Conscious Touch in an Impersonal World

Lately, I have had the opportunity to spend time working with the medical community.  Not as a colleague, but as a patient.  I had bronchitis back in July and really haven’t felt the same since that time, even after having multiple rounds of antibiotics and steroids.  It has been an eye opening experience for me, as well as a frustrating one.

What has been hard for me is that even after multiple visits to multiple doctors I really haven’t felt heard nor cared for.  I have felt poked and prodded and seen only as my symptoms; seen only as another test that needs to be run.  Never at any point, has any doctor, nurse or tech, taken just a few seconds to ‘see’ me as I am;  which is not only my body and symptoms, but as a whole being:  body, mind, spirit, emotions, feelings.  Even though I have been touched, none of it has been done with care nor with any thought about how I might be feeling.  It hasn’t been done with deep respect, consciousness nor compassion.  They haven’t thought about how afraid I might be or how vulnerable I feel or even how frustrated I might be about everything that has been going on. They are truly treating my body and my symptoms.  And that is when I realized…that is their job…to see the body and its symptoms and try to figure out what is going on.

The cool thing about all of this is…what I do as a massage therapist, is that I DO see whomever is on my table as a whole being.  Not only a body, but also mind, spirit, emotions and feelings.  Each of those things are not separate entities or separate from one another; they are who I am, they are throughout all of me–my body, my mind, my spirit, my emotions, my feelings and even my thoughts, make up the totality of who I am.  They are me!  As well as, they are you–your body, your mind, your spirit, your emotions, your feelings and your thoughts, make up the totality of who you are.  You are not just one thing, you are all of them.

What I have learned from this whole experience is that the doctors have their job and I have mine–which is to provide conscious touch in an impersonal world.  By providing massage in an environment that is safe and seeing every individual that comes through my door as a whole being, I am ‘seeing’ each individual in their totality.  As a beautiful being–mind, body, spirit, emotions, feelings and thoughts.  It is a beautiful experience.

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