I have received many a massage. And I was thinking, "What makes a good massage?"
Some practitioners have been studying for years, some just out of school. Others have no formal education, others have learnt from mentors. While it is true that some have the "right" touch, there is something else at play here.
While on the table the other day, in receiving mode, I experienced something interesting. The techniques were fantastic, I could really feel my body starting to let go. And then I felt rushed.
Where was that feeling coming from?
When I began to pay attention to what I was feeling, I noticed that the practitioner was rushing through the session. Like they were on automatic pilot.
They knew the moves, knew exactly where to go, but they were somewhere else. So while it was still a lovely massage, I never dropped into a deeper healing state.
I started to wonder how many times I drifted off into my own thoughts or problems when working on someone else. When I wasn't fully present with my clients, could they feel it as well?
I know that I am human and my mind can easily wonder.
Part of the yogic practice of Kripalu massage helps me get into that mindful state. Deep breathing before the client is on the table. Techniques to centre before the client rings the doorbell.
I know that when I am fully there with my client, magic happens. They can open fully to the experience and I can give all of myself in the session. We both walk away with so much.
Next time you go for any bodywork treatments, here are some tips that may help you, as the client, to have a perfect experience. :)
Set the intention of what you would like to experience in your session
Let your therapist know if the pressure is too painful or too light
Start your massage with 3 deep, slow breathes
Let go of anything that is not happening in the moment
Keep talking to a minimum, unless something emotional surfaces and you feel the need to express it
Breathe into tight areas
And if your practitioner is not present, do tell them. It will help their practiced tremendously.