I had the fabulous opportunity to speak to Pamela Schein Murphy, founder and president of The R.E.S.T. Initiative. The mission of The R.E.S.T Initiative is not only to ease the chemotherapy experience through the application of complementary massage and bodywork, but more importantly, to add a positive and nurturing component to a process. Bliss Spas offer the R.E.S.T. Intenions Massage and Bliss will donate 20% of profits to the R.E.S.T. Initiative.
Miss Bliss: I see that relief, energy, synergy, touch are the four mantras that The R.E.S.T. Initiative is built on. What do these words mean to you?
Pamela: Each word is about bringing relief to patients going through chemotherapy. All four words have a positive, healing feeling to them. A feeling that The R.E.S.T. Initiative tries to bring to every patient we interact with.
Miss Bliss: What gave you the idea to start The R.E.S.T. Initiative?
Pamela: I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and chemotherapy was by far the worst part of the whole experience. Not only does it make you feel unbelievably awful, the actual treatment is fraught with a tremendous amount of anxiety. On top of that, the treatments can be unbelievably long and there are so many people poking you, prodding you, and asking questions. I wanted to create something that would bring a healing touch to the process – to inject some wellness into something so focused on illness. And so, And so, The R.E.S.T. Initiative was born.
Miss Bliss: Well, I’m glad that you found some inspiration through that experience. The R.E.S.T. Initiative is a great cause! How can someone undergoing chemotherapy treatment access The R.E.S.T. Initiative for complementary massage?
Pamela: We’re currently offering complementary massages to patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the NYU Clinical Cancer Center. Our massage therapists are on site from 9:30am-6pm, five days a week. We’re hoping to expand to other cities in the coming years.
Miss Bliss: Awesome! So how can people get involved with The R.E.S.T. Initiative?
Pamela: Donations are always welcome. It costs as little as $15 to provide a complementary massage to a chemotherapy patient. Every donation helps, whether it’s big or small. Also, massage therapists who are interested in volunteering their time are encouraged to reach out to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miss Bliss: Wow, just $15 can bring a complementary massage to a cancer patient?! I think I have $15 worth of change in between my couch cushions right now! What advice would you give to people who are currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments?
Pamela: I think it’s all about attitude. Staying positive is half the battle. I recommend focusing on the fact that the treatments are for a limited amount of time and will be behind you eventually. Try to remain positive and active and don’t let the treatments take over your life. Do what feels good to you-eat what feels right, sleep when you feel like it, stay active. Don’t put your life on hold for it.
Miss Bliss: That’s great advice. So now that your chemotherapy days are in the past, what brings you bliss?
Miss Bliss: I couldn’t agree more!
Want to learn more about The R.E.S.T. Initiative?
To find out more about The R.E.S.T. Initiative, click here
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