Robert Chute

Find The Sacred In Your Work

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Susan walked. After four years of being my client, she rose from her wheelchair, largely due to my work. I had earnestly prayed for this miracle. “Please, God, use me to help her walk again.”

She did much more than that. She now lives independently, drives, travels the world, and does many things she couldn’t do when she was strapped in an electric wheelchair and trapped in the body of a near-quadriplegic. I was in a Christian church then; how this miracle had transpired was no mystery. God did it, and I was his fumbling instrument.

Forward In Your Journey

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You’re thinking about 2009. It’s rich with possibility because this is the year you’ll fire up your practice, get things organized, and become the massage therapist you were meant to be. It’s a fresh start … except chances are it isn’t a fresh start and you won’t make those dreams come true without a plan and some effort. The resolutions you make for 2009 are probably the same ones you made for 2008, 2007, and so on. So how do you change your track record?

Poisoned Wells

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Once upon a time a young sorcerer set out to find his fortune. No one knew him and each village turned him away. One night he slept fitfully in a dark wood. At dawn he awoke to the presence of an old man wearing the ancient sorcerer’s robes. “I will give you work so you can exercise your magic and grow strong. I know a village where your talents are needed. When I retire, take my place.”

Aiding And Abetting

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The woman introducing herself to me would never be blessed with laugh lines. She demanded, “What can you do for me?”
“I don’t know what the problem is yet.”

Impatient for me be omnipotent, she talked angrily about her -low-back pain. People in pain can be irritable, so I held on to my compassion. As I offered treatment options, she interrupted, “I don’t have time for massage therapy.”

How about remedial exercise then? I suggested a simple, 20-minute relaxation stretch. “I don’t have 20 minutes a day. I don’t have time to exercise at all,” she shouted. “I need drugs!”

The Rigged Game

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I once welcomed a new client to my office who was an aspiring therapist. She began the intake interview ranting about how three male massage therapists had failed her; I happen to be male, so I was on notice. Her male therapists had been abysmal, she said. This is minute one of our therapeutic relationship, and I was in the uncomfortable position of trying to treat her and redeem my entire gender.

The Path of Least Resistance

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Fresh out of the massage school box I was ready to convert everyone to the glory of massage therapy. It wasn’t so much a strategy as it was trying to do everything at once. I reasoned that the sure antidote to an empty practice is activity. When they won’t come in through your doors, you have to go get them.

The Shaken Therapist

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When I finished her massage, she was ecstatic. She had never received a professional massage, so the relaxation she achieved was something of a revelation to her. Then, four days later, I got the phone call. She was in a lot of pain. “What did you do?” she asked. “I felt fantastic for the first three days and now this!”

“You felt great for three days and the upper back pain has popped up just today?”

Do You Need A Massage?

Yes, Of Course

The short answer is, yes, of course—you need a massage. Who doesn’t? You deal with deadlines, long lines, short tempers, and your dog’s distemper. We’re all at the receiving end of things we would rather not deal with. Massage can be the valve that eases the pressure.

Massage therapy is useful for many conditions, in addition to relaxation and stress relief. See your doctor for a diagnosis first, and then consult your massage therapist.