I’ve massaged a lot of people throughout my career and treated a lot of different bodies and personalities, but some questions come up a lot, so I thought I would put together a short list so you can more understand what we’re really thinking, what we do care about, and what we don’t. So make yourself a cup of tea and get into the mind of your massage therapist….
1. We don’t care if you’ve shaved or not.
This first one is for the ladies. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone apologise profusely for not having shaved their legs. Seriously, most of the times neither have we. Who cares, life gets busy, and there are far more important matters to attend to. It in no way affects your treatment or bothers us one jot, so relax leave the razor where it is and just enjoy your treatment.
2. Bubbling bellies and passing gas is normal.
In fact, in terms of massage those are positive signs that your body is relaxing and your parasympathetic nervous system is starting to shine. It’s your body’s way of saying that you are entering the rest and digest state, exactly what we’re aiming for. I have a big dog at home so, trust me I am immune to the smells of farts, or trouser coughs, as I like to call them. So relax, make like a hippy and let it all go man!
3. We aren’t judging your body.
We see folks of all different shapes and sizes. We don’t care if you’ve put on some weight or if you have some cellulite or any other thing that bothers you. We see muscles, fascia and tissues. We see a puzzle to be solved a body to be helped. Our differences are what make us all so unique. Vive la difference! Love and celebrate your body, it really is an amazing piece of engineering and is truly a thing of beauty.
4. A long term problem is not going to be fixed in one session.
This should be obvious, but somehow isn’t. Sigh.
5. Do your stretches or recommended exercises.
This follows on from number 4. We are not miracle workers, there is no quick fix. You are responsible for your own health; we are here to work with you, to be your partners on your journey to a healthy body, but honestly, the buck stops with you. I’ve heard so many people say that massage does nothing for them, they tried it a couple of times but it made no difference. One hour on the table simply cannot make up for all the other hours spent at a desk, or undertaking the activity which caused the pain in the first place. It breaks my heart a little each time.
6. Speak Up.
Remember, it’s not meant to be a torturous experience. Everyone is different when it comes to pressure preference in their treatment, but it shouldn’t hurt so much that you’re gritting your teeth. There may be some parts of the treatment, when we’re releasing a trigger point for example that will be painful, but that should ease off and you should feel some relief. Please don’t lie there in silence, gritting your teeth and just hoping it’s all going to be over soon. Just let your therapist know, we can’t read your mind and we get upset when we realised that we hurt you. After all, we got into this game because we like to make people feel better, not worse.
7. No pain does not always mean no gain.
On the other side of the coin, for those that believe that the whole treatment should be painful and constantly deep. You know who you are! I’m sorry to say that just ain’t the case. You cannot force the body to relax; we need to work with the body not try to beat it into submission.
And please spare a thought for your therapist, you will not be the only body on the table that day and we need to look after our own bodies too, hammering away for 6 to 8 hours a day will mean that our bodies will burn out very quickly and that our careers would be very short lived. Trust us; we know what we’re doing.
8. Please don’t call us a Masseuse.
It has connotations of the massage parlour about it, and makes us shudder, eugh! We have years of study, education and experience behind us and we’ll love you forever for calling us by our preferred title of Massage Therapist.
9. What we really care about is…
You, the client. Remember, you’re the reason that we do this job in the first place.