I was talking about massage school with one of my co-workers and I really wondered after I talked to her how I got through massage school. I don’t like being touched, I’m not affectionate, not really a people person, I don’t like sharing my feelings, or especially my past. I have huge issues with people, and mainly with trusting people. I also have pretty big body image issues, so I don’t like people seeing my body uncovered… let alone a whole class staring at your pretty much naked body. I have issues with men, especially before I got in school it was being in the same room with a guy, and that was without them being on a table half-naked underneath a sheet.
It was intimidating, to say the least, especially when I first started massaging at the student clinic. My fear and anxiety of massaging guys would be so unbelievably overwhelming I don’t know how I didn’t get physically sick or just plain run out. We got feedback from our massages we did and especially in the beginning I would get this written feedback which was mainly negative. I was nervous, every bit of feedback would state that I was nervous.
I knew I was nervous, so I’d try to not be nervous, and end up being even worse. I’d sweat like crazy, so badly I’d try to manuever my head against my sleeve while I was massaging to try to mop up some of the sweat. My back hurt from having improper body mechanics, my arms would hurt from using my arms instead of my weight to deliver pressure, and I remember one time I got done with student clinic and I was close to giving up.
But I don’t give up… ever. I’m stubborn, and I kept through it. Ethics class was like torture, like therapy session every week. We’d have to tell the class about our past experiences, of what we were uncomfortable with, why, and how to set up “boundaries.” I hated delving into my feelings and sharing it with people. I wanted to stay quiet, but you couldn’t, and so that would sometimes be more exhausting than the student clinic with massaging real paying clients. I hoped I made the right decision, that this would be a career I’d love, that I would find something I loved to do just like my Mom loved to do her own job. I wanted to not hate it every day, because I know people who live like that and when you spend most (almost all) of your time doing a job you should enjoy it or else then you’ll be miserable.
I asked myself so many times why I got into this when I was school. It was $14,000 for my student loan, which I’m still paying off to this day. Sometimes, when I have a hard day at work I wonder how I can do this and keep doing it. It exhausts me physically and mentally, and I know it’s not a matter of if I will hurt myself but when. I want to keep on doing this though, I love it, and I’ve come a long way since massage school.