Thursday, December 23, 2010

Complementary or Alternative?

I hear other massage therapists talk about "healing" their clients.  I am uncomfortable with this idea.  I refer to myself as more of a facilitator -- my clients heal themselves, I help them along. 

I am also hearing a lot of talk among my colleagues about practicing "alternative medicine."  This makes me even more  uncomfortable.  As a massage therapist, I see what I as a complement to other forms of medicine or wellness practices -- Eastern, Western, Southern or whatever.  It takes more than one approach for each person to find their balance and their idea of wellness.  My practice exists to complement other approaches, not to replace them. 

I would like to thank Isabel Adkins for clarifying this idea for me.  She was my teacher for a "Massage for People Living with Cancer" class.  With great clarity and compassion, she explained some of the history of chemotherapy to us, and some of the reasons why it is so damaging to the body.  She was careful to let us know, however, that she saw her work as a massage therapist as a complement to Western medicine, not an alternative. 

Think of the power of this -- we are not working against anyone, we are working with them.  This is how nations are built, people. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thank you, Barista

When was the last time you were in a long line, in a hurry, and you saw at the register a person older than you, who seemed to be taking FOREVER to figure out the little touch-screen credit card thing, or ask a question about a price?  Probably within the last 24 hours, right? 

Well, slow down and take a memo from the barista t the Unicorn Cafe in Evanston.  From my perch in the corner, I just watched this young woman greet an older customer by name, reach across the counter to shake his hand, and keep hold of his hand until it was warmed from the chill outside.  She then asked him a question about his family and -- this will floor you -- took the time to listen to his answer. 

This barista is my hero for today.  If you were in line behind this gentleman, would you think she was wasting your time?