Friday, June 02, 2006

Singing the "Do I Have to Move On" Blues

I can remember feeling sad this time every year as a child when I realized that the school year was almost over and I would have to leave the teacher I had grown to love and think of as the best I would ever have. I still find this reluctance to leave something that is known and try something new.

I can name every one of my Deep South elementary school teachers: Ruby White (1), Edith Alexander (2), Sammy Bell (3) – a woman who was a staunch Nazarene, Myra Jean Porter (4), Evelyn Swann (5), and Judy Willard (6). With the exception of third grade, I never wanted to matriculate. I loved the routine, I idolized the teacher, I was so comfortable and happy with status quo. Inevitably, after just a few weeks in the next grade, I had a new favorite, but the late spring blues were a constant.

I recently found this happening all over again as I had my last massage with the best massage therapist in the world. We had become good friends and she wisely recognized that it’s difficult to maintain a therapeutic relationship in addition to a friendship. So for two months I have gone without a massage and my body has been reminding me that I really benefit from this form of therapy.

In 15 minutes my new massage therapist arrives at my house, no less, for our first session. She works as an EMT at a fire station in Virginia. She is just coming off a 24-hour shift and I can’t imagine why she would want to schedule such strenuous work in her R&R time, but I haven’t yet met her.

I hope I will be able to look for the new things that Lori brings to this healing form of therapy and not dwell on why this isn’t a carbon copy of my previous massage sessions. She just drove up. She’s a big girl, easily hefting the portable massage table onto her shoulder. She looks strong and confident.

Later... I confess – I missed the soft sheets, I missed the pillow, I missed the reiki and the foot massage. BUT, for everything that I missed, there was a new surprise. Lori was busy for 75 minutes, covering most of my body repeatedly. She commented that it was obvious I had enjoyed massage in the past because my body was so receptive. The truth is my body simply soaks up massage. All my tissues feel so warm and comfortable right now.

So I suppose I have successfully gone through massage matriculation. I graduated from the Mother Superior school of soft and nurturing with an element of magic to the at-home school of deep muscle therapy best experienced without talking. There isn’t that connection of spirits that was there from my first visit with my last massage therapist, but I feel really good about Lori. I have no intention of turning her into a friend. I simply intend to benefit from her skill as a therapist.


Blogger Kristin said...

I've never really thought about it, but I could easily picture myself while reading your post. I find it so hard to move on!

11:10 AM  
Blogger Kate said...


4:49 PM  
Blogger RennyBA said...

Thoughtful post Barbara. I really think this goes well with you're blog's "About me": Current favorite quotation.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

And you had a superfine massage from Lori. Bravo!!

As for moving on, that part of life tends to be too easy for me, probably one reason I'm so drawn to people like you who can hang in there for the duration.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Mary K said...

Now, as I work full time, I find myself longing for the summertime off again and just travel or 'be still'.
Sweden and other European countries are very wise to provide a month's time off during the summer to their workers- with pay- regardless when one started the job.
I am sure this increases moral and work ethic in these countries.

What is up with this country workforce 'earning time off'.. for leave?
(ok I moan, b/c i just started a new job!)

Massage therapy is like a temporary vacation !

10:23 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

As a teacher of young kids, your comments were good to hear! We really do have impact that lasts a lifetime!

We have had about 8 different massage therapists work in my husband's chiropractic office over 25 years and each one is a little different but I have loved them all. They all have become friends with us as well as their partners/kids, and they have been very caring nurturing a big family!

I love massage therapy..have it every week and since our office is in the front of our house, it's kinda like they come to my house!!!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I feel like a new person today having had a massage yesterday. I made an appt for another massage with Lori in a month, but I am tempted to go back to weekly or bi-weekly massage if it makes me feel this good.

Mother of Invention -- I'll bet you are one of those teachers I would not have wanted to leave. I envy your chance to experience so many variations on massage. Your house sounds like "Healing Arts" here in Washington, DC.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Thanks! I do love kids and miss them now that I'm on a medical leave since Jan., but I hope to return in Sept. to teach music, drama, and character ed.

Yes, I am lucky to have received such good care right under my roof!
I wrote a poem that is posted in our office, called, "In The House of Healing" that says how I can feel their healing vibes right through the walls to me! Very special!

8:02 AM  

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