NiaMassage

Musings from the Massage Chair & Table

10 Things – (Part 2 of 2) From the Massage Therapists’ Point of View

I came across a hilarious blog named HaHasforHooHas.com, and a post written by Susannah named “Ten Things You’ll Probably Think While Getting a Professional Massage”. I loved it so much, I wanted to post my reply to her (and many of your) concerns. Here’s my response. Now mind you, this is my view on the subject, not on behalf of any other therapist. The first half of this post is here, if you missed it.

6.  What if someone secretly slips into the room, murders the massage therapist and then proceeds with my massage, all the while I have no clue because my face is buried in this terrycloth donut hole? Your mind had a tendency to roam when you want it to be quiet, even to the extreme, sometimes. The trick is to nip these thoughts in the bud as soon as you can, so that you are able to enjoy your session. There is a very low likelihood of a murder happening during the session, so just take a nice deep breath, hold it a sec, and exhale.

7.  I wonder if my body feels weird. This is the last thing you need to worry about, yet everyone worries about this very thing. Everyone’s body – even twins – is unique to itself. Each body feels weird, yet none of them are. Loving the skin you’re in is the trick.

8.  I bet my feet stink. Unless I’m passed out on the floor, with my nostril flaps bolted shut, your feet are fine. If you have malodorous feet, there are things that can be sprayed on them, such as wintergreen or lavender, that smell wonderful, and clean your feet at the same time. If you are truly concerned about The State of the Feet, here is a recipe to treat them, from Aura Cacia, or your could buy my Diva’s Bathtime Tea, on Etsy. Just do me a favor; please don’t walk through any garbage dumps barefoot. That will help both of us.

9.  Would it be weird if I moaned? No, so as long as it doesn’t go any farther than that. I used to have a regular client getting chair massage at when I worked at Logan Airport, who sounded like he was straight out of an Herbal Essences commercial. This was at a booth that had a modest privacy screen, meaning that you saw my head, when I stood up to work. You should have seen the faces of the people that walked by that heard the client, and saw just my head, until they walked around the wall, to see what I was doing. He didn’t care; he was getting his back taken care of, so that he would be able to enjoy his flight. Sometimes, clients will cry or laugh uncontrollably during a session. Emotional releases tend to be spontaneous and not always controllable.

10.   Will I ever shut off my mind and relax? You are not the only one with this challenge. Mindfulness is something that we are all challenged with. Your mind shoots off in so many directions, never wanting to be quiet. It’s called ‘monkey mind’ in many circles. Again, catching runaway thoughts and nipping them in the bud helps. Refocusing on quiet, calming thoughts takes practice and diligence, and always is a work in process.

I’m sure that you have more things on your mind than just these 10. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to to answer them!

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Ten Things – (Part 1 of 2) From the Massage Therapist’s Point of View

I came across a hilarious blog named HaHasforHooHas.com, and a post written by Susannah named “Ten Things You’ll Probably Think While Getting a Professional Massage”. I loved it so much, I wanted to post my reply to her (and many of your) concerns. Here’s my response. Now mind you, this is my view on the subject, not on behalf of any other therapist.

1. I hope that I don’t fart. I promise you that as soon as we talk about what your needs are for the massage session, and I leave the room, both of us are thinking the same thing, “I hope that I don’t fart.” It’s a bodily function, and in most cases, when you are relaxed, is no longer in your control. Don’t stress on it. All it means is that your body is working.

2. This music confuses me. Here’s the thing – we listen to ‘massage music’ all day. When I worked at Logan Airport after 9/11, the owner had very few CDs, and one was Enya. Not everyone wants to hear the “Sounds of the Blue Whale” during their sessions, because they think it’s too ethereal. If you don’t like the music, by all means ask me to change it, or you can play your own.

3. Do I have a medical problem? Diagnosing anything is outside of our scope of practice. We may refer you to see your doctor if we see something out of the ordinary. Knots can be stiff, inflexible groups or parts of muscles that may take a little work to get back to feeling better. Just make sure you breathe when you getting it worked on. (Sometimes it can feel a little intense. Taking deep breaths can help to work through it.) Ask questions when you wonder what’s going on. It’s OK!

If you're making faces, the pressure is probably too deep.

If you’re making faces, the pressure is probably too deep.

4. Is this person trying to kill me? Trigger points and knots can feel really intense when they are worked on. As deep as ‘deep tissue massage’ can get, bruises don’t look cute on anyone. Deep pressure is relative; some people want to feel like they were run over by a steamroller. You, not so much. It’s okay, there is more than one way to address sore muscles. Let me know if the pressure is too much. I can’t see your face when you’re on your stomach, making squidgy faces, wondering why I’m trying to kill you.

