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Last Call: You Actually Do Have to Go Home. You Can't Stay Here.

March 18, 20203 min read

Hello, my dearest fellow humans. This is quite a situation in which we find ourselves, isn’t it?

I send love and support to each and every one of you. The impact of this virus on the entire planet is something that I don’t think any of us can thus far fathom. I pray that we weather the countless peaks and valleys ahead with kindness and generosity and that we emerge with our souls and humanity intact.

Heartfelt thanks to so many of you for your support of Healwell (always, but) in recent day. While I’m glad that Healwell is part of the solution, as they say, it’s a little embarrassing to be considered a “leader” for simply reading the science and putting humanity before our own business and mission or our own personal, financial or other wellbeing.

Suspending the hands-on, in-hospital, in-home, people-to-people contact aspect of our business was a hard decision.

It was also a clear decision.

Without exception, our leadership and therapist team and the people we serve, expressed that they felt a sigh of relief when we made the call for them. They had all been wondering. They had all wanted to keep supporting us and, certainly, to keep receiving massage and integrating our therapists into their care.  They also knew that it was honestly a dangerous and selfish proposition to do any of those things. We made the decision and it empowered everyone to take a breath. They were relieved to have someone else give them the ok to stop doing something that they knew was not safe.

To be clear, none of them was relieved by the prospect of losing their meaningful work and financial livelihood for an unspecified amount of time. None of them thought, “Excellent! Thank you for adding to the uncertainty and turmoil in my life.” None of them has a more or less complicated life than you or I. They simply know that what’s at stake is the survival of humans on the earth.

They understand that their individual story and needs are the smaller of the potatoes in this big potato salad.

If you're still seeing clients or patients and you're not providing critical care (and I don't know any massage therapist who provides truly critical care), stop it now. Stop pretending that your clients “need” you or that you “can’t let people down like that” by closing your practice. It's time to stop being that guy. Feel the sadness. Feel the loss. Feel the straight up sense of rudderlessness. And then close your doors until it's truly safe and ethical to open them again.

When you stay open, you’re letting down millions more people than you'll ever serve in your practice; people all over the earth. Every day you stay open multiplies the number of days we ALL stay closed; not just massage practices, but restaurants and bars and other people whose livelihoods are just as people-centric and personally meaningful to them as yours is to you.

Shut it down. Be the kind of human your clients think you are.

As for Healwell, we have not yet begun to lead, my friends. Let’s do this... and whatever it may be, let’s do it with our brains and our hearts open.

The sacrifice is global, but so can be the collaboration.

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Cal Cates

Cal is one of Healwell’s founders and its Executive Director. Cal speaks around the world on a variety of topics related to integrative medicine, emotional self-care for practitioners and the mechanics and politics of introducing massage therapy into clinical settings. They have been participating in research, teaching and developing curriculum for massage therapy courses focused on hospital-based practice, oncology massage and end of life care since 2007. Cal is passionate about elevating the profession of massage therapy and also about broader and more seamless integration of massage therapists into mainstream healthcare.

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