Today, while waiting for a subway, my friend and I saw something that really bothered both of us. A gentleman (not sure if he was one or not, but just being nice) was rushing the subway, like we all do at times, when the doors were closing. He had his hand and foot stuck in the door and was asking the operator to open it. It was a mini stand-off with no winner since the operator was ticked off that the man was stuck in the door and the man who was stuck was also a little upset. The man was asking him to open the door, and basically, the operator told him to remove his hand and foot and proceeded to shut his window in a very rude way. I get that both parties are wrong here, but the weather was awful and when faced with the choice of being right or being kind, the operator took the reverse high road. The gentleman disengaged his body parts from the subway door and the train took off. In our daily lives, we are often faced with choices and sometimes, it’s the difference between right and wrong, and sometimes, it’s the difference between being right and being kind. If it’s just as easy to make someone’s life a little bit better, isn’t that more important than winning a contest of the wills? I think we all know the answer, and it’s part of Dr. Oz’s 6 Paths to Happiness from “You Being Beautiful.”
Speaking of kind, you know how big I am on random acts of kindness? Well, thanks to Cheryl, my favourite (and only) massage therapist, I enjoyed a not so random act of kindness. She has been, in her gentle little way been telling me to get a body roller to use to massage my calf to help with my plantar fasciitis. I sweetly told her, yeah, yeah, I’ll get one. Everytime I go for a massage she would inquire as to whether I was able to get one in her shy, reserved way (she writes sarcastically). I would say no, and then she would threaten me…with a knuckle sandwich. When I told her that I’ve never had a knuckle sandwich because I don’t eat a lot of meat other than chicken, and I don’t think that they have knuckles (I could be wrong), she rolled her eyes and told me that she was going to give me one. I didn’t want to argue with her, because I know that if the two of us got into a fight, she has her black belt so I wouldn’t have a prayer. She ended up coming to my work with a choice of rollers AND a bag of epsom salts. Even better than that, she had her gorgeous little girl with her – there is a distinct lack of cuteness in an office environment, so it was a lovely surprise. The right thing to do, for both of us, was for me to get a foam roller for myself. Cheryl chose to be kind and bring me one. I didn’t need this act of kindness to know the type of person that Cheryl is – believe me, we talk a lot during my massage therapy – she’s amazing. Now on to the Q&A:
What are the 3 biggest deterrents to someone getting a massage?
Most people are reluctant to get massage because of the intimate nature of the treatment. People also say that the cost is a deterrent, but if you ask them how much they spend on eating out or alcohol every month, you’d find they have spent the equivalent of the cost of three massages on something that doesn’t help improve their health. Ignorance is likely the biggest reason people don’t get massage. North Americans are notorius for wanting the magic pill. Slowing down and listening to your body is not promoted as valuable in our culture. Most North Americans will deal with stress by seeking medication or by using alcohol, yet Europeans, Asians and Indigenous peoples have been using massage for health and stress reduction for centuries.
As a massage therapist, you can likely see and feel where a person needs to be worked on. How can you tell?
Clients are always amazed that I can find “the spot” where they are feeling most sore and they wonder how it is I know where to look. Besides the anatomical knowledge, you can feel with your hands differences in quality in the tissue. Sometimes you will feel ropey areas in the muscle fibers, temperature differences and dehydration. It really comes down to experience, being a therapist teaches you how to listen with your hands.
How can you find a massage therapist?
Word of mouth is a very useful way to find a therapist. Friends and family who know you will also know if you would like the person you see for massage. If no one in your circle sees a therapist you can go on the CMTO’s website to find a registered therapist.
Any other info that you may find interesting to share?
The main thing I would like to impart is that your massage therapist is part of your health care. Often I refer my clients out to other health support, like psychotherapy, osteopathy, personal training, physio, etc. I feel it is part of my responsibility to notice, any changes, physical or otherwise, and to provide the best support to help my clients live the healthiest, happiest lives they can.
Cheryl is a very important part of my health care. When I first went to her, she gave me an analogy that always stuck with me – you take your car in for regular tune ups, well, your body needs tune ups as well and that’s where massage comes in. I know that for some people, money can be tight, but if you have benefits, use them! It’s something really beneficial that you can do for yourself. As much as I’d like to be Cheryl’s only client, if you live in Toronto, I highly recommend her. I’m posting her contact details again today:
Cheryl Lewin – Registered Massage Therapy / Goju Ryu Karate /Tai Chi Chuan / P.T. Registered Massage Therapy 647-996-4330-phoenixdragonrising-yahoo.ca