Massage Tales, Thoughts on the profession

Goodbye. I Love You.

Today, I am breaking up with my massage therapist.  She has been my massage therapist for about six months. I met her while I was in school, and kept in touch lightly over the years.  A few months ago, she announced that she was going to strike out on her own.  Around the same time, I was trying to find someone I could trust with my neck.  It seemed like a perfect match.  I respected her knowledge, and I always felt calm in her presence.  I needed a consistent therapist, and she was ready for consistent clients.  Perfect.

Almost.

Every time I saw her, I felt immensely better; more grounded, more aware of my body and with a renewed commitment to taking care of myself.  I even started to notice that my own work improved after a session with her.  But, not too long after we started, scheduling started to become an issue.  She would have to cancel a session because of her other job or family needs.  I would have to cancel for the same reasons.  We would reschedule, of course, with no hard feelings and a true mutual understanding of the demands of our profession.  I told myself how nice it was that we could be honest about our needs, and trust each other to be compassionate.

Soon, though, I realized that the “every two weeks” we agreed on was more like “every month” or longer.  I was willing to deal with this, maybe fill in with a massage from my workplace (where I got a discount) every once in a while.  Yesterday, though, was the end.

I have had a rough few weeks.  We dealt with the death of a beloved pet, I have started teaching in addition to my other jobs, and a few of my most beloved patients have died.  Our session yesterday (rescheduled from two weeks before) was going to be me getting back into caring for myself.  After weeks of stress eating, poor sleep and sporadic exercise, I was going to take the time to reset myself.  As I walked to her office, I thought about how I would express my needs for the session to her.  I looked forward to her getting it right away.  I savored the upcoming gift of 90 minutes of time away from the world.

I got to her office,and the door was dark.  No problem.  Sometimes she ran late.  So I sat in the hall and waited.  10 minutes after my appointment time, I sent her a text message.  10 minutes later, I left. I made the decision to find a new massage therapist this time.  I need more consistency.  I was surprised by how shattered I felt when I realized I wasn’t going to get a massage, and decided I was done with all that disappointment.

So, I am breaking up with my massage therapist.  I love her as a friend and a colleague, and I hope we can keep that relationship alive.  I need my massage therapist to be more professional.  I need to respect myself enough to demand that.  I am often frustrated by the amount of flakiness that is accepted in this profession.  It does us no good, and we need to present ourselves as the wellness practitioners we are.

But it is going to be so hard to find someone I trust to work on my neck.

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