hands in the shape of a heart
hands in the shape of a heart

Gratitude is Contagious

By Massage Today , Editorial Staff
2020-11-18

Gratitude is Contagious

By Massage Today , Editorial Staff
2020-11-18

We asked some massage therapists what comes to their minds when they think of gratitude and how they’re honoring this season. What we learned is that whether through gift-giving, sharing memories or finding ways to de-stress, gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving.

Danielle Eden Hill, LMBT

“The changing of seasons, to me, feels like a time to pause and reflect on the inner landscape. After a summer of outward activity, the return of our vital energy to our roots feels like a sweet blessing. This is the time when I begin to reflect on the people within my community who help nurture my life. By expressing this gratitude, we can continue to spread and deepen these connections. I’m not one for store bought gifts, and instead find meditation within fabricating ways to show my gratitude from my own home, garden and thoughts. Some of my favorites are: knitting a loved one a hat, sewing sachets filled with dried herbs from the garden, making healing balms, and writing letters filled with words and stories that show my love and joy for the person. The smallest gestures can be felt the deepest when they come from the heart. Gratitude is contagious.”

Jeffrey Montoya, EdD, LMT

“Gift giving and gift receiving are both important traditions for me. Author Gary Chapman identified it as a love language in his book The Five Love Languages. As a child, I had a grandmother who very often would give gifts, everything from seasonal-themed chocolate to toys and clothes. When I got a bit older, she was quick to sneak a folded $20 bill into my hand. These little acts of generosity always brought a smile to my face and a feeling of being cared for to my spirit. Many years later, when I was just starting to be a consumer of bodywork, my first Reiki practitioner gave me a small piece of tumbled rose quartz at the end of a session. I carried that stone with me for nearly 10 years until at the end of a session I sensed I should pass it on to one of my own clients. Gift giving and gift receiving can be incredibly symbolic and meaningful. Even small items can carry big significance. In my practice, I keep lots of little things around: stones and crystals, inspirational cards, blessed coins, and red kabbalah string to give out when I am so moved. I believe the best gifts are gifts that come from the heart at just the right moment."

John F. Barnes, PT, LMT

“The holidays tend to generate an enormous amount of stress for many people. Trying to please family members, all the shopping and many additional responsibilities often lead to frustration and fatigue. My myofascial release staff and I spend a lot of time on education to help others get through the holidays, despite what may happen with gratitude and joy. My myofascial release philosophy is helpful in dealing with stress. When you are in a situation with someone that is driving you crazy, or brings up anger or fear within you, the best thing to do is go into another room or go outside. Feel the emotion and tightness in your body. Then exaggerate what you feel, let it out, and soften. Do this several times. It doesn’t take very long and you will notice that the stress will begin to dissipate. Be realistic that people are not going to change much, but this doesn’t mean that they have to control you. What we can change is our internal responses to other people and situations. We are all given a very dysfunctional message in our society that we are here to suffer and many people become very good at this. Instead, change your message that you are here to enjoy your life. Have gratitude for the fact that you are alive, which is a very precious gift. Myofascial release philosophy recommends to ‘accept what is, and then make the best of it!’” 

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