When I was a young girl, my father would tell me, “Every person needs four hugs a day to survive.” He would then lean down, set his palms on his knees, look me in the eye and say, “Now Melody, have you received your four hugs today?”
This memory is vivid in my mind. This statement and the question to follow encouraged my young, curious mind to think. Why do I need hugs? Will I really die if I don’t receive four hugs? Who do I WANT to hug? Who do I NOT want to hug? Who do I want to hug ME? Does everybody know this fact of life? If this is true (and indeed it must be … my dad said it!) why aren’t people hugging more? These questions, and many that followed, along with my life experiences, have shaped the woman I am today.
Heeding my father’s advice, I would seek out four hugs a day throughout my life. I quickly learned that it wasn’t the hug, per se, that I needed in my life, but the connection with another human being. I realized inviting someone in for a hug meant sharing a unique moment in time and space with another person, a moment we created together. I learned that this is what I loved in life—connection. I’m constantly seeking a true, honest connection. When we connect with one another, we create an environment for true healing.
This revelation led to a fascination with the art of touch. It comes naturally for me to connect through touch and my primary and strongest form of communication is through touch. The ability to connect and heal through this art form is what motivated me to learn massage. Learning the science behind it all piqued my curious and inquisitive mind. This desire to blend the art of touch with the science of the body into a perfect union is what continues to drive my work. In each session I seek to learn, to connect and to heal.
Massage for me is a conversation. Recently, with a new member, as in many sessions, there wasn’t a lot of speaking. However, our time together was special and therapeutic. At the end, I thanked this member for the hour.. She looked up at me from the table, expressed deep appreciation and said, “So when you get home from work do you just talk non-stop?” I chuckled. I loved this question and the childlike curiosity that sparked it. From the members perspective we were quiet and didn’t speak at all. From my perspective, we had a deep, intimate and healing conversation.
“Every tissue tells a story” is a phrase I started saying when I was attending massage school and it has proven true. Our bodies speak and they always have something to say. It is important that we take time to listen to our bodies. Have you ever left a conversation too soon? Questions unanswered, thoughts unfinished, emotions unfulfilled. Our bodies crave the same time and attention as an intimate conversation—a moment to breathe, to speak, a moment away from the intensity (and technology) of life, a moment to be truly heard. This is why I cherish the work I do and each physical canvas I touch. Healthy living, progressive medicine and cutting-edge science are leading to stronger, longer, fuller lives. Massage therapy is my avenue to assist my fellow human along their path. It is also my avenue to cultivate my art form. Each session is unique and each body a new canvas for me to paint. I realize I am blessed in life to be able to work, doing what I love. Toscana provides the ideal workplace for an artist like me. Our members are open and genuine, our staff eager and skilled, and our setting precise and tranquil. Together we’ve created a healing, artistic and magical world. Thank you, my Toscana family, for allowing me the opportunity to create within this world! It is an honor.