A therapist said to me the other day that they will treat anyone. They don’t care who you are or what you believe, they don’t care about your sexuality, what team you barrack for or whether you prefer a long black over a flat white – these things aren’t important to them. Which is wonderful – this therapist was trying to tell me that he has no reason to discriminate against is clients. Bravo! There are plenty of people out there whose personal feelings and agendas get in the way of who and how they serve.
Except for me, I do care who you are and all that comes with you. Have you ever been asked the question, who are you? I might have replied, “I’m David and I’m a massage therapist.” The conversation would then go, “That’s lovely, but that’s what you do and not who you are.” Well I might then reply, “I’m a husband and a father.” Again, that’s what I am, and not who I am.
These conversations make me a bit cranky. Have you ever seen “The Producers” by Mel Brookes? It is about an accountant wo longs to break free of the daily drudge and goes on to produce a hit show on Broadway.
Who you are is what sets your heart on fire, drives you – it is your essence, what you believe in so passionately – and these things matter to me.
I want to know if you are happy within yourself, are you up against the glass ceiling, do you feel empowered or belittled. Are there expectations of you? Did somebody hurt you? Are you happy with how you identify? This matters to me.
I want you to know that this, my studio and place of work, is a safe space. Your gender identity is important to me especially if it is important to you.
What do you for work? Do you work for a large or small enterprise, do you work for yourself, do you look after children, are you retired? Is your work bringing you joy or does it bring you stress? Do you enjoy what you do, but not who you work with, or do your colleagues click with you and complete you? Do you work by yourself and feel lonely and isolated? Your work might give me clues to your pain patterns too. If you are being bullied or oppressed, I may be able to help to calm your nerves.
How is your nutrition? Have you changed anything? Have you decided to go more plant based, or paleo or follow a plan? This might give me some clues as to why your skin is looking healthier, why you might be feeling tired and lethargic. If you are vegan – this is important to me. I respect your choices and will ensure that any products that I use are entirely plant based. I respect your decisions to nourish yourself and to have strong principles.
I care about whether you have children or not. Whether you have chosen to have children, or chosen not to have children or if you have no choice.
I care about your sexuality – who you choose for love and for fun. I care that you take pride in who you were born to be.
I care that if you are newlywed and your family is at you about the first grandchild – and you’re just not ready for those types of decisions.
I care if you are renting, building, own your own home or are trying to pay your home off. I love to share in the excitement of your decisions, and I care when these decisions are the cause of stress and anxiousness.
I care about what you have been through in life – whether you think that the circumstances are less than what others have experienced and if you’ve been dealt a tough hand.
I care about these things.
The more you share with me the better I can serve you.
Why do I care? Because you matter to me.
David Clayton is the Principal Therapist at Myomasters Massage located in the inner north and north east of Adelaide. He has a passion for supporting humans to live the lives they were to born to live using massage and soft tissue therapies. He has a particular interest in assisting people to recover from stress, anxiety and trauma using compassionate and nurturing touch.