Why I do this!

It's easy to say that we are inspired to pursue a career in Massage Therapy, or any other alternative therapy because we want to make a difference, and in the grand scheme of things we really do want to make a difference. However there is nothing more challenging than trying to make a difference for those around you. Those people we love the most, friends, family, neighbors.
Let me introduce you to a friend of mine who reminds me every day that there are so many people out there that I could be helping, yet she is stronger than I could ever hope to be.

In another life I am a gamer, and the gaming community has introduced me to so many wonderful and fascinating people, but few are as fascinating and as loving as my friend Lauren.
Through Laurens Blog, and writing I have been introduced to an interesting side of the world of health, and that is of those suffering from a Chronic Invisible Illness.
Laurens journey, touches my heart and if it wasn't for the distance, I think I'd hug her and never let her go, she is so inspiring and is such a fighter.
Suffering from multiple autoimmune diseases which at such a young age, is so debilitating, She finds the time to share her life with us, and her struggles. Often writing from the hospital during yet another 2-3 day stay. She has often shared how difficult it can be for the outside world to understand what she is fighting, both physically and emotionally. It's difficult for the world to deal with such young people suffering so much.
This type pain and suffering, is what pushed me to finally decide to go to Massage school. It may not be a PhD from the best medical school in the world, but Massage and its accompanying modalities, certainly do have a place in making peoples lives more comfortable and can offer some relief from the pain.

Auto Immune diseases can be difficult for us to address, as there are many different views on which diseases are contraindicated, and which are indicated for massage.

The overall health benefits of massage can be agreed upon. It helps boost the Immune system, improving the function of certain white blood cells, and reduces production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. For Auto-immune diseases it can also help reduce auto-antibody production, and in turn inflammation and pain.

Deep Tissue massage is contra-indicated for Auto-immune diseases, Hodgkin's disease, and conditions like arteriosclerosis, this does not prevent us from offering relaxation massage and light flushing strokes which can help relieve pain and make the client more comfortable.

The research of Massage therapy and alternative modalities as complimentary therapy seems to be few and far between.
If you are lucky enough to find research on this type of thing, I have discovered that a lot of the results were inconclusive due to a test group too small to produce adequate numbers.
I have been following the Massage Therapy Foundation trying to work out how I can get involved with the organization.
I have difficulty believing that there are not enough people willing to participate in this type of study, but I may be wrong, and I hope that I will be able to find out for myself.

All I want is for people to be able to live happy, healthy lives, and if Massage Therapy can offer that, I'm going to go out of my way to share this with as many people as possible.

If you are an LMT and are looking for a rewarding project, please consider getting involved with the Massage Therapy Foundation.
Visit the Touch Research Institute for additional information on Massage Therapy Research.
Consider volunteering some time to run a Chronic Illness clinic, or to join a Support group for those living with Chronic illness and share with them the benefits of Massage Therapy.
We have a gift to give, and there is nothing more rewarding than giving.