Today is Alistair’s 60th birthday. And he has chosen to start his new decade of life with a massage treatment from me. I’ve known and treated Alistair and his wife Michelle since they were in their 40’s. Now I myself am looking at 40 fading away in the rear view mirror of my own life. Throughout those years I’ve heard about their vacations. I’ve been asked my opinion on anything from home care for lower back pain to the handling of wayward family dynamics. And soon they’ll be welcoming a new member to their fold as their youngest gets married in a few months’ time.
Many of my clients have said how I would have made a great psychologist or even a bartender — though I don’t drink and don’t possess the foggiest notion as to fashioning a libation. It’s all because of the confidences I’ve heard and the comfort my clients feel in confiding in me. Client confidentiality is a must in my profession but a client’s confidence is something altogether different; it is a gift. There is a difference. And I have been blessed and privileged to be included in these people’s lives.
I meet them because of sports injuries or work-related stress, doctor-prescribed rehabilitation treatment plans, or repetitive stress injuries. But I’ve also been a part of birthday celebrations, anniversaries, Valentine’s Days, and a sundry of special occasions. All through a listening ear and within the confines of the four walls that make up my treatment area. I’ve been there for good times and for bad times. I’ve dried tears and applauded triumphs. Single clients have become married couples. Married couples have become parents. And parents have introduced their children to me, some growing up and booking their own appointments for a massage.
There are clients I know who relish the quiet calm of a relaxing massage treatment and others who enjoy bantering lively throughout 2 hour sessions. I’ve learned to go with the flow and appreciate each person for who they are. I’ve relaxed people after a tough day. I’ve helped athletes get back in the game. And I even had one client come in to see me in a wheelchair and leave on his own two feet. That was a life affirming moment for both of us. And a story we each tell heartily so many years afterward.
Next week will mark 14 years of my life as a Registered Massage Therapist. It’s been, and continues to be, a pleasure.
*names have been changed and some details obscured to protect the privacy of my clients……….