As a teenager and young adult, Debbie always felt sad—very near tears—or else emotionally frightened and frozen. She could watch as others had a good time and wonder, “What is wrong with me? Why am I not feeling that?”

Eventually, her estrangement from happiness became unbearable. She had to find out why life was passing her by and why she didn’t feel capable of arresting it—or anyone else—long enough to make getting up in the morning worthwhile to spend yet another passive, robotic day.

What she had mastered at this point was survival, a far cry from living joyfully and abundantly.

But just the thought of going back to where her sadness started made her feel anxious. She was trying to move on, not return to the mire she’d extricated herself from.

While studying to become a massage therapist, Debbie began to learn how to relax and trust others again. As she did, she began to share her story. And she began to cry—safely—with a trained CST guide as her only witness and champion. During these sessions she discovered support and understanding. Over time, Debbie began to heal—to feel that life was worthwhile and that smiling and relaxing were okay. In fact, they were darned great!

Later, she noticed how much faster clients seemed to respond to CST than they did to massage. Perhaps because CST requires far less poking and prodding than regular massage, clients who had been traumatized by life experiences felt safe sooner: they began to anticipate comfort and relaxation. Years of traumatic memories which had been trapped inside their bodies likes a fly caught in amber, causing them to clamp down, clam up, and “soldier on”, began to surface and find expression in this safe, nonjudgmental space. And slowly but surely, they began to give way. Patients began to realize that it’s safe to relax and rest, safe to observe their pasts and embrace their reactions to them, safe to say goodbye to whatever has kept them from enjoying life for so long.