I have a lot of time while I am massaging human beings to think about what the perfect massage is and how can I create one every time I work. What is the perfect massage after all? The quick answer is, there’s no such thing. Why? Because you are different, from each other and from yourself, all the time, each day and minute to minute. Everyone has different bodies, lives and expectations and you are always slightly different every time you come in, even if it’s just because you have expectations from the last massage you had and even if I delivered the exact same massage as your last, it would feel different.
So what can I do? How do I give you the perfect massage when I know it doesn’t exist; when I know your needs are always changing? Well, I can’t, but I hold in my intentions that I can (to not do this would be self-defeating) and technique, experience and awareness help a lot. Technique allows me to feel where your body wants massage and how it is responding to the strokes. It allows me to feel my way in, literally. Experience gives me perspective. Perspective is priceless in too many ways to share in this post, but in general, it allows me to allow you to be a human being. Finally awareness. Being aware of things like my inner “know-it-all” assists me in moving past my own agenda for you so I can get back to your agenda for the session. Listening is helpful too; to you, to your breathing, body language, and muscle responses through my touch. Technique, experience and awareness all assist me in creating as safe and professional environment as I can for you, where you are free to be you.
Now the second question. What can you do? The simplest answer I can think of is, to be open to receiving. Give us the initial information about your body that we require and your goals for the session and then practice letting go if you can and being and remaining open to the dance of giving and of receiving physical information. Let the massage therapist explore with you what’s going on, literally and physically. Return your mind to simply receiving and you may find a muscle gives and releases tension. Become aware of and put aside any thoughts and worries about not getting a good massage (these will only prevent you from relaxing and will cause you to look for what is wrong, not what feels good or effective). Become aware of and put aside any thoughts or worries of not being good at getting massages or not being good at relaxing (these are skills that take time to develop and are part of the what you are there for). Basically, your job is to breathe and soften, over and over again, if the mind wanders, bring it back to breathing and softening and receiving over and over again. That’s really it, be open to receiving. Yes, it requires practice, and with practice you will get better at getting (even though it doesn’t really exist) the perfect massage.