You know the scenario: you go to a spa/gym/clinic for a massage treatment, hoping the therapist will melt the tension away, especially those stubborn knots you have on the top of your shoulders.
You explain the situation and your expectations and lie on the massage table. Unfortunately, the therapist follows a set routine, the same massage sequence is applied to all clients regardless of their true needs.
The pressure is the same throughout, each body part is given only a few seconds’ worth of treatment and then the sequence quickly moves on to the next step.
So, in the case of shoulder tension, instead of spending a good 20 minutes working through the knots, the therapist only spends 2-5 minutes using a programmed routine and then moves on to the rest of the back.
Over the years, I only trust my body to a small handful of professional massage therapists who listen to me and know about my physical and emotional wellbeing needs. These therapists do listen and don’t impose either their opinions or their set massage routines.
Although I am now slowly retiring from the massage profession, I have told my story in my book Confessions from the Massage Couch. I developed a massage technique that “listens” to the client’s body even when the client hasn’t managed to verbalise their needs. By scanning the body for areas of tension with gentle palpation, I can then focus on specific muscles that require more work, while always checking that the pressure is within acceptable limits.
You work hard for your money and you expect to receive a world-class massage treatment when you need one.
A good massage should make you feel like you have just come back from a fabulous holiday and feel refreshed, relaxed and pain-free.
Being listened to is the start of the healing process.
Picture credits: Paola Bassanese