I am asked often, what type of massage is this? I usually say that it is a relaxing therapeutic massage. I use all the techniques that I have learned that are needed in any one particular session. If a massage therapist were to use all of the tools in their particular tool box a massage would last 3 hours or more. This is not practical for the therapist or the client, both would be overworked.
I have worked on quite a few therapists lately and was told that I am a good “masher”. I do not know what a “masher” massage is, I guess it is a Swedish massage, which many Massage Professionals think is a basic massage. I don’t see it that way, Swedish massage was the first form of massage learned eons ago. What most people don’t realize is that besides mashing it includes stretching. During a massage is the best time for some stretching, the muscles have good blood flow and are better able to accept the stretches. A true Swedish massage should not be discounted as just a relaxation type of massage. When done properly it includes long, slow, deep flowing strokes with movement of the extremities to facilitate opening of the joints and lengthening of the muscles. At first I took these comments as an insult. Thinking that these therapists thought that I just “mashed” muscles without any real technique. As I thought of it more, I think that it is a compliment because after 30 years of “mashing” I am still able to provide this type of massage without having to find a technique that decreases the workload on my body. My clients, including the massage therapists, keep coming back that is testament enough for me.
I have also been told that I must have been “made to do this type of work”. I do believe that I was made to do this work simply because I have been doing this for 30 years now and have no lingering physical complaints. My pressure is still just as intense as it always has been, so I would have to agree with this statement, I was made to do massage.
In the most simplest of terms I feel that once I put my hands on someone I let them do what they do best. I move slowly so that the body has time to react to the pressure that I am applying to the musculature. This gives the musculature time to let go, time to realize that they don’t want to be this tight. In any one massage I will use the techniques that are needed for that particular client. My ability to not judge my client that is laying before me in such a vulnerable state is exceptional. Some of my longevity, I believe, is due to learning proper body mechanics and that while I am giving a massage, I am receiving a massage.
It really isn’t about the techniques that each of us has in our tool box as much as our ability to touch with compassion. I have received many massages over the years and I can feel when the therapist is being judgmental and managing to touch me without compassion. They may have been to many classes and have many types of massage to choose from but that will not make them a great massage therapist.
So I would say that I give a compassionate, nonjudgmental, relaxing, therapeutic, deep tissue massage, Now that is a mouthful, but it does explain my best massage, the only type for me!
Thanks for reading,
Annette Jordan, LMT