Grieving and Massage Therapy
A loved one's death can trigger an increased stress response, resulting in a tense, sore body and high levels of physical, mental, and emotional stress. The Grief Massage℠ philosophy + approach is devoted to creating extremely gentle massage experiences and providing warmth, comfort, and care for grieving people. Touch can provide a sense of being supported.
How Grief Massage Helps
Imagine warm soft lighting and candles. Being enveloped in sheets and blankets, cocooned in comforting materials and textures. Envision a refuge for your physical senses. How soothing could warm hands and gentle massage techniques be?
What if there was a safe and sacred space to simply collapse and rest? A place where being broken-hearted was okay and where no one would try to "fix" your grief? How helpful would it be to find such a haven during early grief?
We know that grieving can hurt on a body-level.
For example, it can be difficult to sleep, hard to get up in the morning, nearly impossible to face the stresses of daily life, and there is rarely energy left for taking good physical care of ourselves.
Physical support through grief is needed.
The Institute for Grief Massage Inc.℠ focuses on the physical need for touch and relaxation in early grief. We want you to experience safe, gentle supportive care. That is how Grief Massage helps - by creating a soft place to land. By offering human contact and support, without judgment or expectation.
The Grief Massage Philosophy + Approach
My vision of Grief Massage is rooted in training our hands and our hearts to show up without the need to fix anything.
I believe that grieving is sacred.
It is not my calling to try to erase or repair the grief of any person. Rather, I feel called to create a warm and sacred space - a nest - for grieving people to find rest and restorative care.
Grieving can wear down the physical body - grieving is hard work!
My calling is to anoint grieving bodies with an honoring and soothing massage therapy session. I believe in creating healing spaces of gentle touch, safety and respect.
Grief Massage sessions can provide a physical sense of being supported and companioned.
A Grief Massage session can be something to "look forward to" in the early weeks and months after a loved one dies.
This approach is rooted in honoring loss, surrounding a grieving client with support and comfort, and resisting the impulse to “fix”.
A Perspective Birthed from Experience
The sudden deaths of my brother in 2005, and my mother in 2009, were deep wounds.
Living with grief and being truly heartbroken coincided with my initiation into the healing art of massage therapy.
I created the Grief Massage philosophy + approach (and a signature sequence called Safe and Gentle Grief Massage℠) as part of my own healing process. I created The Institute for Grief Massage Inc℠ to share this approach with other massage therapists.
Many of the massage therapists who take my classes have also personally experienced deep grief, or have witnessed loss in the lives of those close to them.
Working with grief and massage therapy often feels like a calling. It’s a way to honor grief and loss - a part of life that our culture often denies or minimizes.
As humans, we will all eventually encounter loss of some kind.
Honoring our losses, carrying our loved ones forward, and creating safe space for grieving in our culture is possible.
I honor all those who feel called to offer massage therapy with an intention of offering comfort for grief. My hope is that we can create a kinder, gentler world for grieving people through massage therapy.