As a lover of massage, over the years I have tried out many different styles of massage and received treatments from many different therapists. For a long time, it wasn’t something that I gave much conscious thought to, simply noting each experience as a great, good or poor massage. If pushed, I could have perhaps told you that I like a firm massage, but not so firm it’s painful. That was about the extent of my insight!
It was really only during my massage training that I started to really reflect on what I love about massage – both giving and receiving. A requirement of my course was to receive some professional massages, and we were encouraged to experience massage in a range of different styles and from a range of therapists. I can honestly say that I learnt as much from receiving those massages as I did from the many hours of massage practice! By learning about and reflecting on what I love about receiving massage, I discovered the type of massage therapist I want to be.
So, what do I love about massage? I love the way that massage can calm the nervous system and the way it offers a gentle invitation to the body to ‘let go’ of whatever it is holding onto. I also love the way every massage is different, and how there is always something interesting to discover. Both giving and receiving massage enable me to slow right down, to enter a flow state and to become fully embodied. I am in awe of how massage can be such a deeply transformative and restorative experience. I love the way a massage can bring a sense of spaciousness and a deep rootedness… and it always puts me in a good mood!
Clients are often surprised when I ask them about their previous experiences of massage as part of the consultation process. In fact, it is really useful to find out what you like about massage as well as any previous experiences in the treatment room that really didn’t work for you. If you haven’t given it a thought before, I encourage you to adopt a spirit of enquiry about massage. Reflect on how your body and mind respond to massage and discover what you really love about it. And next time you have a massage, maybe find out what it is your therapist loves about massage!