The Secret to Giving a Good Massage Part 1
Discover the Magic in Your Hands!
The secret to a good massage is simple. It’s the Intention behind the touch that makes all the difference. What is your purpose when you touch someone?
Back in high school, my friends and I used to do “massage trains,” sitting in a line and massaging the shoulders of the person sitting in front of us while someone else worked on our own shoulders from behind. The purpose then was just to feel good.
Today, I know that there’s a subconscious dialogue taking place between the two parties in a massage and that my thoughts are having a huge effect on what’s happening. The second I touch someone, this subconscious dialogue breaks through the surface. The trick now is to listen closely to the body because it’s communicating in a subtle yet powerful way. We don’t need words to communicate.
Pay attention to some of the cues to pick up the strand of this communication. Look for texture, temperature, softness and elasticity of tissues. Look for how the person is breathing….Deep? Peaceful? Fast and heavy? What about the eyes – what are they doing? Is the person talking or has he/she drifted off to an altered state of consciousness? These are important things to pay attention to.
But now, I want you to try something practical – because this is about doing, not philosophizing. Grab a partner! Sit on chairs or on the floor facing each other.
1 – Put your hands on your partner’s knees with a neutral intention. This means you are not trying to do anything. You’re not giving, taking or fixing anything. You don’t have to do anything. Just place your hands there and BE!! How does this feel for you? And how does this feel for your partner?
2 – Put your hands on your partner’s knees with the intention to give. Feel some love you have inside and bring that feeling into your hands and give it to your partner. The focus is on giving. It can also be a feeling of comfort or support that you want to give or it can even be a color. There’s no limit to what you can give! How does this feel for you? And how does this feel for your partner?
3 – Put your hands on your partner’s knees with the intention to take. If you decide to take some pain or problem, be careful to protect yourself by not allowing it to come into you. You can protect yourself with the intention that these things, ie. Pain, etc. will not enter into you but go somewhere else. Again, discuss the different feelings you and partner experienced.
4 – Switch roles and you can receive this time. Learning how to receive is just as important as learning how to give!! You learn so much about what you like, what you don’t like, what works, and what doesn’t. In massage school, half the learning was receiving.
The point of this exercise is self awareness. You will notice that touch really helps you to stay focused on your thoughts, feelings, and intention(s). This is step #1 towards using the magic in your hands and giving a good massage. Your intention is everything and the exercises above are a very simple yet powerful way to build your “muscles” of intention.
Stay tuned for more in Part 2!
Listen with your hands and trust what you’re hands are telling you!! Trust what you’re feeling, because they are your feelings and they are real. They are a very valuable source of information and a major key in bringing your thoughts through your hands. And the only way to know this is by experimenting with exercises like I have introduced and others that involve being guided by your inner feelings. Trust your hands, be playful and intuitive.