Artur Tadevosian gently guided his fingers across the strained neck of a client in a warmly lit office in the Armenian capital Yerevan. He knew exactly where to unwind a knot with pressure-point precision.
“A lot of people have problems in this area,” he said, gently pushing down on tight muscles with his fingers. “It’s because everyone is sitting in front of a computer these days.”
Tadevosian’s sense of touch is perhaps stronger and more sensitive than most massage therapists -- because he’s blind. Now, a non-profit group in Armenia called Seeing Hands is now helping to train and employ blind Armenians in massage therapy. In doing so, representatives of the group hope Armenia can emulate China and South Korea, where tens of thousands of blind citizens have become massage therapists and have turned their lives around.
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Liana Aghajanian is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles.