I can't tell you how much I appreciated you, your
assistants and the content of the class that you shared with us. I was able
to put the work immediately into practice this week once I returned home. My
client had nodes removed from the right upper quadrant - 12 years ago with
lymphedema setting in 7 years later into her right arm. I did the massage in
which the way you taught us and followed up the next day. She could not
believe how much more energy she had and had a very restful night sleep. I
have incorporated you work into my regular massage and the comments have
been so positive.
— Roxanne, California
This has been an eye-opening, wonderful experience
for me!!! The chiropractor I work with is amazing and encouraging. He came
to me today after I had a massage appt with a patient he was afterward and
asked what I did differently from previous? I told him my approach was more
gentle and encouraging to the central nervous system. He replied that his
adjustment had gone better this time than any other : )
— Laura, Washington
I've been practicing our client-centered communication and just laugh at how ineffective my old "Is this pressure ok?" style seems! After I got home from the class I had a new client with a rare disease (Castleman's) that forms benign tumors throughout the body. I felt so at ease working with him, whereas just the word "tumor" would have caused hesitation and a pulling back just a week ago.
— Ilyse Streim, Boulder, Colorado
I'd like to briefly share with you how you influenced a "practice" massage I gave the other day. My receiver began to cry within the first 15 minutes of the massage, lifting her head out of the face cradle and relaying that there was so much tenderness and compassion in my touch and that she wasn't used to that. This happened because you gave permission to let go of an agenda, to be present with love.
— Andrea McCollough, Corvallis, Oregon
I love this work. I just do. This work with oncology has taught me so much about listening and holding space, about what it means to reserve judgment and what it means to be fully present, not just in the room during a session but holding that same sacred place of grace in my daily life, even and especially in moments of imperfection. I am constantly in awe of the connections between the body and the human spirit. I find the same grace in walking into my office to do this work that I find walking into Quaker meeting or into the synagogue to chant prayers in Hebrew or taking in liturgical music and ritual resonance of call and response or watching my children sleep. It moves me deeply to be witness to the active journey of individuals in coming to terms with the disease, with the treatment, with the movements of living again and again.
— Beth Terhune, Westborough, Massachusetts
You have inspired me to be a better person and to grow my heart. I have never been so sad, happy and invigorated at the same time and it still is buzzing in my veins, and I hope it stays that way for a loooong time.
— Karen Harding, Peterborough, England
Mary (Peifer), I want to thank you for the awesome class. I went in Tuesday knowing that I had the skills I needed. The nurses were visibly relieved that I wasn't going to burden them and appreciative that I was asking the right questions. I literally hit the floor running. I created my own intake form from the two that you had in class and the one in the text. I reviewed the treatment plan with the nurse, just like we did with you and this gave the nurses a lot of confidence in what was going on. It was such a success that at the end of the shift there was an open slot on the form turn-table in the unit station for my intake form so patients could sign up ahead of time. Today is day 2 and I feel blessed! I can't even imagine stepping into that environment without the training I received from you.
— Aline LaForge, Fruita, Colorado
This class was more than I expected. My personal goal was to absorb the operational aspects of the massage program at OHSU. As I learned the processes, I gained validation and confidence in the program I worked to create in my home town. My personal goal was achieved after the first two days.
Then we started working on patients and my world turned upside down. I experienced far greater challenges as a therapist than I ever imagined. As I forced myself to move into the world of a student and to be a listener, I was reminded how much gentle, loving, intentional touch can change the receiver. It can take someone to places of happiness and to times that made them smile at life. It can take them to places where there is little to no pain and suffering in their bodies. It can take them to their nirvana. I had lost that in myself and I found it again at this class.
— Cheryl Smith, Cincinnati, Ohio
It is so lovely to be part of a worldwide group of therapists with the same intention of providing practical and beneficial therapy with the highest standards of care and excellence.
I was really surprised that after the first day I wasn't at all tired. Learning to slow down, release doubts and distractions, and how to do follow-up phone calls gives me the confidence to do something I always wanted to do, but didn't know how. I hadn't realised how much stress this caused me and affected my practice. Already I feel more relaxed and can completely concentrate on the client's needs. Now I am looking forward to offering versatile and gentle massage to support people when they may need it most.
Thank you for all the incredible hard work you put in to give us this opportunity. I hope you also enjoyed your time with us…the fun and friendship, the laughs, the dreams and visions, the support, the moments of sadness, courage and strength.
Friendships have been made this weekend and connections formed, and it will be nice to see how it continues and develops.
— Liz Kelly, Dublin, Ireland
I just wanted to let you know that shortly after the course in Edinburgh finished I started a regular home visit to an old friend who was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer.
I had given her massage previously before, during and after her breast cancer/mastectomy so there was already some sense of ease and understanding of each other.
As the weeks passed, Jan requested massage more and more frequently so by her last two weeks I was seeing her every morning before the Marie Curie and other nurses came to attend to her drip and other meds.
She was a fiery and outspoken character and often caused upset with her family around her. The massage would pacify her. It helped her breathing and allowed her to move a little easier (she was carrying a lot of tumour and fluid in a '9 months pregnant size' belly) and helped her to feel, "whole", "connected", like she "was flying" and finally "like some kind of paradise". (I'm sure the opiates helped too ;)
The family felt I was a good part of the 'team' and that the massage helped Jan keep mobile to the very end (against all advice, determined to get up and use the toilet hours before she died).
Jan kindly recommended me in her speech read out at the funeral entitled "Things to do for a good life" #3: Have a Massage with Valeska!
I wouldn't have been as useful, calm or comfortable if it hadn't been for you and your wonderful course. Learning to 'be' there and using lovely gently stroking touch and (stem flow) holding was beautiful and mutually rewarding. With love and gratitude,
— Valeska Andrews, Edinburgh