From 2008 i ran a series of massage courses for WORK FOR LOVE, an NPO committed to upliftment initiatives in education and health care in Masiphumelele and Ocean View. These townships are known for their unemployment, high crime rate and violence. Alcohol and drug abuse are rife and there is a high incidence of HIV, TB and AIDS.
Over 50 dynamic participants, community leaders and caring individuals, have been trained through this programme participating in massage training , community outreach and wellness days. Through learning the healing art of massage, trainees have been able to supplement their incomes through providing massage at markets, corporate and special events, guest houses, or privately within their communities. There are times when massage has literally put food on the table, whilst making available a valuable, accessible and affordable service within the community. People have been empowered to take more responsibility for their own health and the health of their families, reducing the need for pain and prescribed medication. Being able to give physical and emotional support to others in need has also provided social connection and a renewed sense of purpose.
Below are listed some of the health problems trainees said that they dealt with in their communities:
• Stiff necks
• Sore lower backs
• Tired feet
• Hyper active or restless children
• Stress and recurring stress based problems
• Fighting in the family
• Aching muscles
• Debilitating problems: illness, strokes or accidents are also treated. Regular massage has helped to recover mobility
and a level of independence
Introducing massage to communities where violent touch is often the norm, can contribute to a culture of gentleness and compassion.
Patience: The massage training has helped me in the sense that I don’t have to drink pills any more.
Mandisa: The massage has changed my life because I was very sick. It has helped me with my health. No more headaches and stress.
I also do out reach in the community and work on different people when they are complaining of back and shoulder pain. I am famous!
Betty: My husband has a neck problem and I can help him each time. For myself, when my back is aching, I show him the techniques
and he is helping me.
Nicolette: After this massage the family is quiet at home. The stress is less and there is less fighting.
Victoria: I have been able to help my mother recover from her stroke. The massage has helped me with my own health and I earn