My massage confession...
I’ve been working as a massage therapist for over 6 years now. It truly is my passion. I love learning about the body, its connection with our minds, and how massage can help to solve muscular problems and give people the space and time to unwind and relax. It is genuinely rewarding to be able to make a difference to others.
When I began learning massage in 2009, I started to have regular massage for the first time in my life. In fact, before that I’d only ever had a massage once or twice before. It was the first time that massage became part of my routine; a regular way to give something back to myself and take care of my body and mind and now I don’t know what I’d do without it.
I’m forever telling people about the benefits, and I know them myself from personal experience. A space where you have nothing to worry about and nowhere to be. Your mind can wander, explore what’s bothering you or forget completely and drift into dream world...pretend you're relaxing on a beautiful beach. You can allow soothing, flowing massage to encourage your mind into calmness. Or let the therapist seek out those areas that need attention, gently locating and then soothing, stretching and ironing out any tension resting there. Have your shoulders, wrists, hips, knees, ankles, neck, and even fingers and toes, rotated and stretched, bent and flexed and reminded of their range of movement and freed of any stiffness. Bring your awareness to the parts of you that have been working hard, that feel tender or sore, those parts that you may not even have noticed, that needed some care. Yes, maybe I’m biased! But I think massage is wonderful.
I see many different types of people who come for lots of different types of massage and all for different reasons. One of the most popular massages I give is a 90 minute relaxation or deep tissue massage. It’s possible to give a great massage in 60 minutes, and many people go for this option. But I love giving these longer massages because as the therapist I know I can achieve so much more. With 90 minutes, there’s time to focus on specific areas, really work into and remove stubborn tension and still have time for gentle relaxation and exploration of other areas that might need some care too. I always recommend this length of massage to people managing high levels of stress, or anyone who has areas of tension, but likes to pay attention to their whole body too.
So, on to my confession….in all my years of giving and receiving massage and touting the benefits, I never once had a 90 minutes massage myself… that is until yesterday.
“Scandalous!! Why on earth not?! How can it be so good if you’ve never tried it yourself?!” I hear you shout!
The reason is simple…it just never occurred to me. I would often have my 60 minute massage and leave feeling satisfied but with that familiar longing; the feeling that it was so nice I never wanted it to end! And I assumed that’s just how it feels when you have a massage because it is so nice!
I would be giving a 90 minute massage, feeling happy with what I’d managed to achieve for the client and glad that they made the choice to have 90 minutes but it never entered my head what my therapist could achieve for me if I did the same. That is until she offered.
Me? A 90 minutes massage? As soon as I realised that I’d never had one in all of my years of massage it seemed absolutely ridiculous! I just could not believe that it never entered my head to try it. Even knowing how much it helped my clients. Even knowing how much more I can achieve as a therapist in that extra time. Even knowing that for some people it is simply the best way to really attend to the body and mind the way they deserve.
I was SO excited about trying it. I literally could not stop thinking about it all week, counting down the days, telling all my friends. “Can you believe I’ve never tried it?!”
And then yesterday the day finally arrived! I had a full body massage but with focus on my neck, shoulders and head (the places where I carry most tension, as do many others!) with work into tension mixed in with relaxation.
It was wonderful! So wonderful! Of course, I think that massage always is, but the extra time just made such a difference. I felt like each and every muscle and joint was attended to personally, no left out muscles, nothing neglected. Time for my aching shoulders and neck to be really stretched out, released and soothed and still for my arms, legs, feet and head to be looked after too. I became relaxed of course, but had time for that crazy rush of thoughts to enter my head, for them to swim around, be acknowledged and then settle down allowing my brain a little quiet time to simply drift.
It’s hard for me to say anything positive about massage without it coming across as an advert! But I really felt totally relaxed by the end. Calm in body and mind. My muscles gently sighing thank you and brain quiet and at peace. I can’t believe I waited this long to experience it. So if, like me, you've not tried it simply because you just never considered it, I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try.
I may not be able to fit in or afford a 90 minutes massage every time but it’s definitely going to be my first choice whenever possible from now on.
I can’t help but wonder now – what else haven’t I tried?!
What’s your favourite massage? Have you had a 90 minute appointment? What was your experience? I’d love to hear from you.