Massage in its various forms has become increasingly popular over the last 20-30 years and more widely accepted as being beneficial for just about everyone.Â No longer is massage simply for the rich and famous, or for those seeking sexual favors under the guise of massage.Â Practitioners can be found in beauty salons, health spas, chiropractic offices, acupuncture offices, gyms, health clubs as well as private practices.Â
When I traveled to England this last summer, there were even massage practitioners offering chair massage treatments at the airport – in San Francisco’s International Terminal.Â Not a bad idea, particularly if you are headed for a long haul flight of 10 or more hours in the generally cramped conditions of economy class!
So why is it that some people have never had a massage?Â Well, it could be that nobody has explained to them the benefits of bodywork.Â Or, it could be that they are in such excellent physical and mental health that they do not feel the need.Â Then again, maybe they are just not comfortable with someone they don’t know putting their hands on their naked or partially naked body!Â In one of Ellen DeGeneres’ early stand-up routines back in the 80’s, she jokes about just that – Â “We all know how relaxing that is!” she says, referring to the experience of having a stranger touch you while you’re naked.
What I have found with people who have concerns such as this, is that if you move slowly you can gain their trust over time.Â Offer them a neck and shoulder massage first, or ask them if they would like a foot massage.Â Find an area they are comfortable with – maybe even the hands – and work on that area only.Â When you create an environment in which they can feel safe, and can experience positive, non-invasive touch, you are giving a tremendous gift.Â Don’t try to push past that comfort zone.Â Allow them to move forward as and when they are ready.Â
As a practitioner, it will give you a deeper insight and understanding of the sensitivities we each possess that may not be immediately apparent when you first meet someone.