Saturday, 5 January 2013

How massage helped me tap into my creativity

How often have you taken a route then realised that you were were walking down the wrong road?

In 2001 I graduated from University, having done a Complementary Therapies Health Sciences degree.  I came out feeling that the next stage of my life should be sharing the benefits of massage and alternative medicine.  Starting my own business as a massage therapist was where I thought I wanted to be.  My focus and drive helped me write a business plan and take the steps I needed to set up.

Along the way I couldn't understand why I wasn't more driven, or excited about the prospects only to  realise that my motivation to become a massage therapist centred around the guilt I had felt with my father who at the time had been dead nearly 10 years. 
I felt hadn't spent enough time with him when he was ill, and knowing that massage was something that could have helped improve his health and well being. I launched myself into the course, wanting to help others the way I couldn't help my dad.  But deep inside I had always wanted to be an artist and saw my desires sacrificed to make way for the guilt. While doing the massage It didn't make me feel better, I still anguished over how selfish I had been in my early 20's and the lack of help that I given my mum as she looked after dad. It has taken many years to come to terms and see that I did what I could at the time. 

Making the switch and becoming an artist has taken great effort to silence the internal critics that tell you that you are not enough.  Each day that I commit to my creativity I grow stronger as an artist and begin to hear what my true voice sounds like.  Not wanting to push massage out of the way altogether, I began to approach it in a different way, knowing that I could still help. While still relating to the power of touch, the benefits of essential oils and the inner and outer benefits that not only giving but receiving a massage can bring I started to run sessions for the elderly that attended the same Day Care centre as my mother.  The weekly sessions lasted for 4 years, and we are looking at a way forward for this year.  I combined simple shoulder, neck and hand massages, small groups of 6, where we listen to music, chat and reminisce leaving the session feeling pampered and relaxed.  For many elderly attending the centre the only physical contact they have on any given day is the escort that picks them up in the morning.  And the isolation and loneliness felt by our elderly is echoed in the news papers daily.
As I reflected and worked through my original motivations, I have dealt with the guilt I felt and ultimately accept myself for who I know I can be, I am still able to use the massage without pushing aside my creativity.  Receiving massages is equally important, and as an artist you have to ensure that you take regular breaks and have some 'you time' and maybe even use an oil blend that can tap into your creativity, unwind and maybe look at your journey in a different way.

How has guilt driven you, think of those things that have impacted on your journey, and where you find yourself now. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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