Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Massage VS. Bad Massage

I learned something very important at the Orange County Massage school I attended. And that is, you can't teach a good touch. 30 students, 15 massage tables, one day we would give massages, the next day we would receive. My instructor would have us alternate partners so that we were able to experience all our classmates different approaches to massage. The people I turn to today for massage are still a few of the fantastic classmates I met in Massage School. Others, however, I would never let massage me again, not even for free!

I remember one particular classmate of mine who was very dedicated to being at the top of the class. He diligently studied every page of the textbook memorizing theory, technique, anatomy... the works. When I got on that table though, I knew all the book learning in the world wasn't going to gain him any God-given talent. This is why it's important to find a good massage therapist that works for you. And this is also why so many client's show their therapist customer loyalty with their return business. Because when you've had a bad massage, you can really appreciate a good one.

The hunt for a good massage therapist can be a humourous version of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears.

Massage #1 : "Excuse me, do you think it's possible I can get some more pressure, please? This is, afterall, a Deep Tissue massage."

Massage #2 : "Excuse me, do you think maybe you can warm up the muscles a bit before just JAMMING your elbows into my back? My muscles are clamping up on the defensive and this is, afterall, a Deep Tissue massage."

Massage #3 : "Excuse me, is your other job in construction? Because I don't remember asking for any exfoliation on my back. Your not using any scrubs and yet your calloused hands are sloughing off valuable skin cells I'd like to keep!"

Massage #4 : "Excuse me, I'm not too strict on draping protocols but I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to tuck the sheet into the crack of my buttocks to hold it in place. Just a suggestion."

Massage #5 : "Excuse me, do you think you can use less massage oil? I feel like a slip and slide and you've elbowed me in the head 3 times."

Massage #6 : "Excuse me, do you think you can use more massage oil? I'm getting Indian burns all over my body."

Massage #7 : "Excuse me, I don't mean to criticize your technique or anything, but I paid good money for this massage so I'd appreciate less massaging my "aura" and more putting your hands on my body. This is, afterall, a massage."

Massage #8 : "Please, for the love of God, do not stop what you're doing between my shoulder blades. I will give you all I own."

In conclusion, find the massage therapist that works for you. And when you do, do not let them go. :)

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