One time at breakfast, a friend referred to massage as my “day job”, knowing that I spend most of my free time in the art studio. He suggested that if I could make my living as an artist, I would drop massage like a hot potato. This really rubbed me the wrong way. Yes, it would be great to be able to make a living selling monotype prints and ceramics, but I get a lot from my massage career. Massage is more to me than just a way to pay the bills so that in my free time I can do what I really want to do.
It is an honor to be a massage therapist. It is an honor to help people deal with pain. It is an honor to experience the trust that people place in me as their massage therapist. It is an honor when someone is comfortable enough to fall asleep on the table. It is an honor to hear people’s stories and experiences. It is an honor to witness the strength and determination of people who live day to day in chronic pain. It is an honor to witness older clients aging gracefully, and taking the time to take care of themselves. It is an honor to help someone forget their cares, and to share a laugh with them. It is an honor to be that person to show a first time massage recipient how powerful massage can be.
Luckily, massage does not seem to be hard on my body as everyone assumes it must be. I often feel more energized at the end of the day than I did at the beginning. Massage is gratifying work. Seeing the tangible results of my work and feeling appreciated on a daily basis keep massage fresh for me.
So next time you refer to massage as someone’s “day job”, try to remember that some of us are fortunate to have jobs that we love, in addition to our art.