I know I'm not alone when I say that in my time I've felt compelled to stifle or oppress parts of myself.
I didn't feel like my family, community, clients, or partner would necessarily approve if I showed up in the world in ways that I wanted. And if I'm honest, most of those times I wasn't even certain how I wanted to show up, but rather, was curious to experiment with alternative ways of showing up.
I longed to live this illusive "authentic life" that seems to be all the rage these days.
But what the hell did that even mean?
We get sucked into this whole "identity" thing. We're influenced by how we were raised, the community we live in, our job, status, and society. And far too often we get boxed into our roles in life. So, consequently (and typically), how we conduct ourselves reflects "the norm" for those roles. ...or, at least, what we perceive as being "normal".
Anyway, as a massage therapist, I'm quite respected in my community and come highly recommended by local health professionals. This is something I'm VERY proud of, and worked hard to get here. Primarily my practice has been pretty clinical, science based, and focused on practical mechanics, physiological needs, and soft tissue manipulation. And even after twelve years into the gig, I still totally geek out whenever I provide massage therapy.
That said, I've always felt like there was something missing.
The longer I'm in the massage field (and the deeper I get into the coaching gig), the more curious I become about the nervous system. I never seem to tire of learning about that magical lump of grey (and white) matter that floats in the cranium. And the more I learn about the science, the more I'm intrigued by the woo.
So, when I say woo, I'm talking about that "new-age-y" stuff that's out there. You know, stuff like acupressure, reiki, and chakra balancing. But despite their title of being "New Age", these healing practices are actually wicked old. In fact, they're much older than modern medicine.
ANYWAY, these three modalities work to bring balance within the body's energy. But the body's energy is far from being labeled as woo. It's hard science. The brain is in control of everything the body does (hormone production, digestion, pain perception and management, thoughts, feelings, temperature control, muscle contraction....everything). And how it makes everything happen is through electrical impulses zipped through about 86 billion neurons throughout the body.
Anyway, after working with hundreds of bodies, I know how massage therapy can reduce muscle tension, liberate fascia, and replenish nerve, blood, and lymphatic flow. I also know this from personal experience. What I ALSO know from personal experience is that the woo shit works too.
I've received loads of massage therapy (which, let's be honest, some folks still think is pretty woo, too), chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapy to correct a bunch of different traumas and injuries in my life. And while they were all super beneficial, what took me the extra mile was the woo.
So, where am I going with this?
I've danced around the idea of learning about "alternative" ways of balancing mind/body energy for a long stinkin' time. I've fantasized about adding these services to my practice. BUT, deep down in the dark scary truths of my soul, I've been afraid of what my clients might think. I've been concerned that my guy might think I'm having some kind of weird mid-life crisis, filling our home full of crystals and essential oils. Honestly, in my early days of becoming a massage therapist I felt like I had to defend the scientific integrity of my profession because my name is CRYSTAL, after all. I mean, how friggin' woo is THAT?!
I work with fishermen, carpenters, housekeepers, farmers, you know, regular, salt-of-the-earth folks who are used to classic myofascial work. How would they feel when they show up for their massage and I offer to stick a bit of amethyst on their forehead?
But, again, the more I learn, the more curious I become. The more I dabble, the more excited I get. There's an important lesson in this...
It doesn't matter what I think people might think. What matters is that I dig it.
What about you? What are you curious about? What brings you joy? When do you feel like your most authentic self?
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for being here!
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