Have you ever had a really, really Ggrreat massage – one where you get up off the table and exclaim – Wow, Holy Moley, What just happened? What did you do to me?
I have only had 2 in 34 years. Yes. I am talking really really great.
What made it great? Massage therapists often think that the way they feel after GIVING a massage will determine how good it feels to the client. This could not be farther from the truth. So many think that after giving what they think is a ‘bad’ massage because it did not meet the expectations that they were taught in massage school that it should flow or whatever it is.
What makes a massage great for many massage therapists is getting a massage just like the kind of massage they are giving to clients. That is a good way to start, but may not be what the client wants or needs.
These two sessions were life changing.
The first one was in about 1993 or so. It was given by someone I know who had studied something called Zentherapy (based on Ida Rolf’s Structural Integration work called Rolfing) for many years with a guy named William “Dub” Leigh. I had wanted to experience the technique. The method is a series of 10 sessions like Rolfing, but I was only getting one session and it was not a Rolfing session. It was just a plain massage covering most of the the body. When I got off the table I did exclaim – What did you just do?
I went on to do trainings in Zentherapy taking 80 hours a year for about 4 years. Yes it was intensive. I learned a ton. The thing is that the training was nothing like the work she did with me that made me say What just happened?
What had just happened was the therapist being really present and engaged in the session. There was very little talking. It was the massage therapist that made it a WOW session…not the technique or 4 years of training.
The next time it happened was with a therapist who had also been in the trainings that I took, but she also had other movement based trainings. Again it seemed like just a massage but the intent and connection were beyond words. When I got off the table, I asked her what she felt and she was at first hesitant to reply not sure if I felt it too. She said something similar in that it felt like the best work she ever did. Again it wasn’t the technique. It was the connection and it was about her! and also me being open to the session.
It isn’t about the technique.
It never is although so many go taking class after class to try to learn that one technique that will get them all the clients they need. One more tool in their toolbox.
People don’t care if you are doing a swanky move you learned and paid $1000 for classes and trainings. What they care about is how it feels during the session and after the session. They are looking for results: To feel less pain, more at ease, less stress, more comfortable, more in tune with themselves.
It is what they feel under your hands. They might feel comforted, connected, relieved, relaxed. They might feel held, respected, acknowledged and have a clearer sense of themselves.
What makes for a Gggrreat Masasge is YOU! 90% you and 10% technique.