Halfway Through the First Quarter of the Massage Program...

Sunni's picture

Not that I’m counting (but I totally am counting!)...

And so far, so good, for the most part. The most important aspect of the work so far to me is this: I am very happy doing it. As much as I enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of doing research, and as much as I loved teaching people (both formally and informally), nothing I’ve done in my life to date has been as deeply satisfying as my fumbling attempts to become a massage therapist.

The coursework is challenging in many ways. There’s a lot of material and often, not much time to learn it. A good deal of one class is outright memorization of things with no context or even expectation of understanding it. Memorization is more challenging to me than it used to be; and the lack of context seems to make that even worse. It can be very frustrating to try to learn and improve one’s skill at one stroke while having new strokes added just a day or two later. The physics of good body mechanics aren’t always obvious. Being on the receiving end of another student’s efforts to learn strokes and sequences is sometimes decidedly stressful, rather than relaxing. The dual demands of going slowly in order to encourage client relaxation while sticking to a tight time line can get one’s head spinning. And of course, my perfectionist tendencies have me fighting against the urge to try to be perfect in all that I’m doing. Most of the time, I’m okay with being a beginning massage student, but some of the work seems so intuitive that it can be frustrating to forget or overlook those things.

All that, and all the other things I’m forgetting in my haste here, fades away when I’m doing a massage, though. It feels natural and right that I’m there, using my touch to help another person relax and feel better. And my karate training has given me confidence that my skills will continue to develop as they’re used, so I’m not as stressed about being a beginner as I otherwise would have been. So I’m happy. Very busy and rather tired much of the time, but happy.

How are you and yours?

(And if you really want to know, we’re 16% of the way through the entire program.)

Good to hear from you!

Gads, that sounds like nursing school. Lots and lots of more or less random stuff to learn - in a short time, and very little rational context. A good portion of the material we had to learn was eventually found to be outdated, or downright wrong in some other way. Lots to UNlearn once I got a real job. And lots of things I needed to know that were never mentioned in "school."

But yes, in spite of all the nonsense and roadblocks, once I was able to really work with patients and give them the care they needed, it was wonderful and very fulfilling.

And then... along came Medicare. :( sigh