Monday, October 19, 2015

The Best Massage Ever

I write blogs for the Aspen Massage Institute because I believe in what they do and how they do it. I remember the first time touring the training facilities and being completely awestruck. I had many friends around the US who became massage therapists and after hearing their schooling stories I know they would have loved being in the massage school in Aspen. However, this story isn't about them or really directly about AMI. It's about the opportunity to do something wonderful.

What Massage Therapy Means to Me

More than Massage Skills at AMI
I love a good massage. Who doesn't? It is amazing how in just an hour, weeks of stress quickly melt away and body and spirit once again feel young. I always understood the therapeutic effects and read the medical studies, but as a relatively young man, I continue to tell myself that I get a massage to relax not heal, even though I know better. Recently, the way I view massage therapy has radically changed.

My Mom

My mom’s health has steadily declined over the past few years. Although she has lived far beyond any expectations, the effects of multiple heart attacks and strokes have left her scarred and not able to fully live life. I noticed about five years ago the tell-tale signs of the onset of dementia and now at 80 she struggles to remember events and daily activities.

My mom is now under hospice care. She tries to rest, but pain and itching from psoriasis keep her in a perpetual state of discomfort. The doctors in their infinite wisdom apply more salve and administer morphine in hopes of bringing “peace’. As her child, I find their attempts futile and even at times, cruel. I’m frustrated and trying to find reason and hope within this situation so familiar to so many families. There simply has to be a better way.

The Therapist

I was pleased to discover that the hospice care company my dad found brings in a massage therapist once a week for a 60 minute session. My dad is a bit old-school and generally skeptical of such things, but at this point he is open for anything than can help. I wasn’t there when the massage therapist arrived and I only heard the results from my dad. “It was the first time she has had peace for months,” he told me through tear filled eyes. “She smiled, laid flat and it reminded me of when we were young. Then she slept. She hasn’t slept for so long.” The way he spoke penetrated my soul even more than his words. He was so thankful for even a moment of peace.

As we talked more I realized what wonderful comfort had been given to my mom, my dad and all my siblings. As I write this I know that today she received her weekly massage and once again she had a few moments of peace. What an amazing gift this unassuming therapist has, what an extraordinary job.

So Why Write About it?

I meet so many people every day who are looking for their dream, whatever that may be. I talk with individuals that have huge goals and some who simply want to make people’s lives better. My friends at AMI love what they do. I’ve always been so impressed not only with the quality and diligence in how they instruct students, but also in the manner in which they teach them how to care about everyone they touch. They understand that beyond the money, this career is about life and nothing can make you feel better than helping someone else.

If you have ever considered becoming a massage therapist then I encourage you to visit the Aspen Massage Institute site or call them and talk. I cannot stress enough how much you will change your life for the better, as well as improve the lives so many people around you. Few people get the opportunity to do a job they love, let alone, one that makes such an extraordinary impact. Trust me, my mom approves.

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