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The Power of Touch

February 27, 2019

Years ago, when I first moved to Connecticut for work, I did not know anyone in the area. Over the next few weeks, I started feeling stressed, depressed, my skin was breaking out and my hair was shedding at a high rate. Then one day out of the blue, I got a hug from a student of mine. That hug moved me instantly to tears and I was shocked at my reaction. That night it hit me, I was missing human touch.

I was so focused on work and settling in that I hadn’t even realized that it had been almost two months since I had last had a hug or anything more than a handshake. That was a powerful moment for me and has dictated a huge shift in my life since then. My search over the next few years was to find a place where I truly felt I could harness all that I was learning on my own journey, and for me to be able to help others in that same way. Cortiva Institute, formerly CT Center for Massage Therapy, ended up being that home for me, a place where I could work hard and truly help people.

Look all around you. Typically, all you see is people with their cell phones, tablets, laptops, and smart watches. People prefer to text or call you on the phone, when you are just fifteen feet away. It is not uncommon to see a family text each other while in the same house. We have become so disconnected to each other as a society. Massage businesses are booming right now with people searching for that therapeutic touch. More and more people are searching for something that they are missing in their lives. Exhausted parents need someone to take care of them for a few minutes, frustrated business people need human touch, people recovering from cancer need someone to treat them as a person not a patient, the elderly need touch outside of just care, or an athlete needs help to keep in peak shape. Massage, and human touch in general, helps keep us grounded and comfortable in our own skin.

One of my proudest moments as Campus Director of Cortiva Institute, is seeing students during closing circle express themselves about their journey and how they have changed. A closing circle is where the students, staff and faculty gather in a circle in one of the classrooms as a “final goodbye” and is a special moment to honor the journey that they have taken. True growth happens when you are forced to take a deep look at yourself and find healing in letting go of the past and becoming who you were meant to be.

It isn’t just the physical changes that we see, it is the deep emotional ones that have an impact. During a recent closing circle, I saw once again another group that had become a family. They used the power of touch to help heal not only themselves, but those around them as well. This class had been through so much – family deaths, depression, anxiety, job losses, car accidents and major health challenges all during their time in school. Through guidance and love, they made it through this together as a family. It was a powerful moment to sit back and see the confidence that was missing before, and the strength and power in their hands now. I was humbled looking at this class and know that they are going to change the world with the power of touch.

One of my instructors, Liza Tuck Martinez says that, “While regular therapeutic touch creates a meaningful bond, it also allows space for the client to feel a deeper connection within themselves. Massage Therapists can be the vehicle in creating the initial healing grounds for the client. We must ask ourselves, where the scars of emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuse show up. Guided by instinct, we can locate these problem areas and begin the significant process of rebalancing the body in releasing the years of collected data that has become trapped deep within the Fascia Tissue that may or may not serve a purpose. Touch, connection and exchange of energy all play a part in bringing the body back to its homeostasis environment. Both Client and Therapist play a part interchangeably in reminding the tissue of “Connection,” and inviting the natural peace it craves and desires to be in – Balance, Harmony and most importantly the universal language we all share as energetic beings of light and that is LOVE.”

Since massage entered my life, it has made me a happier, more fulfilled person with the knowledge that I can be the best me that I can be. My wounds have healed. I am more energetic and confident. I feel good. Take the time, give the people around you a hug and see how they change. Take care of yourself with regular massages and see how the quality of your life changes. It is an incredible feeling.

Submitted by Elisabeth Johnson. Elisabeth is a Campus Director of two of the three CT Cortiva Institute campuses (massage therapy.) She can be reached at (203) 221-7325 or at: elisabethj@cortiva.edu. Elisabeth resides in the Stony Creek section of Branford and has a strong love of hiking and spending time at the ocean. Her favorite places to visit include Sedona, AZ and Fenway Park in Boston. She grew up in north central Massachusetts and has a passion for reading, the Red Sox, the Patriots, and the spreading of love and kindness.

One Comment

  1. Kim

    March 1, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    What an informative article. Thank you for understanding the world needs more of human touch and Love.

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