8/7/19

Speech on Massage

Graduation Speech June 2019

Greetings, thanks and congratulations to Healing Mountain’s graduating class.  I’m grateful to speak with you tonight, and honored that my classmates support me in being here.

We are here because of compassion, first and foremost. Compassion is synonymous with empathy, or the sympathetic pity for the sufferings of others.  To be compassionate is to understand the nature of pain, both physically and spiritually, and to want to lend your sympathy to help alleviate suffering.  The massage therapists in this room know compassion intimately. Not a single graduating student here signed up for this school because they thought that it was the pathway to great acclaim and riches.  We signed up, signed on and trudged through this program in order to lend our hand in making people feel better. We believe in massage as a tool for life improvement and we want other people to benefit from our healing touch.  The real purpose of giving massage is to foster more depth of feeling for one another in order to bring out the love that often lies buried beneath the pain of everyday suffering. Massage is not just manipulating tissue. It’s connecting with human beings.

  If you’ve entered Healing Mountain, you have felt the energy in the building: the energy is that of healing compassion.  Further, if you’ve had a massage by one of the graduates here, you’ve experienced something beyond the pushing around of muscles.  You’ve been touched by compassion. We touch people because we want them to feel better.


I do not come from a family of touchers.  We don’t hug. No touching. In fact, my greater family was fairly horrified that I would be willing to touch strangers and they made it clear that I would NOT be practicing on them.  So when I rerouted my academic teaching career to a physical one it came as a real shock. When you think about it, touch is really the first sense. Before sound, before sight, it is the first language and the last.  As we travel through life we are literally desensitized to touch and it is maligned. Beyond handshaking, Americans are not that much of a touchy group. We underestimate the power of touch. In this program I’ve learned that just the smallest resting of a hand on an arm or a well timed hug has the potential to lift us and connect us one to another.  As I have gone through this journey I am amazed to find that I have become a hugger. Because of this program I have started to hug my parents and siblings, and, more importantly, focused a lot more on touching my own children thereby breaking the cycle of touch terror. I thought I came to this program to learn how to alleviate other people’s pregnancy pain, but as I went through it I realized that by learning to touch others I was taking steps in my own healing journey as I learned to touch and be touched.
One of the most interesting parts of massage school was getting to know the “Why” behind our massage.  Madison, for example, went through some serious health challenges during which massage was a beacon of relief.  Amanda wanted to learn how to utilize energy to provide a healing balm as she herself healed from some life trauma.  Avery wanted to find peace with her own body and be a guide to others doing the same. All of the graduates in this room have some version of this story: we came to massage school because we want to pay forward the bodywork and energy work that has healed us in our own lives.  We want to both heal and be healed ourselves through helping others.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a noble pursuit.  
I think the reason Healing Mountain has such great energy and churns out such talented massage therapists is because we are here to help others. It is no surprise that it’s called Healing Mountain, for this was indeed a mountain of a journey.  
I’ve been blessed to travel with the most amusing and inspiring group of individuals and the memories I take with me from this adventure will be the source of many a secret smile for years to come.  I have Amanda and her deeply connected energy work. I have Olivia’s bottle shaking sketchy sketch. I have memories of being alarmed by what turned out to be Kayla’s cop car. I have Janelle bravely not keeling over after a particularly intense massage.  I have Perla’s gorgeous fresh shaved head. I have Marcie’s sweet heart. I have Melissa’s ears and tail. I have a thousand gifts from Victoria. I have Avery’s firm touch and gentle soul. I have chocolates from Brian’s generosity. I have Lindsay’s stories of her sisters.  I have Annalee raising the bar with studying. I keep Rhea, Alison and David in my heart. I have Sam’s musical chairs living adventures. I have Sonya’s daredevil approach to school work. I have Abi’s unexpected inappropriate one liners. I have Cody’s panicked preparations for an herbal wrap. I have Tianna’s magical changing hair. I have Morgan’s sneaky snapchatting.  We have created bonds that will last beyond Healing Mountain.
Together we have climbed and summited Healing Mountain, and our climb is inspiring.  We have pursued and obtained education, conquered challenges, and learned our craft guided by some of the most inspiring educators I’ve ever encountered.  I think what makes these instructors so special is that they believe deeply in the healing energy exchange that takes place during massage. We’ve been blessed to be on this journey with them.

We have lived in the positive energy of Healing Mountain, and we are now the ambassadors bringing the amazing energy we learned in reiki and chakra balancing paired with extensively well trained hands into the outside world.  Our education at Healing Mountain has re-sensitized us and with our hands, bodies and minds we are to go forth and touch lives with the positive energy that has been entrusted to us by those who came before us. I’ll leave you with a quote from Mother Teresa, a woman who touched thousands of lives in myriad ways, “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed nor slow to do the humble work.”  We are blessed to have the tools to help heal. Now, off you go to go touch some strangers.   

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