Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2022

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70 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k m ay/ j u n e 2 0 2 2 Author's note: I am not, nor am I ever likely to be, deeply knowledgeable about massage therapy in the context of trauma-informed care (TIC). Many experts willingly share their knowledge on this important topic (several of whom I interviewed for this project), and massage therapists who want to learn more about how TIC can enrich their practice have ample opportunities to do so. My purpose here is not to be comprehensive, but to provide some initial thoughts. I will offer some basic concepts, and I will make some interesting and important connections between trauma and other situations. I will show how massage therapists are well-positioned to be excellent providers of TIC, and I will point interested readers to many other resources and providers where they can pursue this topic at a much deeper level. I undertake this with deep humility, with appreciation for others who have carved pathways in this difficult terrain, and with special reverence for the clients who put themselves, literally, in our hands. WHY THIS, WHY NOW? I am writing this column in early spring of 2022. We are entering the third year of the pandemic, which impacts all aspects of life, sometimes to devastating effect. And the virus continues to mutate even as we struggle to find some way to emerge from this chaos. In addition to COVID-19 itself, in the last two years our country has faced social polarization, with protests and counterprotests about COVID-related restrictions, gun violence, racism, the results of the last presidential election, voting rights, education, and more. To all this we can add the global effects of climate change, rising sea levels, worldwide natural disasters, and heartbreaking international conflicts that carry the threat of initiating a worldwide war. All these challenges continue to directly and indirectly take their toll on our well-being. In short, ACK! We are all dealing with trauma! (Aren't we?) The word trauma gets thrown around a lot, sometimes in ways that may diminish its importance. But it's not a stretch to say that for the last two years many of us have been under increased strain, with challenges to our emotional, mental, and physical health. Sometimes those Trauma-Informed Care Walking the Path of Client-Centered Connection and Collaboration By Ruth Werner essential skills | PATHOLOGY PERSPECTIVES

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