I have been a body worker for 33 years. I enjoy meeting people and working on people very much. The best part about having as much experience as I do is that I can be helpful on a different level. Because of my natural curiosity and a true desire to be helpful and make people actually feel better, I have learned things about different ailments and how to work with, or around them.
I recently worked on this fabulous adorable couple who were visiting from out of town. When they called to ask about a massage appointment they sounded a bit tentative as the gentleman is experiencing some medical issues and they were reluctant to have someone to work on him unless they were experienced. Luckily for both him and I, I had a lot of experience working with his particular medical condition. Not only was I able to help him feel better after I worked on them, I shared information with his wife and showed her things she could do with him which will help him over the long term.
I have worked with several people over the years who are struggling with Lymphedema. In fact, it was out of worry for a close friend that I enlisted help for her lyphedeima, watched carefully and trained on how to take care of this condition for my clients.
This client let me know that he has issues like lymphedema. He let me know I need to be careful not to rupture the vessels that lymph travels in. Thankfully, I was already aware of this, but it was very smart of him to explain this ahead of time in case I wasn’t someone who had training. Should I not have known, or had my level of experience, and I had put a lot of pressure on his body to try to pump the fluid out of that ankle I could have potentially harmed him more. It wouldn’t have mattered that my intention was to be helpfu.
In massage school, lymphedema care is not something that is taught in the regular curriculum. The massage therapists are taught body structure, pressure points and other important facts about the circulatory system. We are also taught other basic safety facts, but there are a lot of health issues that can come into play when we run into bodies that have had a lot of life experience.
There are times to be very gentle and there are times to be more vigorous. I was grateful for all the knowledge and experience I’ve had and the patients and physical therapist that have shared information with me in the past. This couple I worked with were grateful for the information I shared ,and really felt like they got their money’s worth.
I knew years ago when I started ,that massage would be more than a luxury item and that massage therapist will become critical to self care and part of the health care plan in the long run.