Saturday, November 6, 2010

Check that off the Bucket List

For a couple of years, Peter and I have wanted to be taught some basic massage techniques so we can give each other massages where both of us actually know what we are doing. Peter is built like a Viking (think a full size version of Glimli from Lord of the Rings). The muscles in his back are hard as bone, and its so broad that I have a very hard time massaging him. And for him, his hands are so strong and my body so bony and muscles so small in comparison that he has a hard time being gentle enough to not hurt me.

We had thought about finding a massage therapist to teach us some basic techniques but we hadn't been able to arrange anything. Then through his university, we enrolled in the Extension program's course for couple massage, but that too didn't work out.

But then today, I had the opportunity to not only take a full day class with my husband learning together the elements and techniques of massage, I was introduced to the campus of Bastyr University. The campus is beautiful, their cafeteria fully vegetarian with vegan and gluten free options. I learned about their bookstore as a resource for buying used midwifery textbooks and other supplies which I'll make use of in my midwifery program. Now the trick will be to visit again with two little ones in tow...

They offer continuing education and community education courses one of which is an 8 hour, bring a partner and learn massage course called Massage Made Easy.

A neighbor cared for our children today while we went.

Now I know some ways to isolate those knotted muscles on my husband's back and massage each part of the body with basic massage techniques.

I learned the value of a massage table which we don't have and can't afford to buy but I do know that my mother at one point purchased a portable massage table. I hope she still has it and once she moves to be near to us, I hope we'll be able to borrow and use it. Maybe not every day, but when sleeping children, exhaustion levels and midnight work cooperate.

A highlight of the class today was when an elderly man said, "Why don't marriage therapists recommend classes like this to married couples to strengthen their marriage?"

I do believe I have heard marriage educators and therapists recommend massage to couples, but I'll echo the man's recommendation. I do know from my experience that giving massages to your spouse is a good way to come together and show physical love and care separate from sex, while providing relaxation and connection that perhaps, and often will lead to intercourse. I'm reminded of the post which taught me that daily routines and rituals of caring for one's family can be devotionals and moments of quiet reflection where prayers or thoughts of love and concern can be imbued into daily activities. I can see how massaging one's partner can have the same power.

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