I was introduced to massage and body work in my early 20’s. It always felt like a splurge that I would enjoy in the moment but would end with guilt. Thoughts of selfishness flooded my mind, “I could be spending this money on my family…I could be doing more with my time…I don’t do enough to deserve a massage.” My messages for self-care were confusing due to my upbringing. At times, my mother worked two jobs to make ends meet so “massage” was not in her vocabulary. Her free time was spent caring for her daughters. Sacrifice was the message I received. My sister had a different view and would force us to make time to enjoy life even if meant working two jobs herself.
In my mid 20’s, body work became sacred as it was a decision to care for myself by receiving the healthiest form of physical touch after the termination of a five year relationship. Self-care was no longer a commodity but a pillar in my healing and self-love journey.
Now, without question or guilt, massage and other body work are a part of my life. Thus, making Michelle from Lumina Massage a valued friend and member of my self-care team.
Today, she shares her message and offering that she created exclusively for our audience:
In the era of my mother’s child rearing years, self-care for women existed only in escaping to the beauty salon. Even then, the very act could have been in part forced by the societal pressure to look presentable at all times.
“Wear a nice dress, always have a full face of makeup, nails done, back straight, don’t complain and always have a hot meal waiting for your man at the end of the day.” Even when all you want to do is crawl your exhausted body into bed at the end of your work day and stay there.
This is the message women received in the Boomer generation (1946 – 1964) and these are the women we were raised by. Most worked diligently in silence; self-care wasn’t an option.
Today, the fresh voice of young women cry out. It shouts louder than injustice, sexual harassment in the workplace, the shame of divorce and single motherhood. Women are no longer encouraged to mistrust. Rivalry among each other is no longer a matter of survival.
So then, exists a gap of the modern woman and the one of yesteryear. A defining question mark between the two generations.
As daughters grow, fall in love and create a home of their own, they may look to their mother for guidance. Yet, in the area of self-care, it is the younger that take the older by the hand and may say, “mom, let’s care for our bodies.” It’s a foreign terrain for the elders but their tired bones ache for it. At times, there are new ideas that can only be experienced together.
Thus, the massage experience for mother and daughter has been created. Much like the primitive communion of cooking together and bonding, receiving a massage in the same space and time frame can say, “mother, I’m here too, lets give rest to your body that has been long overdue.” Massage therapists can facilitate and celebrate the importance of the mother in all her roles in life. For me, it is a sacred moment to witness a daughter bringing her mother in for a massage.
Many of the older women lived a life of pure sacrifice. Perhaps they would sneak away moments of hidden solace, placing their swollen limbs and tired bodies in a bath. But massage for this generation is a strange and wondrous thing. How beautiful it is that the young care for the old this way. Perhaps, when the mind and muscles relax and self-love is felt, it can open a doorway to deeper conversations of healing. Words that could only flow easily when bodies feel refreshed and cared for.
This is the beginning of bridging the generational gap of self-care for women.
Michelle has created a special code for Therapy Outside the Box followers to enjoy a healing massage with their mothers. Massage recommended is Preventive care/relaxation. Please book two separate time slots. Use Code XIO20 at checkout to receive 20% off service when booking for mother and daughter or mother and son massages ONLY.
* This code will not be honored for couple massages *
We support you and your loved ones on your path to wholeness,