system, the improved range of motion and decreased discomfort offered, the increased
circulation and release of endorphins – are often talked about because of their ability to, over
time and with maintenance, drastically improve our day-to-day lives. Many of us can attest to
the blissful feeling of dull aching that’s finally been put to rest – after all, that’s why people seek
out massage therapy, right?
with massage – the inner thoughts, feelings and perceptions that we have; the very experience
of developing the massage therapist-client relationship, however, is a unique one that could
give us a lot of telling insight on how the mind, body and spirit unravels when we’re feeling safe
and cared for.
A recent study published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
offered up some incredibly relatable thoughts and feelings that those receiving massage might
experience. These were some of the themes found – (see if you can relate!):
For anyone who is in their first session with their massage therapist, it can be a bit nerve-
wracking and even anxiety-inducing; in other words, it can take a little bit of time for a client
and massage therapist to get to know one another and establish a healthy working relationship.
In this study, the client felt as though she was being truly cared for – and although she had
minor fears as to whether or not that sense of caring was genuine, she felt compelled to trust in
the uncertainty and remain open to the entire process.
Once more comfort in the therapeutic relationship is gained, it may become easier for us to
view our massage therapy session as a “safe space”, a “haven” or even a “bubble” – and this
tends to include the massage therapist as well. The study suggested that once we reach a
certain level of trust with our massage therapist, we might be likely to feel less pressure and
may even feel safe to “vent” or talk about what we’re going through.
As our massage therapy session continues and we’ve had more time to essentially bond – even
by simply sharing the same comforting space – we might find that we become so relaxed, it’s
almost as if we’ve lost track of the social roles we must play in these types of interactions. The
study describes it almost as a sense of letting go – we may no longer feel responsible nor
required to do anything throughout the rest of the session, because the massage therapist is
gently taking over this for us.
After more time has been spent in session with our massage therapist, we may feel as if we
have gained more awareness on how our body moves, where pain can occur, and how much
knowledge our massage therapist has acquired over the years on these subject areas. Since
massage therapy does present an opportunity for vulnerability, the study highlighted the sense
of awe and comfort we may feel in our therapist’s abilities to find those magical spots that hurt
– and this certainly contributes to our overall positive experience with our session.
The Start of Transformative Healing Sessions
Each person’s experience on the massage table is different – but it’s safe to say that once we
feel comfortable enough to let down some of our stress, pressure and boundaries, the
relationship we begin to develop with our massage therapist only serves for an even higher
purpose of healing.
Bodies in Balance is an exceptional massage therapy practice based in Flagstaff, AZ,
that aims to help clients relieve pain, improve athletic performance, and reduce stress
with high-quality therapeutic bodywork and outstanding customer service. To schedule
your next much-needed massage, call us today at 928-853-5765. With therapists who
have years of experience - and with an emphasis placed on personalized wellness plans -
you’ll have no problem moving forward with a massage therapy regime that will uplift
your mind, body and spirit to new heights.