"But I thought this was a service?" How to elevate & co-create your experiences
I got turned on to therapeutic massage early in life…like at 19. A friend recommended this amazing therapist who came to the restaurant I was working at and set up in one of the banquet rooms so I could get a massage in between lunch and dinner shifts during a busy time of year. It was amazing…and to this day, she is one of the best MT’s I’ve ever had. The perfect mix of styles that utilized both muscle manipulation, pressure point, and joint stretching. That experience imprinted on me, and massage has been a regular part of my self-care since. (Thank you to the friends that taught me about this early in life!)
Anyone who has done regular massage knows how tricky it can be to find the right therapist. Much like finding the right professional companion or life coach, having good chemistry & compatibility can elevate the encounter.
But another essential component to getting a good massage is what I bring to the table as well. Yes, what *I* bring to the table… Even though massage is a service I am paying for, that doesn’t mean the experience is completely on the shoulders of the MT.
I have spent years with highs and lows of massage experiences, blaming bad therapists for lackluster experiences. In hindsight, I wonder how many of those I might have created on my end? Or at least contributed to… Sure, sometimes there were just bad therapists, but sometimes it also could have been *my* energy influencing what was happening, and *my* (subjective) perceptions drawing a hyper-critical conclusion. I operated from the standpoint that it’s a service-why should I have to do any of the work? But as with all things in life, nothing happens in a bubble. We are all connected, and everything plays off each other, including (and especially) services of such a personal nature.
So now what I do is follow a ritual for my massage appointments… As I think of them, it’s interesting how similar they might be for encounters with professional companions or an intimacy coach as well. What do you think?
I try to schedule on a day that is light, or that I can take the day off completely to not feel rushed, and be able to enjoy the effects more fully.
I get myself ready for the encounter by doing some yoga for preliminary warm up, followed by a hot shower just before I arrive.
I have an edible to help enhance relaxation, connection and mediation during.
I communicate any areas I want to focus on that day, before starting, as well as giving feedback during if needed.I focus on my breathing to help create a meditative state, and encourage good energy flow throughout my body to help with connection, relaxation and release.
I use internal mantras of receiving healing, releasing toxins/blocks, and inviting in whatever my body needs that day (I keep it general in case there are things I can’t quite identify).
I allow the experience to be what it is-I will gently guide if needed, but focus is more on letting go and helping create a sense of flow.
This approach always gets me the BEST encounter I can get that day. Even if the therapist is not one I will repeat with, I know I got the best of what I could get from them. Don’t forget to pound the water afterwards either… It helps replenish and revive, and helps extend the afterglow. ;-)
Draw parallels where you wish… xoxo