5. Did I forget to shave my legs?  This should NEVER be a worry, unless you’ve actually cut yourself on your own stubble. Again, growing body hair is a bodily function. Here’s the thing – when you shave your legs, you remove the most superficial barrier of your skin, along with the hair you’re trying to get rid of. This barrier prevents bacteria and other irritants being absorbed into your skin, like a bouncer at a club. Although many therapists use hypo-allergenic, non skin-clogging massage media (Oil, lotion, or cream), some may not, causing more problems such as ingrown hairs and blackheads. Which would you rather have – stubble or blackheads? I’ll take Stubble for $200, Alex.

Now, this is half of Susannah’s list. I’ll be back next week to reply to the rest of her post. Make sure you read the other posts there; you’ll enjoy the posts!

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Client Question – What Kind of Client is Your Favorite?

Got a Question?

Questions are free – Ask away!

So often, during a conversation, someone will ask me a question where as I am answering I say to myself,’This would make a great blog post!‘ I had just such a situation happen last week at the Atlanta Pampered Ladies’ Expo.

As I was manning my massage chair, waiting for the doors to open, a nearby booth mate asked, “Who is your best type of client?”

My best client is one who has never had a massage before, but have always wanted to get one. They want ask a lot of questions, but they don’t want to feel they are pestering you by asking a lot of questions. I encourage the questions, because I would like you to understand what your body is telling you. As Sy Syms would say, “An educated consumer is my best customer.” (Yes, I’m that old!) I try to relate information in plain English, so that the jargon doesn’t confuse or disinterest the client. (My husband is a computer programmer, so when he uses technical jargon to convey his story, I tend to look like the

Have you ever had someone talk to you, and you looked like this?

Have you ever had someone talk to you, and you looked like this?

RCA/Victor dog.) Now, if the technical jargon doesn’t throw you, I’ll use it. It also helps keep me sharp on my anatomy; what muscles work together to do a specific action and what muscles work against each other. I also try to throw in some humor, because if it’s even a little funny, the message tends to be memorable.

I’ve had all kinds of questions thrown at me, so not too much tends to throw me off my game. If I don’t know, I don’t know, but I’ll do my research. This way, we learn together! So come on, ask those questions, you’ve always wanted to ask!

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Put the oxygen mask on yourself first!

I noticed something last week as I went to an appointment at an office. As often as I make sure that everyone else gets a break from work, I had not scheduled any for myself. I looked thorugh my paperwork, and nowhere in any descriptions for services that I offered had I scheduled myself to take a break! I remind others that taking care of yourself helps you take care of others, but I hadn’t taken my own advice. I was thoroughly irritated with myself, and changed my protocols in services.

Apparently, I am not the only one that is so busy that we don’t take care of ourselves – I found a Facebook fan page called Have You Peed Today.com.

Take some time to take care of yourself...your body will thank you for it.

Take some time to take care of yourself…your body will thank you for it.

Making sure that everyone takes a break is good. Making sure that YOU take a break is important. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. Matter of fact, it should be mandatory. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care for others, either, but to not rank someone else’s need so far above yours that you don’t take care of yourself. We always honor those who are selfless, and take care of every stray and stranger that crosses our path, but berate someone that takes a few hours to go to a museum, a movie, or even just sit still and read. Why do we have to lock ourselves in the bathroom or car to get a few minutes to ourselves?

Ask your trusted friends or family members to help you out. This way, you can return the favor when they need help. If they can’t help, ask for a referral for a trusted sitter, and recharge your batteries. Most importantly, when you DO make the time, don’t do errands, and DON’T feel guilty for taking care of yourself. Make the time count!

What do you to take time for yourself? I’d love to know!

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Client Empowerment – Ask Those Questions!

This blog post is in response to a story that aired earlier this year on our local TV Station about a female client that was assaulted during a massage session in a Student Clinic at a local Massage School.

As a Therapist, you want your client be as comfortable as possible on the table, so the client gets the most effective massage possible. New clients who have never had a massage before aren’t the most comfortable, for good reason:

  1. They’ve never experienced it;
  2. They don’t have any idea what’s going to happen, or;
  3. They’ve heard horror stories about bad massage
    sessions, and expect that to happen to them.

Massage Therapy Clients, I want to empower you to ask questions. You should know what to expect so that you are comfortable with your therapy session. Many people just want to get to the session and not talk. If you’re not sure as to what I’m doing, ask me why!  I’ll be more than happy to explain why I’m working on you in the manner that I am, so that you understand why I’m there.

My main concern is that there are certain parts of the session where you are asking yourself, “Why are they doing that? That may be a part of the session. I don’t want to ask; they may think that I’m a prude.”

I have said this before — I don’t charge for questions, so feel free to ask questions when you need clarification about a particular treatment you are undergoing.

If you are feeling that the therapist is talking too much, or you feel that you may need to stop, say something, anything, so that you can understand what’s going on.

I strive to get you as comfortable as possible during the session so that you are able to relax, and have the best massage possible.

What questions do you have about massage? I’d LOVE to know!

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