Introduction to massage treatment as an element of the massage process
The massage treatment is clearly what the client is there for. It's another essential element of the massage experience, but hopefully you're understanding now that it's not the entire massage experience. You're becoming more competent every day at massage application, and you should also be developing a sense of what will feel good to the person on the table, but providing the massage is again not the only thing that's happening here. It's essential that during the massage you attend to the client, as well as perform the massage.
Attending to the client
Before you move into the massage treatment, it's essential that you stop, and take some time to centre yourself.
You don't only need to pay attention to the client in the initial consultation. Your client deserves your full attention throughout the massage treatment. They can feel if you're with them, or if your mind is on other things. You can be sure that if you don't give them your attention, they'll find another therapist who will.
Creating a pre-massage ritual is a good way to bring your attention into the moment. The more often you practice your ritual with the intention of becoming focussed, the quicker you will be able to focus. Create your own pre-massage ritual. You can use any of the following examples to help you, and you should also feel free to ask your lecturers, or any practicing massage therapists that you know.
Examples of pre-massage rituals
- Closing your eyes, breathing deeply, feeling the tension in your body dropping to the ground
- Washing your hands, and visualising the water carrying away the day or anything that is concerning you (Fritz, 2004)
We'll talk much more about what you should consider in your massage in the Basic Massage practical blocks.