Date of last update: 28-Oct-2007
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Background on my decision to become a student massage therapist
I studied at
The Whole You School of Massage and Bodywork situated in Rutherford County, near Ashville, NC.
I started my training in February 2006 and I completed it in June 2007 (the course takes 18 months to complete).
I traveled every 3rd or 4th weekend to The Whole You to learn more about massage therapy, anatomy, spiritual matters, and more.
I chose the school because the format and schedule. It is going to have theoretical and practical classes every 3rd or 4th weekend, starting on Friday evening and ending on Sunday evening. There are some schools nearer to home, but they offer classes only during the day or evenings during the work week and I knew that I would not be able to do my full work at my place of work in the Research Triangle Park in NC and then take long evening sessions.
But because I am very interested in this healing approach, I decided to attend The Whole You, which has a very holistic approach to bodywork, including spiritual and psychological work, and many different approaches to touch therapy. Also, this school follows a very comprehensive and strict Code of Ethics which is based on the corresponding one from the North Carolina and National associations of massage therapists, in order to fight against the bad reputation that some people engage under the concept of "massage" (sex for money).
My wife Dodde has given me a tremendous support, and I am very thankful to her, because she takes care of the kids and pets during my visits to the class, but her reward is large (well, I think so), because I am practicing my new acquired massage techniques with her!
I wish to share some of my thoughts about my new "thing":
As a 20 year "thrivor" (thriving is more than just surviving) since my first encounter with cancer, I have been exposed to many healing and wellbeing approaches, and touching and massage is one of my favorites. I am very excited about it and I have passion for it. Having passion for something is one of the greatest motivators for being alive and for thriving in life!
Now that I am in the follow-up phase of the clinical trial for the vaccines against malignant melanoma that started in the summer of 2005, I feel the need to keep doing something actively. Massage therapy is really good for me and it has the added benefit that after 18 months of this therapy, I will have a license and another skill that I could use! The skin is the largest organ of the body and most of all the hormones and growth factors that are produced in other glands can be produced in minor quantities by the skin, after proper stimulation.
I want to help and serve people who need relaxing and therapeutic touch, and who are recovering from cancer, depression, lymphedema, or similar conditions. I want to volunteer to hospitals, hospices, etc. and if I have a license, then it will be easier for me to participate.
Over the years, I have learned a lot about healing, cancer, lymphedema, depression, etc. and these fields interest me quite a lot. Becoming a massage therapist is kind of a natural evolution for me. Also, I consider myself to be a "perpetual student" and I like to keep learning. I want to be able to take continuing education courses and it will be easier if I have a license.
I think that I have a good talent for touching people in a respectful and compassionate way, and I want to share that talent to facilitate the self-healing of other people.
Please know that I do not intend to quit my job; however, I am looking for more balance in my life.
In my engineering work, I deal with computers all day long, but frankly, I miss the interaction with being next to people. By working in technical matters during the weekdays, and by performing massages some evenings and some weekends, I could fulfill my need to be close to people.
I grew up in an environment in which respectful touch was an accepted way to communicate with family, relatives and friends. In fact, here in the USA I frankly miss the custom in middle class in Mexico, where I was born and grew up, of greeting people with a handshake most of the time, of greeting people of some the opposite gender with a kiss in the cheek (and in Spain is with 2 kisses!), or hugs to friends and relatives of the same gender. I have noticed that the "personal space bubble" in the USA extends more than in Mexico or Spain.
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