A GRATITUDE NOTE TO OUR CLIENTS:

Hello friends (and… I truly feel that we are friends)!

This is Rebecca Farraway 😊, founder of Zion Massage College.

I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for you and to thank you for your support of the work that we do at Zion Massage College!

I, like many of you, have a daily, active practice of gratitude. I love the opportunity and symbol that this season provides for us to come together with our families, communities and those that we love in the spirit and practice of gratitude.

Coming from a place of gratitude is such an empowering choice. It allows our minds to tune into more of the good stuff in life and to experience acceptance, hope and resilience during life’s hardships.

I remember a time, years ago, when I felt really stuck. During this time, I had difficulty in cultivating any thoughts of gratitude. I can only describe the feeling as an almost trance like state. In this state of mind I filtered out positivity and primarily allowed in feelings of disconnection and fear.

There were many things that I viewed as difficult going on in my life at that time. Outwardly, I tried to maintain a good attitude; but inside, I was really struggling.

During that time, I was somehow fortunate enough to stumble across Ekhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now. In the book, he introduces the term “pain body, “ Tolle’s symbol for negativity.

One day, in the middle of a divorce. I dropped my children off with my soon to be ex-husband. As I left our meeting place and entered the freeway, my eyes filled with tears. This was a problem because I briefly couldn’t see the road.

I, being a Massage Therapist, Qi-Gong and Yoga Instructor, fluffed my energy and brushed it off. (perhaps, just go with it. fluffing energy make sense to us massage, yoga, qi-gong, meditation types.)

After my brief energy fluffing, eye drying moment, I watched as a man in a car in front of mine veered his car into the lane next to me and slowed down.

The man started gesturing to me and shouting expletives. I rolled down my window to find out what he needed. I thought that maybe I had swerved slightly when my eyes filled with tears.

Instead of criticizing my driving, the man yelled questions at me:

“Why are you complaining about me! I didn’t do anything wrong, you stupid _________.” He said with passion. 😊

I really believe that true to Tolle’s observations, the other driver’s pain felt my pain and had allowed our combined negative energy to meet and grow inside him.

In the moment, this surprise made me start giggling.

“I’m so sorry, I told him, I wasn’t complaining about you. I was doing a bit of small space Qi-Gong.”

The man didn’t seem to understand; but gave up on our communication and drove away looking very confused.

Interestingly, this seemingly insignificant moment snapped me out of my funk, interrupted my pattern, and shifted my state of being so that I could never believe my negative thoughts and emotions.

That day, I had an experiential realization that emotions are mailable and that energy can quickly energy shift.

There are multiple ways to shift one’s energy and emotions; and, this understanding has had a profound influence on the way that I view my work as a Massage Therapist and a Massage Therapy Educator.

I’ve witnessed Massage Therapy serve as a powerful catalyst in shifting physical and emotional states.

As Massage Therapists, we know that for every emotional response a person experiences, they also have a corresponding physical response. For this reason, physical tension and pain often carries a feeling of emotional pain.

We know that when our clients experience pain, both their body and brain are involved in this experience.

Because of this, we feel passionate about our role in helping to connect the body and mind in just the right way to finally soften tension and pain and to help those that we serve feel better.

Our goal is to help you replace tension with relaxation, fear with hope and cold isolation with warmth and connectedness.

Among the many things that I am grateful for, today, I want to express my gratitude for you our customers for trusting us to help you and for supporting us with the ultimate goal of our work, to assist in relieving and resolving suffering, both emotionally and physically.

Sincerely,

Rebecca

Dear ZMC Graduates,

It gives me great pleasure to be among the first to congratulate you for your success in completing the 900-hour Professional Massage Therapy Program at Zion Massage College. Throughout the past year, I have enjoyed watching and participating in your learning process. I am so impressed with the way in which you supported and encouraged one another. Not only have you succeeded as individuals but, also as a team. I am proud of you for this accomplishment!

