There is a saying and we know it to be true, that first impressions do count. First impressions are significant because they leave a mark. This truth applies to the giving of massages as much as to all other areas of life.
In an actual massage, the first impression that you as a therapist make on a client happens when you apply the oil. This is the moment of the first touch. Your hands take on the oil that will act as the medium through which they will be joined to the client’s body.
Therefore how you connect to the oil and the manner, in which your oiled hands first touch the client’s body, is indeed a matter of importance. It sets the tone for the massage to follow. It’s like the opening chord in a piece of music.
Have you ever watched a really good musician perform? If you have you will know, that before striking the first chord the musician’s awareness appears to briefly turn inward, and away from the audience. There is a moment of focusing, almost like meditating. Then the music begins.
Follow a similar procedure when you are about to give a massage. Focus. Feel your breath. Feel your body. A brief moment suffices.
Then start to put the oil on your hands. When you do, feel what you are doing. Feel how your hands get lubricated, by rubbing your palms against each other slowly and deliberately. Feel fully any sensation or feeling that arises in the palms of your hands, and by extension throughout your body. If you do, this automatically energizes your hands; and also energizes your entire body and mind to become present for giving a massage.
Finally, firmly yet with great sensitivity place your hands on the client’s body. This is the first contact, the first impression. When you touch the client firmly and with sensitivity, this signals to the client’s body and mind that you are ready to take charge – that you can be trusted. Therefore, never be non-committal in the first touch; never hesitate; and never be aggressively invasive.
As we said: first impressions do count. And your first touches when you apply the oil to the area of the body to be massaged, they set the tone for the entire treatment to follow. They decide to a good degree, if the client will trust you and be open to receiving your treatment.
© Gagori Mitra & Choyin Dorje 2016