Hospice Massage:Sacred Space
I started working for Hospice a year ago. Two hundred and sixty seven visits later, I am humbled by this work. There have been many times during my professional life as a massage therapist that have touched my heart and reaffirmed my choice of careers. But none compare to the moments I have experienced while working with those who are dying. Over and over again, I am granted entrance into the sacred space of families who are immersed in the journey towards death. I have found that in most cases, this space is carefully contained to include only those people who are closest to the patient. Each day that I walk into this bubble, I transform into the very best version of myself; knowing intuitively what to say, how to act and how to touch. What I have learned is immeasurable and perhaps indescribable. These are but a few of the lessons:
Walking The Walk
It’s true. Most of us are very good at extolling the benefits of regular massage. We have plenty of advice for clients, friends and family to lessen the aches and pains that life brings to their bodies. And yet, we are the worst at taking our own advice. Self-care, it would seem, is something we recommend to most everyone we know.
“You cant pour from an empty cup”
“You are the most important person in your life”
“When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”
The list of adages is endless and still, they pour out of our mouths with such ease one might think we are the self-care gurus of the world.
If we are honest, those attracted to this beautiful field of massage are the givers. The selfless, martyrs who find joy in taking care of others. It is our life’s purpose. As one of those people, I am proud to be a giver. It is noble, indeed.
While I may be singing to the choir, I ask that you take a deeper look. Ask yourself these questions:
I truly hope that you are able to answer each one of those questions with a response that is less than a month ago. I truly hope that every day you take time to be still and listen to your inner voice; the one that loves you and wants the best for you. I truly hope that the next time you are advocating the benefits of massage and self-care to one of your clients, you are able to speak authentically from your personal experience. I hope that you are walking the walk.
I have always been a writer, of sorts. Not in the ways I envisioned as a teenager and yet, it has served my heart. I write to quell the yearning, to speak my truth and perhaps, to touch the spirit that connects us.