I want to talk about touch.
We exchange touch with people every day – at home, in the workplace, and out in the community, it’s perhaps something that you don’t think about. I want to talk about how meaningful touch can have an impact on someone’s day and you may not even realise.
In 2013 I began work in the health and social care field with elderly people – going from home to home and helping people with personal care, eating, medication and accessing the community.
Helping someone with their personal care is a hugely humbling role. It’s something that most of us take for granted that we can complete on our own and without the aid of someone else. I suppose most of us would think that if we ever needed help with washing our bits and bobs, it would be by someone that we knew well, but this is rarely the case, and it is also often the case that we don’t know our masseuse.
Often, people needing help with their personal care may feel vulnerable, and the way in which they receive their care is paramount to their wellbeing, just as I have been taught by my Thai Massage teacher at Body Wisdom to gently enquire into how people would like to receive a massage, and understanding that this can change at any time, and to keep checking in.
In 2014 I started working with aspergic young people in care, and the topic of touch came up again. It became evident that there was a need for more meaningful touch in response to a multitude of different childhood experiences, or in some cases a lack of meaningful touch i.e. having a hug from mum when you are sad.
With the go ahead from the young people, we started to book regular massages for them, and increased the amount of touch in the home like hand massages, washing their hair for them, and head massages. The positive feedback from the young people really reinforced how touch can support positive relationships and adolescent development.
It is in human nature to come into a routine in any job or role, a routine that makes our tasks easier and more efficient. When working with any kind of touch, I have found that it is wise to understand that what is easy and efficient for me, may be taking away from the experience of someone else.
Understanding that every day is different for everyone who needs personal assistance, and likewise for someone receiving regular Thai Massage, is so important. Even if I ask similar questions every time, I try my best to ensure that I have not just found an efficient way for me to work, but that the client stays in control of how they are receiving touch.
If you would like to book in for a massage with me, then please head to the book online page on my website, or give me a call on 07487784884.