An article was recently published in the New York Times (read it by clicking here) by a writer who went on a “Multiday Massage-a-Thon”.
While most of us begin instantly grumbling that we wish we could get paid to receive massages, this author had a genuine aversion to receiving massage and makes it perfectly, pristinely clear in his article.
Before we rebuke his portrayal of massage therapist as “shoulder-pirates” giving out “faux-wise passive-aggressive hippie maxims”; it may be wise to take a step back and try to understand this from his perspective.
Not everyone understands massage as a healing, scientific, and therapeutic modality. While we consider massage to be a vital part of a health care plan; others may have trouble seeing past the troubled past of massage, personal insecurities, fear of something unfamiliar, and personal past histories.
Fear is most often dispelled though education and experience.
Even the author, with his immense aversion to the world of massage therapy was able to find some modalities that worked for him. In the end, he took the plunge and gave massage a try, he was able to experience the benefits of massage for himself. However, it is pertinent to note that the author tried multiple modalities of massage and found differing benefits between the differing types and styles of massage. So if you or someone you know hasn’t tried massage or hasn’t tried massage in a while, be brave. Massage is a therapy based in science and tradition with a proven track record of success. Finding the right massage therapist for you may take time and trials, but when you find the right therapist with the right skills, you’ll experience the benefits as well.
As professional therapists we must understand that education is the only way to overcome the social stereotypes, prejudices, and prejudgments that are a part of the massage industry.
Questions for discussion:
What are your experiences? What are you doing to help educate your clients and the public about massage?
Do you remember your first massage? What was your experience?