Virginia Copelan Ross


Grieving is a part of life. When people think of grief, many associate it with death (bereavement), but grief can come with any life changing event: divorce, loss of a job, disability, financial loss, loss of a pet, moving, etc. I know what you’re thinking, “Awesome second blog post Erin – way to pump up the peeps!” I know, I know. However, the point of this blog is to share and offer useful information – perhaps in ways people hadn’t thought of before. My sister-in-law passed away on April 25, 2016 from Pancreatic Cancer. She was 74. She discovered the cancer had returned on April 1 and passed just 24 days later. So the concept of grief is fresh for me and those around me.

Since I have been a massage therapist, I have encountered more than one person who has experienced death or a loss in their life. In these cases, more often than not, I have offered or suggested a massage for the bereaving. Often people respond to me with a blank stare. But Google it… “massage for grief” and see what comes up. It’s real.

The cycle of grief has no timetable and it’s very individual. It manifests in emotional and physical pain. Massage Therapy is a tool to keep in your wellness toolbox in good times and in bad. Massage increases circulation and reduces tension, it removes stress inducing hormones and increases happy hormones. What may not be as apparent is the emotional release a bereaved person can experience as a result of receiving massage. Many times the bereaved are caring for others, children, a parent, a spouse, etc. and they suppress their feelings in order to continue functioning for others. A massage gives them time away, in a situation they can control, to focus on themselves in a caring way. Frequently when coupled with the compassionate touch of a trained massage therapist, they may have an opportunity to acknowledge their own feelings. Crying on the table is OK. Please let your therapist know you are grieving prior to the massage so they are aware you may have an emotional release. Yes, people have cried on my table. I have Kleenex.

Hugs to all,