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  • Writer's pictureguidedbybreath

How I Became a Massage Therapist

I have always been fascinated by the body, it's miraculous ability to heal and the mechanical ways in which we move throughout our daily lives.

When I was very young, I would practice drawing for hours, often human and animal forms. Enthralled by the motions of the bodies, I craved to know more and understand HOW we worked. Soon, I was given books that helped break down the human form.

Look at this intricate machine! All it's intertwined fascia ( A type of connective tissue. More about that in another post) muscles and bones and so much more. Absolutely miraculous. Designed to propel us through life, each and every part has it's job. As the years went on, I would come to find out just how precious of a gift movement and sensations really are.

My cousin, Brandon, was a silly and charismatic dude. I grew up adoring him, laughing at all of his jokes and antics ( not all funny, I might add) and doing my best to emulate him. We were all a close-knit family, and we all spent our years growing together. When he was 16, a tragic car accident occurred, leaving Brandon paralyzed from the neck down. He was now a quadriplegic. The cervical vertebrae in his neck were crushed, I believe it was C3-C7.

There was some ability to move his hands, but grasping objects was nearly impossible. He spent many months in a rehab hospital in Colorado. The family rallied together to raise as many funds as we could as the multitude of surgeries and special equipment Brandon needed was immense.

Tragic. Reality. I was 13. Now needing someone to do just about everything for him, how could I help? What could I do? It shook me to my core.

Throughout my teens and early 20's, I was often by his side listening to music, watching movies, creating art together and confiding in him. I gave my love and friendship willingly, doing whatever I could to bring a smile to his face or make him feel at ease. This was when I began to learn the power of touch. I would work out the tension in his shoulders and neck. or 'golf balls' as he liked to call them. The scar tissue from the surgeries ran deep and was overly developed. I would massage his scalp, and I would notice that it would bring him some level of peace and comfort that was hard for him to find normally. This became a tradition of ours.

I did not know then the power that work held over me until I processed it many years later. As with us all, there were good days and bad days. I had no idea what I was doing when I massaged him, but I knew I was giving my best and sharing my love.

Brandon lived 10 years before his body finally was no longer able to support him. Though he lived in continual struggle, Brandon encouraged all his friends and family to make the best of their lives. He even completed his GED. He is forever in my heart, I miss him every day. I am thankful for ALL he taught me, often saying ," We are one". I understand this phrase very differently now, particularly in my career as an LMT ( Licensed Massage Therapist) and certified yoga teacher. I found my calling, and studied for years through Panacea School of Integrative Health in Hallowell, Maine. When I place my hands on someone, I feel their life force. There is an indescribable energetic connection. This exists in all living beings. I am honored to have found my way to this path, and look back on my time that I shared with Brandon as the building blocks towards my quest for health and wellness for all.

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