Routine and Ritual

several lit candles and incense on a windowsill

I’ve got a process I follow before every massage.

  • Go to the door of the massage room.
  • I stand there, close my eyes, take a deep breath in and out.
  • I knock, edge the door open just a sliver and say, “You all set?”
  • I enter, laying a hand on the clients lower leg as a I grab the bolster
  • Then I slide an arm under the linens at the knees, lift a bit, and slide the bolster in
  • I put my hand on their shoulder as I roll my stool towards the head of the table
  • “Are you cozy here?”
  • Then I sit, slide my hands under the client’s head. And breathe.

Some of this is routine, functional and practical, honed over 19 years of providing massage therapy. But the pauses to breathe at the door and at the client’s head? They are ritual. And they are sacred.

Those moments are the silent re-statement, over and over again, of my purpose. Service to the client. Honoring the time they have set aside for their care.

Show up
Meet the client where they are
Hold space

The outcome, ideally, is a client who feels relaxed, renewed and cared for.

The same rituals apply when I log into the (aptly named) Deep Breath Community.

I do my best to take a moment before I click on notifications or begin an Office Hour. It’s a restatement of my purpose, respect for the time my colleagues are investing in their professional growth.

Show up
Meet the colleague where they are
Create a cozy space for growth

The outcome of these rituals is a little different online. We laugh, we encourage, we teach each other from the breadth of our experience and knowledge. Less chime-y music than a massage room, more snacks and pets popping up in the background.

Our community is a place where no question is silly and context is cherished. We are practitioners of many ilks and even more experiences. Together we can answer almost any question a community member could ask. Often with humor, always with kindness.

If you need a little community and fun in your massage world, maybe check us out here. 

And if you want to tell me about your pre-massage rituals, drop me a note and share! I love hearing what you do to make your practice yours. 


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