I recently read an article about massage that highlighted some points that I would like to share. I have listed the themes from the article and provided my own perspective below:
1. For chronic pain sufferers, change will not come overnight.
Many people have come to me with the misconception that massage and/ or acupuncture will completely alleviate their condition(s) in one appointment, and when that doesn't happen, the practitioner or the medicine is bad-mouthed. There is no magic pill; you have to commit to getting better.
During my internship in China, I observed patients returning daily until their conditions improved, at which time they would come less frequently, until they were eventually able to come in for routine preventative maintenance once or twice per month.
2. Your weight, body hair, toe nails or rough feet are not under scrutiny.
We are all just people, and we come in all sizes and shapes; some of us are hairy or have eczema, etc. I will say, however, that is courteous to shower beforehand, or at least not come in filthy or smelling offensively. I shower and brush my teeth immediately before work so I don't think I'm being unreasonable in my request.
3. Your massage therapist is there to help you.
This is your treatment session, so tell me what you need. I will do my best to meet your needs, but keep in mind that not everyone is a perfect match. If my particular style doesn't work for you, I have a network of colleagues that I will happily refer. I genuinely want what's best for you.
4. Your privacy and boundaries should be respected at all times.
I always instruct my clients to undress to their level of comfort, whether that means full-Monty, or fully clothed; and explain that they will be covered by the sheet and I will only expose the area that I am working on. Any off-limit body parts remain that way.
5. If you regularly commit to massage, it will change your life.
See for yourself!
California Licensed Acupuncturist, mother of two, zoo member.