Massage and the magic wand

If you could wave a magic wand and all of your pain were gone – what would your life be like?  What would you do that you don’t do now?  What would you do more of?  What would you do less of (sitting and taking pain pills maybe?).  Use your imagination and picture yourself doing the things you would like to do.  Go down memory lane and think of what you used to do that you enjoyed but don’t do anymore.  Have you grown accustomed to the pain you have, thinking it’s just something you have to live with?

What if you were having a bad, really bad day?  What if in one hour you could have a completely different outlook on life?  How about of instead of continuing with a rotten day, the rest of your day were now terrific?  You would feel better, and your friends, family, and coworkers would also be grateful.

What if you didn’t have to take so many pills for pain?  What if you didn’t have a recurring headache?  What would it be like to get out of bed and not think about what part of your body is hurting?  What if your muscles didn’t feel wound up tight and instead you could move freely, fluidly, and gracefully?  OK, so some of us are not that graceful – but I am more graceful when I feel better.

What if – you didn’t have a knot in your back; that you could bend down easily; that you could turn your neck without turning your whole body?  What if you got a really good night’s sleep?  Do you remember what it feels like to not wake up in pain?

Sometimes we have a problem or an issue that is befuddling us and try as we might we just can’t crack it.  What if in just one hour your mind were open to new possibilities and solutions started coming to you?  The solutions were there the whole time but couldn’t find their way through the tangled labyrinth of your stressed mind.  They are so obvious and simple you wonder why you didn’t see them before.  What if with new clarity your productivity and creativity soared?

What if these things were available – and getting them felt so good as well?  Massage is a time just for you.  You can relax on a comfortable, warm massage table.  You can let your responsibilities go and let your mind drift.  Tell me what pain you have and then let me take care of you.  I’ll use my training, skills, and knowledge to help you feel like yourself again.

What if you make an appointment for a massage already?

Massage is not magic, but sometimes the results can feel magical.  If you have an injury or medical condition, massage may be able to help but it can’t cure everything.  See a doctor or other medical professional if needed.  Massage has a lot to offer in just a little time.

If you want, I’ll use a bamboo piece as a magic massage wand and mutter the secret magic massage words.  Then let everything go, enjoy your massage, and walk back out to the world with a new outlook full of new possibilities.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

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Advantages of working with a male massage therapist

Given the choice between a male and female massage therapist with similar skills, most people will choose to go to a female.  Have you have ever thought about getting a massage from a male?  There are some benefits that you may not have considered, so give these ideas some thought.  There are exceptions to the generalizations I discuss.

My main point here is this – don’t let the gender of the therapist be the deciding factor of whom you get your massage from.    Men and women go to the same schools and get the same education, go through the same licensing procedure, and must obey the same laws and ethical principles.  Their skills, not gender, will determine the quality of massage you get.

Some people prefer male therapists, thinking they may be stronger.

When I talk to people about their massage experience at other places, the top complaint is that the therapist didn’t use enough pressure.  They left feeling like they didn’t get enough out of their massage when it was over.

If you take an average man and woman, generally the man is stronger.  There are techniques for using more pressure when needed that anyone can use, and I have had great massages from women who don’t appear to be very strong.  Strength lets me use a firmer pressure that feels like a regular massage movement, and not like digging in with an elbow.

I also have touch as well as strength.  Just because I can use a lot of pressure doesn’t mean I will on every part of your body all of the time.  I will use the pressure necessary to help you.  You shouldn’t be in pain during your massage and be sore for days after.

I can do a 90 minute deep tissue massage without tiring out at the end.  Concerned that your massage is just after I’ve done a 90 minute deep tissue massage?  Have no fear, I will be able to give you what you need in your massage too.

Some people prefer male therapists, thinking they understand pain from activity.

Again generally, men do more physical things.   We move furniture and refrigerators.  We shovel snow, dig holes, chop firewood, carry heavy things, play basketball, and other very strenuous activities.  This is not to say that women can’t, don’t, or shouldn’t do any of these, but usually men do them more.

If you are sore from something like this, I have a good understanding of how you feel.  I have had that sore spot in my lower back so I know what feels good and what will help it.

Of course, the opposite is true.  I can read and talk to people about pain from pregnancy or wearing heels, but since I haven’t experienced it I can’t completely understand.  I do a lot of research and discuss how things feel with people, but if a female therapist is a better fit for you because of an issue like this that they understand better, then you may be better off working with her.

Men have to be very good.

There is a bias against male massage therapists.  People wonder about the motives of a male therapist – are they a creep or a pervert, or worse?  Looking for cheap thrills?  They wonder if they can trust a man to massage them without anything more happening.

I experience this on occasion.  Somebody calls for an appointment and we get a time set up.  Then they ask if there is a female therapist.  When I say no, some just hang up and some say they will get back to me – which they never do.

I understand some people have had something happen to them in their history that would make getting a massage from a male difficult and unproductive.  If going to a woman is best for them, I’m all for that.

Since I’m fighting an uphill battle from the start, I have to be very good at everything I do.  I have to provide top-notch customer service, make sure the draping is always right, and give you an exceptional massage experience.  I am continually adding to my education and trying new things to improve your massage.

