The technical knowledge required to do massage is relatively easy to grasp. With some short term training courses anyone can learn the basic strokes and in turn, can teach people. However, a complete understanding of the anatomy does take a little more in depth studying, and of course practice.
An excellent massage therapy session that the client will experience as pleasurable, involves more than just technical precision. It involves an exchange of energy. In a way, by giving a simple massage, the therapist can easily pass on energy to the client so that the client – after all is done – feels energized.
There is nothing esoteric or secret about how you can pass on nourishing, and even vitalizing energy to another. It is simply a matter of being fully focused and physically and mentally present when giving a treatment – thus sharing sensitivity and love. Being focused and present and sharing love and sensitivity distinguish a good therapist from the majority of therapists in name only, who can merely give massages mechanically – without their heart and soul and body in it.
You may ask, how can I do that? How can I remain fully embodied, focused and present while giving a massage?
Again the answer is not to be found in some esoteric realm, but in and through your body, breath and mind. You cannot be but naturally focused and present in a treatment session, when you are in touch with what is going on inside of you as well as with what your hands are doing: when you directly feel and notice the stance of your body, the flow of your breathing, the movement of your hands, and last not least: the flow or may be even stillness of your mind.
As a therapist, you have to be comfortable with the posture you assume while giving a treatment. When you are comfortable, your client will be; when you are not, neither will be the client. If you can be totally relaxed while giving a treatment, the client will be able to also fully relax and let go into the ripples of sensation that are set in motion as the result of your touch, throughout his body and mind. This in itself is energizing.
If you want to signal the unspoken messages of ‘comfort’ and ‘relaxation’ to the client, you as the therapist have to be totally comfortable with the way you stand; the way you let gravity work for you instead of tiring your muscles; with the way you breathe and let your mind just be with what you are presently doing.
So, what are we saying? – Simply that the therapist can channel energy to his or her client when he or she combines a sound technical knowledge of anatomy and of the strokes of the massage technique of choice with an equally grounded awareness of his or her own body, breath and mind. The awareness of body, breath and mind is the basis; the technical knowledge and experience of anatomy and of the strokes the application.
Inner and outer, basis and application, have to merge into a harmonious whole for a massage to be energizing and nourishing to a client.
© Gagori Mitra & Choyin Dorje