A few weeks ago I wrote an article, 15 Things You Think About While Getting A Massage. It’s a list of the all the weird and creepy thoughts that run through my head while on the massage table. I often wonder what the therapist is thinking while he/she is caressing my muscles.
Well — now I know! We’ve had an email response from Chantal, who started at Sowelu Wellness three months ago and comes from Endota Spa, so she’s an experienced Remedial Massage Therapist. This was her response to my article:
Image credit : Sowelu Wellness
THE TRUTH BEHIND WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT WHILE GETTING A MASSAGE
By Chantal Dottore, Remedial Massage Therapist, Sowelu Wellness
HAYLEY: Oh no, my stomach is about to rumble. Maybe if I tense I can avoid it happening. No it’s happening anyway, how embarrassing, better start apologising.
I always find it amusing why there is a need to apologise for something that is a compliment to my work. Having your stomach rumble during a massage is a GOOD sign and I want to hear it. It is like your body saying thank you.
Let me explain…
When you are stressed and busy the sympathetic nervous system is in full power. This is the ‘fight or flight’ part of your nervous system and allows us to push through when we are stressed and usually leaves us feeling anxious. When we feel relaxed this is when our parasympathetic nervous system (‘rest and digest’) is taking over and when the body’s own healing is really taking place. When we are in this state, muscles contract that move digestive juices and food through the gastrointestinal tract resulting in a growl or a rumble.
So you see, it’s actually a good sound that lets you know your body is really relaxing and your digestive system is getting a spring clean. So instead of apologising, just smile knowing that you are doing something good for yourself and I will smile knowing I am helping you to be well.
HAYLEY : Hmm that pressure could be firmer, don’t want to offend or seem demanding. Should I say something?
Yes please do! We are body readers, not mind readers. I always ask about pressure once I have done warming up an area (2-5 mins) and am starting to work into your deeper muscular tissue. Please answer honestly and even if it’s good, I want it to feel amazing for you so let me know. No need to be scared because I am here for you, not the other way round. I want you to have to best experience possible and if you are not comfortable even in the smallest way, speak up. Even if there are certain areas that are more sensitive and require a lighter pressure, say so.
This also applies to feeling cold or too warm during your massage. I know what it is like lying there trying to relax but you can’t quite achieve it because your feet are cold. Just say something, it will make you and your massage therapist a lot happier than if you don’t.
HAYLEY : I hope they don’t see my cellulite; maybe I should tense my muscles so it’s not as obvious.
Yes I can see it and I can feel you tensing your muscles. Am I judging you? Absolutely not. Most women get cellulite, it’s a fact. The reason why is mainly due to Estrogen stimulating fat storage needed for menstruation, pregnancy and breast feeding. As cellulite takes on a lumpy form, regular massage can help to smooth out these fatty deposits helping them to look smoother. So don’t stress or feel self-conscious, if you are genuinely concerned about it, know that I’m here to help you and instead of tensing, just let go and enjoy having someone else look after you for a change. It feels nice I promise.
HAYLEY : I really don’t feel like talking. Will this make me seem rude?
Like I said, I’m here for you. If you want to talk as it helps you relax I get it. Talk away. If you feel like silence then don’t say anything, I understand. As a rule I will only talk to you during a massage if I require feedback or when instructing you on what to do. Apart from that I am letting you lead the way on the talking front. If you ask I will answer and if not, silence it is. I will never be offended either way.
HAYLEY : I think I just dribbled.
Not to worry, the towels are changed after every client and I don’t have to do the laundry so it really isn’t a problem. Once again another compliment for me. I honestly do not care and I am guilty myself of doing this whilst receiving a good massage. Unless it is happening because you can’t breathe then ask for a tissue to clear your nose and turn your head to the side (if lying face down). It will help you to breathe properly again and get more oxygen circulating throughout your body.
HAYLEY: Why did I wear my lacy underwear? They’re going to think I’m S**t.
Underwear is a way of self-expression and I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves in whatever form makes them happy. So feel free to wear whatever you like. I won’t really see it anyway as I will be draping you with a towel so I don’t get any oils on them. From your sexy lace to your tighty whities, wear what feels comfortable to you.
HAYLEY : I can’t stop thinking.
Then stop trying to. Allow your thoughts to come in and come out of your head instead. Let a thought come over you and try not to provoke it or add another thought on top, then let it leave. I find this technique is a lot more effective in helping you to unwind and relax the mind as opposed to trying to stop thinking altogether. Along with this you can also try focusing on your breathing. As you inhale say to yourself ‘I am breathing in’ and as you exhale ‘I am breathing out’. Try these for a few minutes and if neither of these are working, then tell me and I will massage your scalp for a little while. Nothing like a good scalp massage to quieten the mind and help you let go.
So that’s what I’m thinking. I hope it settles some of your thinking so it doesn’t get in the way of maximising your massage experience. Massages are such a feel good way to synchronise your mind and body, as well as activating your body’s own healing. The more we can quieten the mind the more we can hear our body and give the mind a place and time to escape.
If there is something that I haven’t covered feel free to email me. Or if you want to visit me we can talk about it. I promise understanding, no judgement and possibly a good laugh (if appropriate).
Happy healing everyone!
:: Featured image : Sowelu Wellness ::