22 Body Benefits: Introduction Part 1

I have been too blessed with what I can only describe as divine interventions and transcending experiences to believe it’s a coincidence that we have crossed paths.

I believe… it’s a MIRACLE.

Let me elaborate…

Had I pursued the career I originally intended, we most likely would have never met.

Hi, my name is Rachael. I have been a multi-passionate Massage Therapist with experience in trauma recovery and I created this space to share thoughts and insights with clients, friends, and especially those seeking the vast spectrum of holistic realms, alternative medicine, and self-care tips. 

When the pressure came to explore which profession we’d like as adults, it was important to me that i liked it so much that i would want to spend a lifetime doing it. So i took a construction/building trades class in high school.

We had 2 teachers for 2 hours every morning and spent most of the time outside framing, roofing, and patching up a three bedroom rambler until Christmas came. It was my favorite class and even though I was the only girl, I had several friends. Which to me may have made it bias, so I wanted to be sure of it as a career. So instead of taking art and a homeroom class, I took it a second time.

But that year was seriously different, our pair of teachers became just one due to a budget cut, and without the same friends I had in the first year it then felt like a job. A job where I was an outsider, the lone girl, even though a child-hood bully came to respect me for it, i still had no camaraderie. It was too big of a void to not notice that even though I loved the work, I was miserable. I thrived when I deeply connected with others and was connected to a bigger purpose.

Just before D-day was coming. Just before the great adulthood and beyond was going to rear it’s head in the fall of 2007, I took a school bus with the class to Wadena one more time where they taught the trade. This time, they had a poster standing on a tripod in the middle of the entry way saying Enroll now into Massage Therapy. 

It was then my mother gave me the gift of my first massage, just for the clarification. And although I was determined to spend a life time giving massage, I was nervous about getting one!

I remember how that day began like it was yester-morning:

…a feeling of uncertainty and anxiousness about the whole thing loomed over me, like the spring-soaked trees sulking over the muddy road out to town , as I drove to my massage appointment in Baxter, Minnesota.

First off, i was completely out of my COMFORT ZONE.

I was the girl who made it a goal to get her hands as dirty as a mechanic every weekend. And here i was crossing my legs like a lady, in this luxurious spa. Everything about the place was crisp and finely decorated with layers of marble, silver, and pearl. I felt so out of place. Like a penguin in Africa. Or a random 3-inch hair lurking from one eyebrow.

So when I arrived for my 60 minutes of professional rubbing, I stumbled inside and sat down with my clipboard and pen in hand with barely enough time to read every question. I frantically scribbled and signed just as the therapist welcomed me to the spa with an outstretched hand. Gulp.

  Another reason you wouldn’t expect would make me nervous was that I grew up giving more amateur back rubs than I can count, to my dad and Grandmama, which helped the strain on their backs from all the years of standing behind the counter of an auto parts store.

But as for me, there was quite a contrast; I hadn’t had much more than a back scratch in my life and I had less -than pleasant experiences with physical touch before.

There was no turning back now.

As she instructed me to follow her, my brain wanted to escape from the inside with these thoughts:

“I don’t like being touched…” and ” What if she sees my scars?…” and  “I DIDN’T SHAVE MY LEGS!” (girly gasp)

 As she gestured through the doorway of what was inevitably the threshold between me and an hour of the unknown, I walked what seemed a mile into the next room.

Suddenly, as i stepped into what i feared, any control I thought I had of securing my false modesty was slipping through my fingers with ironic relief. I entered the softness of the room and started to let go: the fresh towels, the sleek linens, and the burning tea candles melted the negative thoughts I had into a distorted and distant memory.

After a few more questions and instructions, she left me in solitude to undress.  It wasn’t anything like I expected.

I’ll admit that I thought it would be like a doctor visit where you strip down under fluorescent lights just to be handed a napkin for a shirt. But alone here, just me and the ambiance of the room, I slipped out of my clothes one piece at a time and lay them in a soft folded pile. Then pocketed myself into the plush blanket, and took a nice deep breath. I surrendered to the experience.

I was meant to be HERE.

  As she began her soothing techniques at the top of my head, I could tell she was a skilled professional. Not just by the unbroken rhythm of her fingertips circling my scalp but by the sensation it deliberately gave me. Being lulled out of tension, I came to a place of stillness I hadn’t experienced before.

With every release of tension her therapeutic hands maneuvered, I became whole…if only for an hour.  

Out of curiosity about her profession – and the new feeling of comfort –  I started asking questions. I don’t remember every answer she gave me, but in that hour that I got to lay on her table and get to know her, I got to know myself.

She  made a confession about her path that was so divine (or meant to be) that it ultimately lead to my own inner healing.

Although she liked what she did – and was certainly good at it – she decided to become a family counselor, because she realized her biggest passion was to help family’s find peace and ease at home together. That’s when her revelation sparked mine and gave way to the same path in Massage Therapy, and one that would eventually circle around to the surrendering I needed to have ease at home and peace within myself.

It was the desire to become more of a servant to others. But it was me who’s self-serving was overdue. It would be another decade before it was my turn to truly heal.

To be continued….


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