The list of negative consequences of my wrist in jury could go on and on. But that would be a major bummer of a blog post. Instead, I’d like to write about how it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me career-wise.
The first positive side effect of the wrist injury is the extra mindfulness I bring to each session. Starting back in massage school, I would reach a certain point where I could just let my mind completely relax and let the work flow. Whenever I was with a healthy client, at a certain point I would just be letting my body do the work while my mind was totally blank. It was terrifically zen, and I think the massages were pretty relaxing for people. The major exception to that was when I gave Oncology sessions, especially in the chemotherapy clinic. Then I was hyper-vigilant for any sign of a problem, and always watching the drip and the line.
I can’t do that anymore, my mind can’t wander because I need to be mindful of how my right wrist is feeling so I can adapt if something hurts. But this mindfulness of my wrist translates into mindfulness of the session in general. And it is so good. I can really tune in to the person I’m working with; it really feels like a conversation between my hands and their body. My work is more effective for my being fully present at all times, and I don’t think it is any less relaxing to receive. In fact, I think this mindfulness is a big part of what will transition me from a good massage therapist to a great one.
The second positive side effect is time. I allow much more time in between clients to rest, which translates into more time spent talking to my clients. We can have a conversation before the session about their needs, goals, experiences- tons of possibilities. And there is more time after the session to get feedback, and to give self-care suggestions. This time feels like an incredible luxury for me.
The third positive side effect is starting my own business. I don’t think I would have ever had the courage to do that if I hadn’t felt like it was the only way to keep the career that I love so much.
It is incredible to look back now and see how many wonderful things came from such a scary and stressful beginning. If anyone else would like to share a surprise triumph, I’d love to read about it.