In my massage practice I am blessed with clients new and returning, all of whom are physically unique, have varying comfort zones, and other personal hangups about their massage experience.
I honor each and every one of these needs — whether they are returning clients or not — because for the period of time that I have them on my table, our lives have intersected and I have the ability to share something precious and healing with them. This requires respecting the the trust they have instilled in me.
A cornerstone of massage therapy is meeting the unique and often universal concerns that clients carry into a massage space. Even with so many varying things to consider, noticeable patterns have arisen.
Here are the most common themes that I see in my own practice that every massage client needs to know:
1. For chronic pain sufferers, change will not come overnight.
This is not to say that you will not experience temporary relief after an hour or more spent on a table, but for long lasting changes that will really rock your world, massage must become a part of your wellness routine. There's just no way around it.
You cannot get on a table or chair with muscular dysfunction that has been present for a long period of time, or that stems from a serious injury and expect speedy healing. Invest patience into your body and you will definitely reap the long lasting rewards and benefits of massage.
2. Your weight, body hair, toe nails or rough feet are not under scrutiny.
Your massage therapist focuses solely on your muscles, connective tissue and posture. You are perfect just as you are when you are in a massage room. A good massage therapist will meet your needs in a session to the best of their ability with respect, compassion and professional caring. You are safe in their care.
3. Your massage therapist is there to help you.
They will answer any questions or concerns that you have, so don't be afraid to speak up or ask. Communication is key from the beginning of the session to the very end. If you don't tell us what hurts or what you feel needs a bit more work, we won't know. Feedback of any kind is one of the most valuable things that you can give to us.
Massage therapists also all tend to have different styles and varying degrees of skill, so find one that suits your needs so they'll be able to help you where you want to be on your healing journey. If one massage therapist doesn't quite work for you, visit another. Your experiences will likely vary from one therapist to the next.
4. Your privacy and boundaries should be respected at all times.
Touch is a pretty powerful thing and in order for us to do what we do, you must clearly define your personal boundaries. If you aren't comfortable and secure enough to relax, it follows that you will not have a successful session. Do you have areas that you would rather not be touched? Once you tell us, that is respected 100%.
5. If you regularly commit to massage, it will change your life.
You will see both obvious and subtle changes that accumulate over the course of your massage regimen. Massage is healing to the mind, body and spirit. It eases chronic stress which will, in turn, begin to impact any chronic pain symptoms that you may be experiencing.
Over time, this will lead to stronger immunity, fewer headaches and a stronger sense of well-being, helping to ease depression, lower blood pressure and even raise self-esteem. Massage works by helping you foster a deeper, lasting connection to your body in a very positive way. There are endless possibilities for the ways in which massage can help heal your life.
I am grateful for the chance that I have as a massage professional to help people every day as a healer. I am also grateful for the influence that receiving massage has had on my life personally. It's a beautiful thing when healing occurs between a massage therapist and their client — the positive energy generated from a massage session benefits both client and therapist. Massage is a powerful healing modality that can transform your whole life, for the rest of your life.