Metta Massage Therapy
500 Route One, Suite 10, Yarmouth, ME 04096
Bruce A. Hopkins, LMT
"My oncologist told me I was in for a year of hell. He was right.
But no matter how rotten I felt, I was never more than
six days from my next weekly massage."
Cancer patient and massage client
Recently I've been asked......Q: Why do you specialized in massage for cancer patients? A: Willie Sutton, the notorious bank robber of the 1930's, was asked "Why do you rob banks?" He replied "Because that's where the money is." I choose to work with cancer patients because that's where I can make the most difference.
Every day my clients teach me more about the "collateral
damage" of cancer treatments: "I'm bone-weary. I can't leave the
couch. I'm stressed. I'm fuzzybrained. I can't remember. I can't
relax. I can't sleep. I'm nauseous. I'm constipated. I can't
eat. I'm anxious. I'm scared. I'm worried. I'm obsessed with my
cancer. I'm sad. I'm depressed. I feel helpless. I hurt. I
ache. I burn. I tingle. I itch and prickle. I'm numb. I'm
balding. I'm disfigured. I am scarred. I feel pulled and
twisted. I'm puffy. I'm swollen. I feel estranged. I am isolated.
I'm out of touch with my body. I feel that my body has betrayed me. I
don't look forward to anything. I have no control over my life. I feel like
I'm trapped in a giant medical machine."
A: Most massages end with "Thank you - take your time" and a click of the door. To me this translates as, "Ready or not, now you need to take responsibility for staying awake and for getting yourself off the table." This is a major disconnect after the client and I have spent 75 minutes working toward a state of profound relaxation.
Instead, at the end of the massage I softly say "Namaste"* and sit down beside the table to hold the space the client and I have created until (s)he finds the way back from wherever (s)he may be. If the client drifts off I open my water bottle or shuffle my feet a bit. When (s)he returns we may exchange a few words, sometimes more than a few, and when I am dismissed I leave. This is a more holistic and satisfying closing for us both.*Namaste is both the act and the word of acknowledgement used by Hindus conveying, "The part of God that lives in me acknowledges and honors the part of God that lives in you." Click here to learn more about Namaste.
Q: What do you think about while you are working?
A: I can't draw, sing, act or write poetry. But I have discovered a creative impulse I can't name. It is as if I have touch equivalents for concepts such as meter and melody; color and texture; foreground and backgrond; motif and reprise. For me massage is akin to composing a 75 minute symphony which is performed once for an audience of one.
Massage is meditation. Of the 75 minutes I may spend 70
totally focused on the moment. Time stands still on both sides of the table.
When finished, I sit silently, filled with gratitude for the moment, for the work I am
privileged to do and for the oneness of life.
The Perfect Holiday Gift
Massage is the perfect holiday gift for friends, loved ones, or even yourself - anyone whose life is stressed by cancer. One size fits all. Guaranteed to be the right color. Call 207-831-8067 to order your gift certificates. (If the recipient has not used a certificate after six months, you will be notified and have the choice of reminding the recipient or using the certificate yourself.)
Cancer Massage Is Affordable
Massage can make a profound difference in quality of life for someone dealing with cancer - no one should be deprived of the benefits. To that end, my suggested regular rate is $60 for 75 minutes on the table; $45 for cancer patients, their caregivers, and family members and $35 for patients currently in treatment. Please pay less if this strains your budget. Thank you for paying more if you are moved to support this work. I only ask that you pay in proportion to the benefits you receive and to your resources.
Along with massage therapys continued popularity for relaxation and stress relief, this years survey findings show higher numbers of consumers turning to massage therapy for pain relief than weve ever seen before, said Mary Beth Braun, president of AMTA. We continue to see that physicians and pain management experts find massage to be effective in relieving pain. And, consumers are continuing to see the health benefits of including massage therapy in their regular health regimen. Clinical research shows that massage is an effective therapy in reducing pain following a variety of medical treatments, from open-heart surgery, to cancer. It has also proven to be more effective than other complementary therapies in reducing chronic back pain. This years survey only reinforces the confidence people have in massage.
"May you be at
peace. May your heart remain open.