I have to treat people professionally but also in a friendly and caring manner.  I need to make you comfortable and put your mind at ease and allow you to wear whatever you want in your massage.  I want you to come back and recommend me to your friends and family, so I must leave no doubt at all that I can be trusted and I know what I am doing – and that it’s worth trying me out.

I’m not asking for sympathy here – just some understanding.  Do some checking and find answers to your questions.  You may find that you get better results from a male.  What other advantages have you noticed?  Let me know in the comments below.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

How to receive a great massage

When you make a massage appointment, do you want a so-so experience or a great one?  Try these tips for making the most of your massage.

Part of a great massage experience depends on the massage therapist.

Do some research.  Check them out online, talk to a friend, or talk to the massage therapist before your appointment.  Ask questions about things that are important to you, such as a condition or pain you are having.  Explain what you want.  If you leave something unsaid, it will likely be on your mind during the massage – which prevents you from relaxing as much and getting all of the benefits you can.

This is your time and when you walk out the door you should feel much better.  I am happy to spend a few minutes before we start to understand exactly what you want and to answer the questions you have, so your mind is at ease with no nagging questions or issues.  Don’t worry about what I will think of your questions, concerns, or your body.  Many people have the same common concerns, so you probably aren’t the first one to ask.

Part of a great experience depends on you.  What can you do to make your massage great?

Arrive a few minutes early.  Try to schedule your massage so you are not rushing to get there, or having to hurry somewhere else immediately.  Sometimes unexpected things happen that keep you from arriving as early as you want.  If you come in just after racing out of work and fighting traffic, it will take longer for you to relax and put those things behind you.

Wear whatever you want for your massage.  What you take off and leave on is your choice.  You will be draped with a sheet the whole time, except for what I am working on.  I really don’t think about what you do or don’t have on.  It’s not an issue for me, so don’t let it be one for you.

Now that you are on the table, here are a few things you can do to make your experience better.

Breathe deeply.  As we get busy, our breath can become shallow.  Draw deep breaths that you can feel all the way into your abdomen.  In just a minute, you will begin to feel more relaxed and peaceful.

Let go of the world.  This is your chance to escape for a while.  Turning off your brain can be difficult for some people, so concentrate on the moment.  Feel your breathing.  Focus on the feel of the strokes and stretches.  Feel the warmth from the table warmer.

Allow yourself to go limp.  I will move you around a little, and I will ask if I need some help from you.  Some of the massage movements and stretches are more effective if you don’t try to help out.

Communicate during the massage when needed.  I’ll adjust the pressure, temperature, and music to how you like it.  They are easy changes to make.

Finally, a couple of more suggestions.

Get regular massages.  I have noticed that the people who come in regularly have longer lasting effects than those who only come in on occasion.  Also, work with the same massage therapist.  The more you get to know each other, the more trust you will have in them and the better results you will enjoy.

When you get a massage, get a great one!

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

Massage is like having a personal chef

A good massage is like having a meal prepared for you by a professional chef.

If you don’t have a personal chef today, then imagine what it would be like.  Let’s give your cook a chef-like name, like Pierre, or Bubba.  He is professional, highly skilled, and it makes him happy to see you enjoying his cooking.

First, Pierre would talk to you about what you want.  He would get what he needs and make the preparations and work to have the meal ready for when you want to eat.  You are ordering just for yourself today, so you don’t need to be concerned with what your friends or family want.

Pierre will cook it and season it how you want.  He is not cooking for himself – he is cooking for you, so what you want is what matters.  You can order a steak rare or well done, and that is what you will get.

Let’s say Pierre has some specialties.  He makes outstanding crepes.  What if you want an omelet instead of crepes?  Then that’s what he will make.  He has the capability to make an entire gourmet meal, but if you want something simple, he can do that too.

Pierre won’t do anything to harm you.  If you ask for something dangerous to you, he may warn you or refuse for your safety.  Since he is a trained professional, he may have more knowledge about food than you.  He may offer suggestions of something that you hadn’t heard of before that you may enjoy.  You can try it if you want, but it’s your decision.

Pierre won’t blab on and on about his problems, or ask you a lot of questions.  He will be happy to talk to you if you wish, but if you just want to relax for a while as he works, that’s fine.  You are not here to entertain him.

You can relax free of guilt while he prepares it.  Pierre is an experienced and skilled professional, so everything is great and you can leisurely enjoy the experience of eating.  It brings him satisfaction to know that he has done a good job and provided what you needed.  Finally, when you are done, he will do all of the clean up.

A good massage therapist approaches your appointment the same way.  I am here for you to give you what you want today.  I will be ready for you when you come in.  I’ll adjust the temperature to how you like it, and I will use the amount of pressure you want.  I want to know how to give you what you need today, so communication is important both before we start and during the massage.

You are getting a massage for a reason – and it’s not to make me happy.  It’s all about you.  I’ll spend more time on a problem area if you want and adjust your massage each time according to what you need.

I’ll keep your safety in mind.  There are a few conditions that massage can make worse, so as we talk I will advise you of that.  I also have experience with working with a lot of bodies, so I may notice something and offer a suggestion to help you with the pain you have.

This is what I do and I love it.  I want you to walk out thinking what a great massage you had and look forward to coming back again.  It’s your time to just relax and be taken care of, so there’s nothing to feel guilty about.

Are you ready to order?  Think about what you want, then give me a call.  You don’t have to do anything to prepare, and I’ll take care of the clean up afterwards.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com