S-T-R-E-S-S. A six-letter word with the impact of a bag full of rocks strewn across my back. My muscles are often knotted with personal hardships, lack of sleep and exercise, poor eating habits, and a posture that would make even the Thinking Man scrunch his eyes with contempt. That’s why I invest in myself with a massage therapy membership. It’s one of the very few things I do to unwind and rest. It’s a healing mechanism for me, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop going.
Every time I have scheduled an appointment, it’s been with someone different. They’ve all been ladies in various shapes, sizes, and colors. And they’ve all bared various approaches to every ache and pain. One lady might use the elbow method, which covers a larger surface of my back, while another may use nimble fingers to press deep into the tissues of my body. Regardless of the tactic each woman prefers, massage therapy is, without question, an art. I always walk away feeling lighter and looser than before.
With each new therapist, I ask why she chose to get into massage therapy. There’s been an unintentional consensus: to make people feel better and because they’re good at it. Makes sense, right? If you’re passionate about it and you’re good at it, why not pursue it?
At one of my last sessions, I got to thinking about this art of healing, and it made me ponder all of the numerous outlets we use to relieve stress and to sooth away the blues. We write, paint, sculpt, sing, play an instrument, dance, and flex our creativity in so many other forms. We do it for ourselves, but then, it dawned on me how often we share our skills and gifts with the world because we want connection.
It was at this moment that I considered how many poems of others have truly touched me and made me feel better. Thousands of songs have passed through my ears and made me feel known and understood. Paintings have inspired me to dream, and books have ignited my passion to travel. It’s been in others’ artistry, not just my own, that I have found rest and comfort. And if that’s the case, who will I touch with my unique advancement toward literature or music?
Creativity is the literal art of healing. It comes in various shapes, sizes, and colors, and though it may not physically mend us, it remedies the soul. It builds us up and restores confidence, and it showcases our God-given talents. Maybe your painting utensils aren’t remotely similar to your neighbor’s brush set, and maybe you like using a typewriter instead of a computer to complete manuscripts. Everyone’s artistic technique may not be the same, but the goal is: To make people feel something… and because it’s fun.
Featured Image by Markus Spiske