I began my massage career working for a chiropractor in Ohio. I was hired before I took the required state medical board test that issued licensure. We were permitted to work under the chiropractors license given there were enough hours of schooling completed. The medical board test is given twice a year so waiting for the 6 month test was grueling to say the least.
The chiropractor was a Greek man that had a big body and a booming (and intimidating) personality. 20 years ago I was fortunate enough to have a starting wage of $17.50. This was a dream job that I could grow with. I had a hunger to satisfy the healer within. I threw on my scrubs 4 days a week and drove to the pain clinic. My “job” was to loosen a specific area with massage before the patient got adjusted. The sessions were back to back 30 minute massages that focused on a specific area. I would hear praises from the doctor about how I did a fantastic job and then in the next breath I would be reprimanded for not giving the client what was needed. I felt defeated most days. My days were 7 hours long with no break. I was exhausted and more times than not I would drive home crying or doubting my profession choice.
The weeks leading up to me leaving. Best described as me throwing a lit match on the center as I dramatically walk away in slow motion with my middle finger in full extension.
These are the events that happened a few weeks before I was terminated,
Shelly was the long time girlfriend of the Greek God chiropractor Dr. John. She approached me and explained to me a veteran was coming in for pain relief.
He experienced hip pain due to trauma in his military career. My heart went out to him. I admit I was nervous being “wet behind the ears” and having to deal with the pelvic region in general. I did my best to feel comfortable working areas on his legs and around the hips including lower back. I was not comfortable touching his butt muscles and steered away from them at all cost. I had an uneasy feeling as he squirmed on the massage table. What was going on? Why was I feeling this? The polished grey haired 60ish year old man that came in seemed “normal”. I continued the 30 minute session. As the treatment was coming to an end he straight up out asked me to massage his rectum. Omg! I almost died on the spot. My worst nightmare was coming true as I panicked in between massage movements. Sweat was developing. My anger was kicking up and I felt violated in this so called public office with many employees around. Did I sign up to be treated as somebody who’d stick a finger in dark places? I remember keeping my mouth shut and listening as he told me the VA clinic offered those services to him and he felt great relief. I somehow was able to skirt the issue and the session ended. I was more than relieved when “Little Jack Horner” left the building but not without badmouthing me to the forces that be. I was not putting thumbs or any device in people’s butts.
I talked to Dr. Ego afterwards about my encounter only to be told that people have pain and seek different ways of dealing with it. I thought to myself “Well, you need to deal with this man's need for rectal stimulation because I WILL NOT!” I never spoke up against any of this. I sat and listened as my heads hung low. I kept my feelings bottled as I was still fresh and thought perhaps this is what pain clinics deal with. I was unsure about myself as a therapist and a young 20 something year old. However I was grateful that Dr. Eyebrows took a chance on me. I was working my field and making a difference in peoples lives and making a decent wage.
I call my 9 month employment with the pain clinic my bootcamp for massage therapy. I was thrown in the deep end not knowing how to swim. Staying afloat and steering clear of sharks. I was yelled at to swim faster and harder then praised when I made the swim instructor look like Jesus walking on water. I’m grateful for this experience. It toughened me up a bit but also made me realize what certain folks motives are. Dr. Feel goods motive was volume = money.
I struggled with that. I’m a healer and I’m not in it for the money. This was a clash of the titans for sure.
I was terminated shortly after this experience. The details are long and I won’t bore you with the scenario that ended my massage bootcamp experience. (It was time to graduate and move on.
(Lights match.... dramatic music plays.... throws match..... explosion in the distance.... I’m charred and battered slightly..... but I’m still standing..... still moving...stronger for the experience.... grateful to be alive... not looking back) Burn MF