While some people get totally sideways with the term ‘Ouija Board’, please allow me to explain why this term describes my experience with massage therapy at its best.
Historically, ‘Ouija’ (WEE-jə) Board was known as a ‘spirit board’ or ‘talking board’ where a small heart-shaped piece of wood, called a planchette, was used to understand the messages spirit was spelling out on a communication board. As a massage therapist, the ‘talking spirit board’ has been the person I am working on, especially when making contact with their back and the bottoms of their feet. My hands are the planchette, guiding me to where Spirit directs.
From the beginning of my career as a massage therapist I have started every session with the same prayer: “Oh Great Spirit, let me be an instrument of peace and healing to others.”
My prayer has always come true. There have been countless times when my hands would move with the energetic guidance of a planchette, gently communicating to me where to go. Many times my client would observe aloud: “How do you know exactly where to go?” The truest answer is “Divine Guidance!”
The last 26 years being a massage therapist has proven to be one of the most amazing ways for me to discover my spiritual gifts of intuition, empathy, healing, discernments and leadership. It’s actually hard for me to imagine what it would be like to not have the experience using the human body as a way for understanding Spirit’s guidance. (For more of the story of how I got started in massage refer to one of my earlier posts ~ : )
One of the most memorable sessions of my career was when I had just learned a new bodywork technique known as Polarity Cranial-Sacral Therapy. The goal of a session is to hold the occipital ridge of a client’s head in a very ‘still’ way, enabling the client to release tension from their neck, back and body, as well as many emotional trauma that might be stored anywhere in their mind or body. A new client came to me complaining of headaches, so I decided to hold her skull very gently and settle into what is known as ‘still point’ ~ I felt the subtle vibrations of the cranial fluids flowing from her cranium as it flowed up and down her spine.
In the quietness of the session I began to get flashes of a traumatic experience from her past that she had unconsciously stored in her body. Sitting in absolute stillness . . . tears began to flow down my face. Without understanding how or why the information was being revealed to me, through me, the ‘talking spirit board’ laying on my table was crying out for help and understanding, even though all the tears were flowing from my eyes, not hers.
At the end of the session no explanation or apology was offered . . . or needed. The only words the precious young girl uttered when she came out of the massage room were: “Wow, that is the best cry I have ever had. I feel like I have released a life time of pain.”
Though I didn’t fully understand the empathic experience I had just had, I knew my prayer had once again been answered and that I had served as an instrument of peace and healing for another. (As a side note: I acknowledge that this particular session was widely unusual ~ one I consider a true gift in my spiritual development.)
As a professional massage therapist I have learned so many lessons. Three are them include:
Each time you give ~ you get.
Without fail, each time I have given a massage therapy session I feel as if I have gotten as much as I have given. I remember a time when I was exhausted and didn’t think I could do a massage I had scheduled one evening. Intending to cancel on a client, I call to reschedule with her. She recognized my voice and before I could explain why I was calling she said: “Oh I am so happy you called to confirm our massage appointment. If it wasn’t for the fact that I knew I was getting a massage from you tonight I’m not sure I could make it another day . . . my life has been so chaotic. Anticipating your healing touch and positive attitude has been the only thing that has helped me make it through the last few weeks!”
Needless to say I didn’t reschedule the appointment. I looked up to the heavens and prayed, “Give me strength. Guide me through this.” While I don’t actually remember the client’s name, I do remember the flow of Divine energy that pulsed through me ~ It felt as if I was not actually doing the massage, rather being filled with healing energy myself. I left the session completely humbled and revived as if I had slept for hours.
To this day I believe that if you are given the assignment, you will be given the resources, including the energy, to carry out the mission.
There is no one way! One of the most rewarding things about a massage career is the variety. Cookie-cutter massage routines have never been the way, for me, to relate to my clients. Just as every body is unique, every therapy session seemed to have its own mystery.
A few years into my career someone asked me how I could possibly enjoy being locked in a little room for hours each day just rubbing bodies. It took me a minute to respond because I didn’t recognize his description of my day. After a deep breath of awareness I replied: “I experience my days as being in constant communication with Spirit. I love tapping into my higher intelligence and allowing the human tissue to talk to me about the stories buried alive! It’s like being a ‘spiritual detective’!” Needless to say my answer resulted is more questions from the questioner, and the realization that how we choose to see our days is truly a choice.
You never truly retire from being a massage therapist ~ You just touch from a higher level. While I am not currently in active practice as a massage therapist, my hands continue to have planchette-like qualities, guiding me to where my touch is needed, whether on my husband or grandchildren’s bodies, or allowing myself to be drawn to pray for someone who touches my heart-field.
I could go on and on as to the benefits of a career as a touch therapist. The word ‘Ouija’ is actually an ancient Egyptian word meaning ‘Good Fortune’. It has truly been my good fortune to have served as an instrument of Spirit through touch.
If someone is searching for a significant way to touch others, I invite them to consider the French and German etymology of the word ‘Ouija’, which means ‘Yes!’
***If you or someone you know is searching for something to say YES to, please take this opportunity to request a scholarship in an upcoming Swedish massage class. Just email me at email@example.com and let me know if you/they are ready explore the phenomenon of touch therapy.
KC Miller is the Founder of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, an award-winning private college for Holistic Wellness careers, including Massage Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Yoga and Holistic Nutrition. The college is known for its many choices ~ Rarely do two students graduate with identical transcripts because students, especially those in the massage programs, are encourage to follow their intuition and choose technique courses to which they are intuitively drawn.