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The Message in Massage By: Carol Reinhard

Over eight years ago I had my first massage. I can’t remember the circumstances, but I know I must have believed the experience was going to make a difference in my life. What I didn’t know then was the kind of difference it would make.

 

I would learn to listen and hear my body.
I would learn how to communicate that to my massage therapist.
I would learn to trust my body.
I would learn to trust my body in someone else’s hands.
I would learn to trust on a continuing basis.
I would continue to heal my body, mind and spirit.

 

A massage is not simply stretching out on a flat table for a “rubdown.” A massage is a process of getting in touch with the issues in your tissues involving both you and massage therapist. I have learned how to prepare for, experience and gain long lasting benefits from a massage.

 

Preparation: 
Checking off a massage, as one number on a list of must dos for the day does not lead to a satisfying experience.


Over time, I have come to realize my massage experience begins with me. As I approach the appointment, I consciously relax my breathing and my body.


Walking into the office, I mentally remind myself of the gift I am about to receive.
I take the necessary time to carefully communicate what I am presently experiencing in my body - both positive and negative.


I take time to set aside any extraneous jewelry and carefully fold or hang my clothes.
I take a few moments after I stretch out on the table to let my body relax and my mind go still.
Quite honestly, this is not the way I started, but I have found over time, that this sort of preparation has a positive impact on the outcome of my massage.

 

The Massage:
Admittedly, it took time to trust the process, my therapist and myself. I know as each of those levels of trust developed and deepened, the massage itself developed and deepened. It was easy at first to let my mind go on its merry way and literally leave my body to its own devices on the table. Connecting with my body and breath now keeps my brain in the room and on the table … most of the time. When I am fully present, I can participate in the process and respond to the therapist.

 

After:
I prefer keeping my eyes closed throughout my massage. After the therapist leaves the room, I take a few minutes with my eyes still closed to offer gratitude for this time I have given myself. I slowly open my eyes, stretch, sit up carefully and return to my street clothing. Opening the door invites my therapist in for any final words. I make my next appointment; we bask together for a few moments in the glow we have created.

 

The message in massage --- getting and staying in touch with my body-- is a gratifying and worthwhile part of my life. My life has been enriched by my commitment to the benefits I received from regular massage therapy. Please join me.


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