Connecting Through Massage

I grew up in a place in between the towns. Our address was in Ruffs Dale, a town that delivered rural mail but that we never went to. The closest town a few miles away was Madison, and it was large enough for a stop light but no gas station. Now that I live 500 miles way in Knoxville, Tennessee I tell people I’m from Pittsburgh, or maybe New Stanton if they’re familiar enough with the area. I grew up in a place that wasn’t any place in particular. I had no neighbors to speak of, no sidewalks, or local businesses to pop in to; just winding country roads and wide expanses between country homes.

While I am an introvert by nature, I craved the connectedness that comes from having neighbors. So when I found a house to rent in Old North Knoxville, I felt like I hit the jackpot. I love simple things like running into people at the store or while out on a walk in the neighborhood. It has taken me a while to develop the habits of walking to a coffee shop or biking to the grocery store, but my efforts are always rewarded with a smile and conversation from a friendly face. These brief yet meaningful interactions throughout each day are one of the many things that made me want to put deep roots down in Knoxville.

Of all the things I love about being a massage therapist, making connections with people is the most rewarding. Massage is not simply a “fixing” of the body, but an opportunity to bring awareness to the connection between the body and the self. I do my best work when I can get a sense for who a person is and what their whole self-needs, not just the physical aches and pains that ail them.

I am honored to work in Old North Knoxville, the same neighborhood that I live in. Not only do I get to help people connect to their bodies through massage, but those people are neighbors and friends. After 6 years of living in the community off-and-on, I have settled into a place to give back and plant roots.