Monday, December 31, 2007

Different skills for different settings

I attended a class of a rather famous massage therapist, James Waslaski. He is a firecracker - opinionated, zappy, contraversial, friendly, honest, ... and very talented, has very good hands. And rich, there was many of us in that class and everyone paid 700$. James was friendly and made sure to attend to everyone, but he wasn't pampering and/or catering to anyone.

In the class, there were some spa massage therapists. They were quiet, never caused any locomotion, and in general were neutral zombie-like corporate types. I didn't see much talent there. Am not sure about their finances. Some spas pay decent, most pay lousy.
Indeed, in a spa situation, zip-up your lips, pampering, catering, and not a single trace of any discomfort is required. In short, it makes it complacent, predictable, and ... blah.

In a healing business, some "challenge" is to be expected, the client thinks and cooperates. Even if they sleep for the most time, some time is about self responsibility. Ready people also need to see themselves better and thus we ask questions. Also, we talk about what the client can do at home to help themselves. A massage session can change a life.

Then I thought about myself. What is my style? Definitely self employment. I am very good at what I do. I have a GIFT. I am real and creative, and have quite colorful personality. I am beautiful, intelligent, educated, opinionated, independent, straight forward, very competent therapist who can ask clients difficult questions and even have them have fun with it. I definitely ask them to do some stretches at home. There is catering and pampering, and there is also work.

Also, did you notice how people can put only one label on a person? They think: if a woman is beautiful, then she cannot be smart and competent. Sure she can. All of that and more.

One has to be real to see the real in another person.

Engage Life to the Fullest

I asked one of my (young and reckless) clients one "difficult question" about her living situation, which she hates. She did not come to see me for 2 weeks... Her friends told me that she said that I "make her think too hard."

That's what it is all about - honestly looking into oneself. It is a skill that is learned.

As I sat on the Ocean musing about her words, remembering when I was young and foolish and running away from "thinking too hard" and taking action, and what dire consequences I paid for that, ...

It downed on me how much I have changed - I don't run away from Life anymore. I beckon it to come, so that we can interact. Yes, there is some fear, and there is also excitement, knowing that at the end it will all be good. It is all an educational, growing experience.

What a nice New Year resolution: to ENGAGE LIFE TO THE FULLEST.

"Whatever I already am, I want to devote to life. I deliberately want life to make use of the best of what I have and who I am. ..." and so on, as the Phoenicia Pathwork lesson 138 says.

Olympic massage

I just saw a massage video of a therapist who worked for one of the Olympics. I have seen the person work live too. Wow. If that's what olympic athletes get, then.... too bad! I would understand if a "normal" person gets less than stellar massage, a lot of population cannot tell the difference and will be happy with any kind of attention, but a professional athlete should be able to tell. Maybe? A famous massage therapist who worked at the Olympics said that a lot of massages there are not good and that's why he quit. Now I am more inclined to believe him.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The power of words

I am trying to learn Hawai'ian language. It is another "window" into the world, as each language has its own biases and reflects beliefs of people who speak it. Hawai'ian language has some powerful concepts, like ALOHA. That one word has volumes in it, a whole philosophy of life.

A fun way to learn the language is to listen to 940AM Hawai'ian radio station. Most Hawai'ian songs have verses that repeat twice, so: they say it, then you say it! Very convenient. I can sing along and even repeat some words, and then look them up in the dictionary.

So, at first the language is foreign to me, and my logical brain tries to visualize what the words look like on paper. Of course, that makes me flop in saying anything.... plus, my Hawai'ian comes out with proper Serbian accent.

Recognizing that we need to shift gears, I start learning like a child, like I learned other foreign languages that I speak fluently: by just listening and repeating like a melody.

THAT is powerful. All of the sudden these new sounds come out of me and I can feel their vibration in the throat, in the mouth, in the whole body. All of the sudden, this magical window appears where it is OBVIOUS how sound carries power, the intent of the words, the intent of the person speaking the words. Wooooowww....

Then I start learning Hawai'ian too well and words just roll out, and then... the magic is gone. The words are taken for granted and they just roll out too fast.

****But that moment of realizing that the words carry power and how amazing it is.***

That moment is remembered and makes me cautios with any other words I speak - in English, Serbian, ... if I remember, that is :) We mortal humans mostly do not remember. We kinda fall asleep and forget :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Considerations in choosing a massage therapist

In short: there are massage technicians, with less than 500 hrs of training (i.e. graduates of most massage schools); massage therapists, with 500-1000 hrs of training; and holistic practictioners, with more than 1000 hrs of training. Note: training and experience are two different things. Training is necessary. For example, would you want your doctor to be seeing lots of patients before going to med school enough?

The content of this post got to big and is moved to the articles. The blog started with the 200-word editorial for Hawaii Wellness Magazine, distributed as paper copies on all islands, and then got elaborated on :)

I hope you find the massage therapist that is just right for you and receive the care you need. I would be happy to answer any additional questions.

Milica Barjaktarovic L.M.T. #8348

Holistic practitioner on North Shore, O’ahu

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