Avery Mika, Massage Therapist
Life Is Precious
One week before I started massage school, my grandfather underwent open heart surgery. The surgery was very high risk, considering his age, health, and the state of his heart.
After the surgery, he suffered many complications. In less than three months, he suffered sepsis; part of his large intestine died; his heart stopped; and several other, slightly more minor events.
This long, drawn-out experience taught me that life is precious; life is short. Your relationships with the people in your life, whether they are hugely significant in your life or play a minor role, are the most valuable resource you can rely on throughout life.
Even before these events, I have seen how serious health issues can impact your life. My grandmother has multiple sclerosis (MS); my mother has had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and severe migraines for years. The Western model of health care can really fail people. It can be difficult for people to get the results that Western medicine promises, or it can be difficult to even get the care you need, based on where you live and what facilities are available.
It can also be difficult to even get a correct diagnosis! I myself was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I don’t feel that this diagnosis is correct, and this diagnosis orients me even more towards a health model that includes alternative medicine, a holistic approach, and a personal touch. I treasure this life, and I want to make the most of it- by helping people enjoy their lives!
Positivity and Compassion
In my experience in both Western and alternative medicine care settings, I’ve noticed that compassion makes a huge difference in a patient’s, and their family’s, outlook. Negativity affects people, well, negatively!
As I have personal experience with chronic pain, depression/anxiety, and other medical conditions, I know that there is hope. We can always look forward to things getting better; to adapting to new situations; and that compassion and caring makes all the difference between these situations being insurmountable, versus being manageable.
I want to offer that compassion and hope to everyone I help through massage.
My Path to Medical Massage
Good health has always been part of my lifestyle. When I was a child, my father began running half-marathons and marathons. He inspired my cousin to then become an ultra-marathoner. I find the athlete’s lifestyle inspiring in so many aspects. It’s a way of relieving stress; keeping your body healthy; setting good goals, and reaching them; and working towards something positive.
The human body is amazing. It can adapt to any environment, internal or external; your body also reflects your internal environment, regarding both physical and emotional stressors. The human body is far tougher than most of us realize, and I get so excited that there is always more to learn about it!
This attitude seamlessly integrates with my massage work now. I want to help educate people about how awesome they are, and about how awesome their bodies are. Through mentorship, education, and the lifelong support of family, I can problem solve and think outside the box to help so many people feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.
My favorite style of bodywork is myofascial release. Fascia has such an intimate connection with both our bodies and emotions; it’s gentle and non-invasive, but allows me to connect with patients on a deep level to effect profound healing.