1. Exposure: For some people, the thought of being completely unclothed is a major deterrent to receiving a massage. I've encountered situations where the client had no knowledge of what to expect regarding how draping is done during a massage session. It is good to understand that at all times, only the portion of the body being massaged is exposed. For example, only the left leg is un-draped if that is where the massage therapist is working. This approach creates a sense of safety for both the client and the massage therapist.
2. Vulnerability: People may experience vulnerability during a massage because touch can bring out a range of unexpected emotions, including grief, anger, or nervousness. This can happen because people often hold emotions in their bodies. Massage can bring that to the forefront, drawing awareness to particular concerns or past experiences. If this happens during a massage, you can ask your massage therapist to pause or end the session. While your massage therapist may be able to provide words of comfort, it is best to seek out a counselor for deeper emotional matters.
3. Pain: Pain is one of the main concerns I've heard from people about why they have never gotten a massage. People seem to have it in their minds that massage Causes pain! This indicates to me that there are some therapists out there who lack an intuitive touch and simply do not check in about pressure during massage sessions. Massage is supposed to break the pain cycle, not contribute to it. Always voice your concern if you are experiencing pain during massage.
4. Cost: Another main reason why people do not get massage regularly is the cost. This is completely understandable. Try to view massage as a preventative healthcare measure. Massage relieves stress and chronic pain, giving your immune system a boost and sending you on the path to wellness of the body and mind. Remember that New York State has some of the highest educational standards and licensing requirement for massage therapists in the country. So if you have found me, you are in good hands.
When I first started getting massages, I definitely did not have a lot of disposable income. I had just purchased a house and done some money depleting projects before I even moved in. My economic constraints didn't stop me from trying to get a massage on a monthly basis. What is it that made me value massage therapy?
After my first couple of monthly massages, I realized just how much pain and tension I had accrued in my body over my lifetime. I could also feel that these things were affecting me on not only a physical level, but also an emotional one. Many people say they are experiencing back pain, but most other areas get overlooked. For me, that area happened to be my hamstrings. The muscles were so tender that I could hardly handle being touched without discomfort. My massage therapist was very knowledgeable about how to help me by applying slow, deeper pressure. I remember telling her I didn't need my legs touched at all when in fact that is Exactly what I needed. It was in those moments during the massage that I realized I was also experiencing emotions and memories about something seemingly unrelated to legs. This was a very powerful experience for me.
Our entire bodies have the potential for carrying emotion with the pain we encounter in our lives. Some chronic pain is simply from overuse, injury, or surgery. However, just like physical actions directly impact our bodies, so do our emotional experiences through the chemical responses that occur as a result of stress, anxiety, and grief. For me, massage therapy is so much more than just a way to relax. Receiving massage therapy on a regular basis provides a way to work on overall wellness of the mind and body at the same time. With each visit, pain cycles are broken, making way for the body's natural healing abilities to take over. This is what I value most about massage therapy.