Charity work in Sarajevo
Wednesday 16th October 2013
I went to Sarajevo for 2 weeks in September as a volunteer therapist for the charity Healing Hands Network. I worked in the charity's Sarajevo clinic as well as outreach centres in the suburbs of the city. I provided massage therapy to patients of the centres who are all directly or indirectly victims of the Bosnian War. Most of them have PTSD or other mental and physical scars, and massage therapy has been very effective in their healing process.
Many of the people I treated had lost loved ones, or have relatives who have been victims or they themselves had been through many brutalities. I saw for the first time what sniper wounds and shrapnel scars looked like on the body tissue and also treated an amputee. It was an incredible experience as usually when I provide a treatment, I put myself in the client's position and can usually relate to muscular tension, neck stiffness, lower back ache etc. whether from exercise or overuse or posture. However this was a different scenario where I could only try and imagine what it must feel like and I found myself almost frustrated that I could not feel their pain!
I felt quite overwhelmed by the response to massage therapy from the patients. It is received as a true healing benefit and a medical therapy. The positive effects of massage were quite evident here, from the smiles, appreciation to the progress each one has made since attending the clinic and receiving regular treatments.
My experience in Sarajevo was truly amazing. It is a beautiful city with wonderful people and it has enhanced my belief in the healing benefits of massage therapy.
Thank you Sarajevo! x