a massage therapist, there is much to learn regarding therapeutic touch and massage. At Cohutta Healing Arts Institute the learning goes beyond the basics of a general massage therapy education. Therapeutic touch is viewed as a healing art that can be rewarding for both the client and the practitioner. Students are introduced to the idea that massage application should be approached with respect, and that attitude is demonstrated by the instructors time and again through each quarter of learning. It is through gaining this shared respect and attitude of gratefulness toward massage that CHAI students graduate from the school eager to start their practice as a massage therapist. It is through this regard that both massage therapists and clients can receive the benefits this profession so readily offers. And that is something one can be thankful for.
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