Recently I was giving a massage to a friend as a holiday present (said friend happens to be an amazing massage therapist), the first session I have given her since before my hiatus/transition-inducing wrist injury.
As I worked, I was aware of two conflicting emotions: the joy of massaging that I have written about previously; and a sense of frustration as I made the little adjustments to my work as my wrist pain dictated. The frustration came from how effortless it used to be for me to get my hands to do what I wanted them to. How I never used to have to be mindful of not damaging myself.
After the session I came back to a realization- which I will probably keep having for a long time- that my return to the profession isn’t established because I started seeing clients again. Rather, it is a process of learning how I need to adjust my sessions to the new way I have to work. This is phase II of my journey as a massage therapist (or possibly phase III or even IV, depending on how we look at school/work/hiatus/work) and I am -becoming- the new Margaret (nM).
I’m sure there will be many more times when I miss old Margaret. She could get a lot more areas touched in an hour than nM can. But, I think that nM is going to be a much better massage therapist for going through this process. NM looks at her practice with a sense of wonder and gratitude that oM would have envied. And I think that comes through in my work. I think I am more effective than ever, and I owe a lot of this opportunity to the wrist injury that came out of nowhere in March. The changes I’ve made and the chances I’ve taken are enough to fill another post, this one is all about the process.