By Ian Chow, Certified Massage Therapist
I first came across this concept when I was attending the basic oncology (cancer) massage course conducted by Chandrika Puventhran, Complementary Therapist. Not only it gave me the affirmation that I was looking for but it also added a new depth and dimension to my work as a massage therapist. Regardless of which massage modality that one is into, I do agree whole heartedly with her meaning and definition. Here are my additional two cents worth on how I perceive on what was shared with me.
On a broader term, we are currently in our second time of Movement Control Order within a span of 12 months in Malaysia. Life has been tough to many. May you also be able to relate to the points below in what you are doing or pursuing or aiming to do in the near future.
VALUE – Know that there is always a value attached to the massage that one is rendering. But that doesn’t mean it should revolve solely on dollar and cents. It can be an intangible value as well. I know my worth and I set my “price”. At times, our compassionate side must be taken into account; to consider how much a client is in need of the service and how much him / her can afford the service.
CONNECT – Whether it is a relaxation or treatment massage, if we don’t have the physical or emotional connection with the receiver, there are not going to be much work that we can do on the receiver’s well-being and I do believe that our touch sensory, our receptors have its own sixth sense to tell whether one is sincere in what they are giving at that point of time.
EMPOWER – A sincere touch can be translated into feeling of being cared for. And that feeling can be empowering to the receiver especially in moment of frailty. Plus, when there are positive result (be it physically or emotionally) experienced in the overall session, that will further validate, acknowledge the work and empower both the giver and receiver.
DO FOR & WITH – Yes, no doubt I am doing a certain treatment or service for the receiver, but I do make sure that I am always there with them. Whether it is my heart, my presence, my mind, I journey together with them for that amount of time when I am there at that space. If I am capable at that moment and situation calls for it, I will certainly lend a listening ear without judgement too.
FIND MEANING – This ties in to my “believe” system. If one doesn’t believe in the things that we are doing or the good that it does, we might as well not dabble into it. For me, I need to have or know the meaning of my actions and subsequently, the good that it does on an individual well-being (be it physically, emotionally or spiritually).
PRESERVE OWN INTEGRITY – Everyone has their own set of integrity. Whatever that is to you, uphold it. I strongly believe there is no wrong or right (as long as it is not against the law) to what you are doing and practicing. There will always be different school of thoughts to almost everything we experienced. We may come to logger head on opinions with others as well (could be with fellow therapists or even the client themselves). Doesn’t matter which school of thoughts that I belong to but more importantly, I will choose to stand firm with what I believe in, preserve my integrity and then I will be able to preserve my own dignity in the things that I do.