I was talking to some friends recently about massage and its benefits. Apart from the physical benefits of which they are many and are hugely supportive for well-being. I found myself emphasising more about the responsibility of the therapist. Getting a massage can be a big deal! For me, when I am in the role of client I am acutely aware of my body and my (past and present) relationship with my body. This can sometimes be an emotional process as I acknowledge what hurts (physically and emotionally) and begin to let go. Although this is not the same reality for everyone I decided to treat all my clients the way I wish to be treated.
I believe a therapist must work on themselves to a level where their intuition is strong, where they can hold someone tenderly who is healing. Massage has a huge capacity to create transformation once the client wants to do this, a client who wishes to let go, really let go needs a therapist who holds the same vision. For this healing to take place they need a therapist who can support that person strongly as they go into the bits that hurt and as they breathe deeply new life into those areas of stuckness.
I do feel that the power of massage can be sometimes overlooked, seen only as a tool for relaxation and nothing more. Relaxation is incredibly healing don’t get me wrong, and big positive shifts can take place through a relaxed body and mind. But often to get to that place of true relaxation we have to shift some old ‘stuff’ and this is a good thing! Lying on the massage couch with a tense body and busy mind can be just what we need to see what we need to let go of.
I always set an intention before receiving a massage, sometimes I will verbalise this to my therapist and sometimes I will internally do this. As a Buddhist Master, Lama Yeshe once said ‘everything exists on the tip of a wish’. A wish is an intention. So taking a moment to think ‘how would I like to feel during and after this massage’ or ‘I wish to let go of ……. easily and gracefully’ is a great way to begin your treatment. If you are comfortable saying this to your therapist then great! They can then get on board with your vision and massage that positive intention into you!
I love being a massage therapist. To know that I may have made even a small positive difference to anyone I work with really makes me so very happy. I also love being a client, not just because I love bodywork but lying on the couch reminds me of how important it is to be the best therapist for my clients.
I wish you all a happy healing that supports you in your life x