Navigating Trauma: A Massage Therapist’s Role

Kaleah McClain, LMT FMT NMRT.

When working clients, I always mentally check in to see if I have noticed any signs of past trauma. For some people, they tense when working a certain area like perhaps around the shoulder or elbow. Others will start talking about significant life events as a way to let go of some of that experience. However that manifests, traumatic experiences have happened to us all in some form or another, be that physically,emotionally, spiritually, or mentally. So what role does massage therapy play in aiding recovery?

We often experience pain for some time, and then accept that it is a part of our lives. Many of you have heard me refer to pain as “your normal”. However, there is a big question that needs to be asked. If you took away your pain, how much could you replace it with? If you stopped wasting energy on dealing, coping, and pushing through that pain, what could you do with that energy? What beneficial things do you now have the capacity for?

One study showed that one form of massage, Craniosacral Therapy, used in conjunction with psychotherapy aiding recovery vastly. The initial pain or trauma was eased by massage and the psychotherapist found that emotions and trauma were easier to work through afterwards.

For me, my own experience with trauma has been a long journey. We’ve all heard that healing isn’t pretty, and personally I can attest to that. After experiencing emotional release (for me this looked like sobbing as my therapist was working my scapular region and around my shoulder), it took some time to process the significance of that experience. It was the start of a big shift in mentality, though. I started talking about my trauma, and it became easier. I went to a counselor for a while, and, slowly, I began to build upon my confidence and my identity without my pain.

Now, I see a Life Coach and highly recommend Shereese with Peace for Your Pieces. More importantly, I told her the other day, “I feel like I’m really, really close to letting my true self be the person that people always see and have access to.” For me, massage was the first step and a gateway to so much more potential.

If i can leave you with one thing, it would be to take that first step. If that is through massage, great! We can help you book your next appointment, and if not we have so many great people that we recommend. Just send us a message or text, and we will have some suggestions. So no excuses, go find out…. Who are you without pain?

Complementary Therapies in Medicine. Volume 49, March 2020, 102320.

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