As I’m sure many of my readers know by now, I am a massage therapist. Recently, I went through another God trial, meant to build me in Christ and make me stronger. Up to now, when tested, and the water in the desert dried up, there was always a constant stream that was available, but I still had to seek Him to handle the logistics of getting that trickle of provision. This last time was different in that all the water, the stream and all springs dried up. There was no security blanket on this one; and yes, I realize that I’m mixing analogies here, but you get the point.
I had absolutely nothing to fall back on…but God. And…I gotta tell you, for those that don’t know…He’s enough; more than enough. He guided me through the maze of “I don’t know what to do,” and brought me safely to a place of restoration. He instructed me on what to do, who to seek, and what cuts to make to get through this period of lack. I followed his instructions without complaining; not to say that others in my atmosphere did the same – my son complained because his phone was temporarily cut off. But, this is the point he still misses. After the crisis passed, I just bought him a new phone, which he really needed. His old one was barely hanging on.
You see, this is how God will restore…not just what the canker worm ate up, but even give you more than you had before. Case in point: I lost my job at the end of May. We struggled through the first two months, but then everything dried up as we were coming into the third month. Yet still, God was faithful, and I kept leaning on Him all the way through. The end result is that I got another job…a really good one. This was, by all accounts, a fluke. If you live in the US, particularly in Florida, you are familiar with the requirements to get unemployment compensation. Now, we have to do a minimum of 5 searches weekly. And, I was fulfilling all the requirements, but there was a flag on my account for reasons unknown to me at the time.
This is one of the reasons I stated that the desert completely dried up. Savings dried up, no unemployment, and my son’s social security also dried up; so we had absolutely no income for the last of the 3 month period of my unemployment. My current employer happened to be one that I looked at for a long time online. I fully checked out their website, and it said absolutely nothing about massage as part of their regiment of treatment for their patients. I must have looked at that site over a dozen times, because I left that tab open in my window for a long time.
I had decided with some measure of regret, not to bother to send a resume, because they didn’t do massage, but I kept that tab open anyways, along with a few other pain specialists I was checking out. I refuse to work for spas like Massage Envy and I had discovered that even in wellness clinics, the expectation was still very much the same. It was more about quantity than quality, and this just didn’t sit right with me.
One week, while job hunting, I noticed that the amount of available, decent spas in my area were too few and far between, and I realized that I’m a pain specialist, and I really need to work in a job that allows me to do what I do…which is release muscles and pain problems. I had been looking at pain centers and clinics, but had only sent a resume if their website indicated that they did utilize massage as part of their treatment plan. So one day, having run low on places to apply to meet my weekly quota, I just decided to send out some resumes by snail mail to a few of these pain treatment places; just so that I would meet my quota. I didn’t think I’d get any bites from any of these places. It was just to fill up the numbers required.
Well, what do you know, but I got a bite! The one I had been looking at for weeks called me. Turns out, its medical doctors that specialize in pain management, and they did have massage and needed another therapist. I started there 3 weeks ago, and it has been fabulous! In this office, I get to do what I do…the gift that God gave me to heal is fully operational, and none of the doctors have any problem with my style and technique because the reviews given back to them from their clients is so good, that they are redirecting people to me, even the ones who were terrified to get massage have come, got worked on by me, and walked away feeling great, and without being beat up, or banged and bruised to get there.
Many have said that they were afraid because they have experienced therapists that either were too hard in doing their deep tissue work; or that didn’t listen and pay attention to the client’s discomfort level. Either way, they weren’t satisfied with what they were getting from at least one of the two therapists there; and the comments have been that the more favored therapist there was considered a hard act to follow until they had encountered me. The reviews are very nice, but my thing is results. I have the privilege of setting captives free!
For example, one older gentleman that I saw last week came in leaning very heavily on a walker; the type with the seat. He struggled to make his legs move and propel him forward and was very bent over. He had just received a shot, and was brought to me, barely able to move himself. As so many others had previously stated, he said he had been getting the shots for a while and it didn’t seem to be helping. He said that he kept trying to explain to his doctors that his hips and legs were so tight, that sometimes it didn’t feel like he could move them.
I read his foot, and assessed his pain pattern. The only question I asked him was if he sat a lot, because he was elderly. I had already assumed this was the case, which he confirmed. I explained to him what I would release and why, and as soon as I started, he immediately stated that he felt relief. By the time I was done with him, in a mere 45 minutes; he said he felt 100% better, and that this was more like it…what he had been trying to tell his doctors that he needed; because now, his muscles were much looser than before. When he got up, he was standing straight, and he started bouncing a bit up and down to get a feel for how loose his muscles were; then began walking up and down in the room, exclaiming about how much better he felt.
I laughed and told him that he didn’t need that walker anymore; he could just drag it behind him now. When he went to leave, he was walking straight and pushing the walker in front of him with just a few fingers. Our receptionist was watching him walk down the hall, and as he put his personal swing into the walk, the receptionist stated, “Hey Mr. ______, I see you’ve got your swagger back!”
The second client like that this week was also very bent over when he was led to me. His body looked so beat up and twisted, and he struggled to walk, lurching crookedly with 2 canes. It hurt my heart to see him and to hear about the horrible treatment he has experienced at some of the doctor’s offices he’s been to, simply because he has HIV. This man was also elderly, and had suffered several injuries; and had several surgeries. He had been told that his muscles were degenerating so much, that he was fortunate to walk at all.
After reading his feet and assessing his pain pattern; I went to work releasing his lower half. He moved much slower than the last guy, and needed help to turn and to raise himself from the table when I was done. But 45 minutes after I had worked on him, he was standing straight. Now, he did state that he felt relief from my technique and certainly felt much looser. However, afterwards, he became urgently concerned about the whereabouts of his glasses.
His two canes were perched against the wall; but he was so engrossed with his missing glasses that without a second thought, he strolled out of the room and into the hall of the office in search of them. After he walked up and down the hall at least twice looking for them, I said to him, “You do realize that you are walking without your canes, don’t you?” He stated at that moment that he did, but I don’t think the gravity of that fact had fully hit him, because he was still urgently searching for his glasses.
But, it was my pleasure to be the vessel that brought that relief and freedom of movement to his battered body. My new job is such a perfect fit for me because I get to release pain, and that is totally my thing. I get the honor to serve people who are in great pain, and who are greatly ignored and under-served in the medical community. Many of my current clients come from the local gay community and are looked down on, spurned or who’s pain is dismissed because of their lifestyle and/or because they have HIV. It is truly such a privilege for me, to be able to be able to demonstrate God’s love to them, through this healing gift He’s given me; so that I can minister to hurting people such as this. I knew when I lost the last job, that God had something so much better for me; and I think that this job may be the best job I’ve ever had!
Sports Massage Should Not Be Painful – An Awesome Science-Based Explanation of Sports Massage (workingwellresources.com)
Five Health Benefits of Massage You Might Not Know About (drclouthier.com)
Four common mistakes in treating back pain (consumerreports.org)
Man Reversed His ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Symptoms with Coconut Oil (naturalcuresnotmedicine.com)
Fibromyalgia: Benefits of massage therapy (chelseapadget.wordpress.com)