Most of the time, clients seek out massage therapy as a treatment to reduce pain, improve mobility, or illness recovery. However, our most transformative clients receive so much more than that from their massage therapy sessions.
To say the least, getting massage for the first time can be a very unique experience for many people. For most people dressing down and climbing under the sheets would feel strange with even their closest family, let alone with a stranger. Some hesitation is a perfectly fine response to be having, its quite normal actually. The good thing is that a good massage therapist knows this feeling well, and has conquered it. Feel free to ask them all the questions you need to feel comfortable. I am confident you can also conquer any anxiety you have by jumping under the sheet for that first massage. That alone would change your life. Trust, confidence, security, and self appreciation, these are important human qualities it takes just to receive massage therapy for the first time.
Early in our careers great therapists are captivated by a fascination of the human body. As massage therapists, we get the unique opportunity to bring that curiosity to clients in a helpful way, with a reflection that all bodies are amazing. It is such a blessing to have one, even if yours isn't perfect. From what we see, everyone has imperfections, so we will keep working them out as they show up. We are focused on results that improve the quality of your life, and as we are learning massage offers many opportunities to develop our humanity.
Coaching and confidentiality are critical services that we offer to our clients. Which means that you can share honestly about goals and challenges that may be contributing to the progress of your massage therapy goals. We won't go digging to analyze your psychology, this is not our scope of practice, but we will remind you of the moto "better out than in". So if you have stuff causing you stress during your sessions, bring it up. We will process it together. Critical thinking and massage therapy are a powerful pair. Massage will help bring down the stress responses that happen when working through difficult challenges, this parasympathetic nervous system response will improve your ability to make good decisions in the face of challenge. The whole world could benefit by calmer heads making more decisions.
The power of touch transcends any of the techniques that are taught in massage therapy schools. We can see this biological drive in action when a child falls down and gets hurt. Our first human instinct is to pick them up and rub or pat their back. This simple action is effective at calming the child because touch causes positive changes in neurochemistry. For example it elevates dopamine, which affects intuition, inspiration, joy, and enthusiasm. By raising oxytocin, massage therapy also has a positive impact on the health of your social bonds. Just ask your family if you need to keep getting your massage. Or better yet, try offering massage to your family.
It's safe to say that the benefits of massage go far beyond the muscular goals that are presented by many of clients. Those who truly fall in love with massage therapy do so for many of the other deeply human qualities you can connect with when you add massage to your health maintenance program. Sometimes you need to just zone out and let the world fade away, other times you need to talk it out with someone who trusts your ability to figure it out. Sometimes you need painful trigger point therapy, others just a soothing massage to calm your nerves. In any case, you need to feel comfortable enough to communicate where you are and what you need so your therapist can show up in the most effective way.
Next time you see a massage therapist, stay connected the subtle ways that massage therapy can support your healing. You might get a lot more out of it than you expected. Think of it as an opportunity to transform any time you choose. Who knew transformation could feel this good.