Self-care Bodywork Education

Hello Readers, I know it’s been a while but everything has been so busy lately. I had my first martial arts test in 2 years. My anxiety was super high, but looking forward to a more calm performance in December. It takes practice. Breathing, I have to practice breathing. Do you know that breathe work can take practice?

While I’m behind the times of ‘turning my career’ virtual, and well, I’m about 2 years behind everyone else for my life getting back to somewhat normal. I’ve seen a few massage therapists offer consulting services online during the shutdown and pandemic, but not many. I’ve heard of more leaving the field than anything. To be honest, being self-employed was the only way I’ve been able to keep practicing. I have control of sanitation, masks, and scheduling my appointments with enough time to properly do things. None of that was possible at previous massage jobs. I plan to continue my massage practice. I continue learning Sacred Stone Medicine next January (so thankful to pick up that again after almost 3 years!!!) I miss my tribe. Ashiatsu is on hold, but on my list.

One of my personal struggles has been finding a way to incorporate all my education and experience into a way I can help people. Massage therapy was just the beginning of my education. My 15 years of experience have included getting certified in oncology massage, hot stone massage, pregnancy massage, the above Stone Medicine massage, cupping massage, and working with chiropractors on chronic pain and injury using massage therapy. Can you tell I like to learn? Or that I’m autistic? 🙂 Unfortunately, it’s also come with the American society stereotype that massage is a luxury, only for the wealthy, or a special treat. Massage is a therapy, it’s in the name of massage therapy and can be used for prevention or recovery, as well as helping sleep, stress, and anxiety.

Then came my autistic journey on which path I found myself with an MSc in Psychology this year. Most of which focused on using martial arts, mindfulness, and other holistic therapies for neurodivergence. Yes, there is research showing regular massage therapy can reduce stress and tension helping mental health. Google is your friend 🙂

I could theoretically get a job as a research assistant or teach bachelor and associate-level classes in a number of subjects. Massage, Anatomy, and Psychology mainly. I love teaching and sharing my knowledge. However being in a classroom, or with a large number of people, even online, is draining to me. I get exhausted very quickly, and the longer the event, the longer the recovery. I love my martial arts, and community. It’s been my life since I was 4. I would rather save my “large amount of people energy” for that area of my life. I work with all age groups and learn from really amazing people.

After my car accident years ago, self-care massage/stretching and using hot/cold therapies became a focus because much like others, I couldn’t afford continued care. I’ve always done bodywork on my kids, but about 3/4 years old, I couldn’t massage my son’s back. I always thought it was something he would grow out of. And then I learned more about sensory processing and touch sensitivity. I also met another neurodivergent adult with touch sensitivity. My son can use tools to work on himself. I began to suspect the oldest has EDS. I know I won’t be around forever to help her recover from sprains, strains, or injuries. During the pandemic, I started teaching them cupping so they could work on me. (I’m certified to practice cupping, not teach it, I only taught them for the purpose of working on me.) Family doing bodywork on each other is normal in other cultures. Americans and their stereotypes.

I’ve always felt one of the major disconnects between the medical community and the general public, is that basic anatomy is skimmed over in the education system. The average person doesn’t understand how their own mind (psychology) or body (medical) works to explain clearly to a medical professional in the 15/20mins of an appointment. Getting them to listen is another obstacle for another day. Bodily awareness (which is something my oldest and I constantly work on) is not taught at all. How can we explain what is wrong if we don’t understand ourselves?

The plan – dun du dun – virtual one-on-one self-care bodywork education. My little online store will have self-care bodywork tools, including aromatherapy and CBD that are already on there. I’ll have consultations for couple’s massage therapy and parent/child massage therapy available. The main education sessions will be focused on learning muscular anatomy, stretching, and basic massage self-care using tools mainly found at Walmart (easily accessible). Finding what types of stretching or modifying stretching we can do to help you individually. Both learning and respecting boundaries and limitations are a priority. I’ll have different tool kits available, and different levels of education sessions depending on how much you want to learn.

As I explained to my first two clients (my teens), the goal is to give you knowledge and awareness of your own body, and tools to help ease tension and pain or to aid in recovery. Our muscular system holds pain and trauma from past injuries, repetitive injuries, and more with people who have chronic health problems. Most of us just live with the pain until it becomes permanent or serious.

The goal is to have things up and running the first week in December, Stone Path Studio. Still lots of details and paperwork to get ready. I’m excited about the next path on my journey.

Do you have any new projects coming together? Do you have any tips for doing virtual appointments? Let me know in the comments

Wishing you a little less pain and stress today,

Becca Dove

The Holistic Autistic


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