Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Certified Massage Therapist

I have mentioned I am making some changes in my life. One of them is going back to what I really like - the wellness and healing sector.

Sometimes you just never see what is coming up along your journey in life. When I was asked what I will want to do when I grow up after graduation, I always feel that I just want to meet and help people. Sometimes I jokingly said "a receptionist" as I will get to meet and help people. I never really know what is meant to be in my life. I have always just coasted along, do whatever that comes up, believing that whatever happens always happened for a reason. Be it to gain the experience or to meet people in the companies or whatever.

So I have always been intrigued by spa and massages when living in Canada. However I have never tried any massage then. I was too shy to disrobe in front of strangers and uncertain of what would happen. So it was always just a thoughtless daydream when I saw spa brochures.

My first experience with massage was in 1999 when I was in Bali. It was a in-room massage and I was so nervous and shy about having someone massaged me then. My godma and her daughter were also getting a massage in the room, so it was not like I was all alone. I was not particularly impressed with the massage. Maybe I did not feel the need for massage and Balinese massage was not the soothing relaxing type anyway.

My next encounter with massage was in Kuala Lumpur in 2000 at Zen Spa inside The Mines. The massage was ok, but what blew me away was the spa facilities. The fact there was no clock anywhere so you could not watch the time. A room with movie showing and comfortable reclining lazy-boy chairs. A lounge where food can be ordered from the ala carte buffet menu. Plus the jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. This was all included in the spa treatment price. What an amazing concept.

And in 2001 or 2002 I signed up for a spa package in Singapore and that really started my journey in the holistic wellness area. I dreamed of opening my own spa, similar to Zen Spa. A place where you can really get a massage and stay there to relax and rejuvenate. You will not be "chase off" after your treatment.

I did my research and found out it would not be cheap to open something like what I have in mind. I have grandiose plans and I know what I do not want. No package. No hard selling. No treating customers like cattle or operate a revolving door policy.

I am blessed to meet really kind and generous and helpful people along my journey. I was taught basic holistic massage with a bit of pressure points. I quit my job and started my own home spa massage service in 2004. That was also the period spa and massages were getting more mainstream and accepted. I learnt about my own strength and weakness when managing the business. I realized I could craft the most wonderful marketing materials and content for my website and flyers etc. BUT I just could not sell myself. I was not thick skinned enough to really get myself out there. Quite an irony since I am a Public Relations Practitioner with contacts/friends in the media.

I did push myself to join association, meet more people and I expanded my social network. I also found out people were only interested in what can you do for them. Everyone has their own agenda at the end of the day. I did not regret my stint on my own. It taught me many lessons. It also afforded me time to do my own things. Things I enjoyed.

I read up on healing and massages and any kind of complementary bodyworks. I attended festivals and fairs. I have learned all kinds of dance, starting from Hip-Hop to Jazz to adult ballet and finally finding my natural home in belly dancing. It happened that belly dance actually uses many of the natural element from the Earth. The undulation of the body not only comes from the core but also from the music and the vibration. I was told I had potential to go further but I guessed I was too lazy and I felt I could not memorize any choreography. I dance best to what I was feeling then. So I did not really go far into the belly dance field.

Then I discovered Bikram Yoga. Finally a yoga which actually engaged me instead of making me wish the time would just fly. I never found the Yoga I first learned when in Canada back in 1997. I loved that. I felt one with nature. The yoga classes in Singapore were too focused on the movements and not on the overall being, at least those I tried. So Bikram was quite a good match for me. Unfortunately it was too expensive to continue so I let it lapse.

I dabbled with tarot and angel cards. I was told I had the intuition to read. Again I did not take it seriously. Although I am interested, part of me feel it is just to be taken with a pinch of salt.

And I discovered chiropractic in 2007 and that started me on another journey in believing the body can heal itself. When I was having regular chiropractic treatment, I stopped going for massages. When I start going for massages again, it was for a relaxing experience. No longer was it meant for removing knots and suffering in pain.

This year I decided to go back to massage again and to learn new skills. I started on post-natal massage and somehow went on to get my CIBTAC diploma (UK) and manual lymphatic drainage massage. I found my calling in lymphatic drainage massage. When I first learned massage in 2003, I was concerned I will not have the stamina or skills. I was told then I have the touch and I was good. And the reason I continued with giving massage was that it actually soothed my soul when I was massaging others. I was being relaxed too.

With lymphatic drainage massage, I found it was even more healing for me and also for the people I massaged. The fact that I could actually see swellings go down and people feeling better and radiant made me glad that I was able to help. That went back to my sole motive. To heal and to help.

I tried Reiki again. This time I could actually feel the heat and coolness of people's energy. The energy flow. Maybe I am finally opening myself up to feel. Usually I do not feel anything at all. But with lymphatic drainage massage, you need to let yourself feel the flow of the lymph and to re-direct it to be filtered and drained.

I do not know how my journey will end, but I hope, and do want to be working in the complementary healing area. MLD massage with energy work and prayers? It is all about believing that "you can heal yourself". That is a great book by Louise Hay.

So yes, it seemed like all that I experienced for the last many years were setting me up to be more attuned with nature and the universe and to do healing works.

How does it tie to my belief? In 2000 or 2001 during the Anaconda Rally, I was given the gift of tongue by the Holy Spirit. It was unspeakable joy and tears and speaking of tongue. I was also told during a healing room session in 2012 that I have the gift still and to continue to speak in tongue. To me, these are all the same. I know I still pray for healing even when I am doing the works. God uses us to do His work and I choose to believe this is His gift for me. To heal others through massage, or at least make them feel better and alleviate any stress or pain they have then. Amen.

And who can resist a massage, right? ;)

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