The program and curriculum at Zion Massage College are demanding. Over the past twelve months, you have learned about effective client communication, healthy body mechanics, self-care techniques, proper massage technique and how to begin your career with sound business practices. You have learned in-depth theory from traditional medical systems around the world, pathology, when to refer your client to another medical provider, how to help a client with emotional release, how to feel and work with energy and follow up home care techniques that your client can use to increase the benefits of massage. You have studied kinesiology and experienced how touch should be applied like a slow, relaxed breath. We have watched you demonstrate your knowledge of how the human body is designed to move. You have shown us your proficiency in anatomy and physiology. You have studied and practiced a great variety of massage modalities and styles of bodywork. That being said, we want to take a moment to remind you one very important principle:

Each client is an individual with individual needs

It is important that as you embark on this deeply healing profession that you remember to customize your treatments/modalities to fit your client’s individual needs. You should never try to make the client fit the treatment. Everyone deserves healing touch that is customized to fit his/her body, physical and emotional state and pressure preference. As you embark on this deeply healing profession please consider the following:  

  1. Listen to your client. If a client comes to you with neck pain, begin the massage by focusing on his or her neck and, come back again to the area of complaint near the end of session. Never just go about your routine.
  2. Communicate with your client. In a positive way, remember to educate your client about the parameters of the time frame of the massage and to work as a team to decide, which areas of the body to focus on, pressure preference and the style of the massage.
  3. Use Precision: Massage therapists should be experts at palpation. When doing deep work, never hit upon bony landmarks; instead, work closely, with precision to move tight muscle and fascia away from the bony landmarks. Follow the shape and structure of your client’s body, help each client to feel healthier, freer, and good about his or her body. Help them to connect their body and mind.
  4. Use Intuition: Knowledge and technique are important; however, intuition is vital to being an effective massage therapist and body worker. Intuition transcends both knowledge and technique. It allows you to support and follow your client’s unwinding process, to free blockages in circulation to disperse excess energy and stagnation and to bring energy and circulation to the areas of your client’s body that are depleted.
  5. Support massage movements with your entire structure. Massage in a yogic, tai qi or qi gong like way. This way of working gives a solid foundation that will provide you with a long career in this healing profession. Even if you just move one finger, your legs and your entire core should be moving to support the smaller movement. By using leverage instead of “muscling” through the massage, you are working with the principle of the Law of Least Resistance. All experts use this principle. They make what they are doing look easy. Be especially mindful of this important practice when you are tired. When we are tired, in an attempt to work less, we tend to forget to use good body mechanics. When we compromise our body mechanics we are actually working harder and, we risk paying the price of pain our body and the start of bad habits that can compromise our own health.
  6. Massage is applied meditation: As massage therapists we bring attention to each part of the client’s structure, part by part and piece by piece. We allow the client to gain awareness about is going on with his or her body in a meditative, non-reactive and positive way. With the massage therapist standing as an enlightened witness to the pain, the client is able to process the information and begin to soften these areas of chronic tension and stagnation. We help our client to stop fighting the pain and, instead to release and let go of chronic holding patterns, tension and stress.
  7. Everyone deserves to experience healthy, safe, healing touch: As massage therapists we must remember that our clients have diverse backgrounds when it comes to touch. In addition to relieving muscular and nerve pain in the body, we are also teaching our clients about safe touch and healthy boundaries. A client that has a background in which he or she was deprived of safe, non-sexual nurturing touch or that has little experience with safe or healing types of touch will need additional communication and very clear boundaries which point out the difference between these different types of touch. It is important that every client feels safe. Make sure that your words, boundaries, ethical practices and touch create a safe, nurturing and healing experience for your client. Remember the ideas of transference and counter-transference. In a massage session, you are the professional practitioner and the power differential is stacked on your side. Manage the session. Be clear. Create safety.
  8. Engage in self-care practices every day: As you have learned, traditional health care practitioners combine the practices of massage and bodywork with meditation, contemplation, time spent in nature and energetic healing exercises such as yoga, qi gong, tai qi, reusi dat tan, and other similar exercises, which are designed to integrate the mind, body and spirit. We cannot expect to give an effective treatment and solid support to a client if our own internal resources are depleted. Remember that traditional medical theory teaches that nature provides a way to exchange negative energy for positive in much the same way that nature provides a way for us to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen. For this reason, spending time in nature is vital in replenishing the vitality and energy of those individuals that work in a healing profession. Spend time in nature, get massage, practice energetic exercise and meditate. This is part of the commitment to our work.

As we celebrate your graduation today, I am confident that you have developed the skills, possess the knowledge and embody the principles, which are needed to be an effective and highly competent Massage Therapist and Bodyworker. It has been an honor and privilege to work with you this year.

With our Deepest Respect and Sincerity,

Rebecca Farraway, BCMT, LMT, ERYT-200, Founder,Zion Massage College