Healing Hands: Meet EveryStep Massage Therapist Emily Bauler

Emily Bauler For the last 20 years, the second week of July has been designated as “Everybody Deserves a Massage Week” by the organization called Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP). The theme for July 18-24, 2021, is “Massage is for EveryBODY.” Emily Bauler has been a licensed massage therapist for 10 years and has worked with EveryStep as a hospice massage therapist since 2019. 

Emily says she didn’t know anything about EveryStep before she received a call out of the blue, asking if she was interested in using her skills to help EveryStep hospice patients. “I am beyond thankful that I was found, because EveryStep has been an amazing blessing in my life,” says Emily. “I started learning about palliative, hospice and oncology massage in college when it was in its infancy as an approved modality, and I knew then that that is where I needed to be.” 

The connection between massage and wellness has been well documented and Emily says she has seen it first-hand. “I had a patient once who was given a very limited time to live. We started massage right away, and combined with the exemplary care they received, they lived months past the expected time. Coincidence? I think not,” says Emily. 

Massage helps the anxious person to relax and encourages the brain to create and release dopamine and serotonin – happy hormones – which leads to a reduction in depressive moods and an increase in restful sleep. 

Emily feels a special connection with the EveryStep Hospice patients she has seen. “Massage is so much more than just ‘pushing flesh around.’ It’s delicate and fluid, and comes from a deep place of love, compassion, sympathy and empathy,” says Emily. “Caring for those who are most vulnerable, being able to fill a void or need, is something I hold deep within my soul. It is the acknowledgement of sparkling eyes from someone who is non-verbal reaching into their heart to say, ‘thank you’. It is knowing that I am on my right journey. I can feel it in my heart. I have never worked a day since I have been at EveryStep, because hospice is where I am called to serve.” 

EveryStep provides validation to Emily beyond the unique relationships she has made with hospice patients. “I get the privilege to say that I work with an amazing cohort of people, from diverse backgrounds and educations, all with the same passion,” says Emily. “EveryStep has given me an amazing gift. Respect. For so many years, I was looked as ‘just a’ massage therapist. I was not taken seriously as a medical practitioner even though my specialties and knowledge set me apart from other therapists. I have been given an absolute gift by being able to work at Every Step.”

Emily works primarily with EveryStep while she attends school full-time to become a nurse. “I believe deeply in massage as medicine, and I am back in school for my RN degree so I can bring massage back to hospitals.” Where does massage therapy belong? “Everywhere,” says Emily. “But especially with the most vulnerable.” 

To learn about the comprehensive care EveryStep Hospice offers, visit www.everystep.org/services/hospice. To join EveryStep’s amazing team, visit www.everystep.org/careers