Someone recently asked me if, in addition to attending classes in massage therapy, I also receive massage. My answer: YES! ABSOLUTELY! NO QUESTION ABOUT IT!
My very first massage was a life-changing event for me. Right then and there, I heard my inner voice (a wise old soul) tell me that this was “what I was meant to do”. Within months, I enrolled in a massage therapy training program, and embarked on a fascinating, yet previously unimagined, journey into this new phase of my life. This was some 30+ years ago.
As we learned the nuts and bolts of massage therapy, we practiced on each other and I received various forms of touch at least twice weekly. I made a commitment to myself that from then on I would continue getting massage regularly. Since I graduated, I have carved out a time for myself weekly, biweekly, or at least once a month for my massage, and I give it priority in my schedule.
Massage has always been a learning experience for me, whether I am giving or receiving it. Not only does it relieve my aches and pains and coax me into being centered and relaxed, massage also deepens my awareness and understanding of my self and my body.
During my sessions, I am attentive to how each stroke or technique, along with how and where it is applied, may affect me at that particular time. I notice how my therapist puts the parts of each session together to achieve a particular effect. This enables me to understand and imagine how clients may experience, in their own body, the various forms of touch I use. My self-observation, along with the client’s communication (both verbal and nonverbal) guides me toward choosing massage approaches and adaptations that will best serve this person, and will encourage a healing and beneficial experience for them.
In summary, while I have been privileged to study with many innovators and masters of specialized bodywork programs over the years, receiving massage itself is an education for me. I consider it equally important as any classroom instruction I may engage in. As my body ages, I find it increasingly vital and helpful to receive massage therapy, as it provides me with greater physical ease and awareness, and a growing appreciation for my self in this/my body