My Massage Philosophy
"I am here to Support your Peace and Healing."
To me, that means that we are a partnership, working toward the same goal. And as partners working for your benefit, that means neither of us is more important than the other. We rely on mutual trust and strive to achieve the same outcomes.
I consider my clients to be co-workers as much as my fellow therapists are- at least for the time that they're on my table. That's why you'll hear me say things like, "have we worked together before?" or "has any thing changed since the last time we worked together?" ... massage is work as much for my clients as it is for me!
I really believe that! It takes effort from both of us! It takes effort to relax. It takes effort to be aware of your body. It takes effort to monitor discomfort in your body. It takes effort to surrender pain and control. It takes effort to trust another with your body and your health. You might often hear me say "thank you for coming in to take care of yourself" or "good for you for taking care of yourself today". I don't ever want my clients to discount the effort they put into their massage sessions.
I know Massage, You know your Body.
That's the trade off. That's why neither of us is more important than the other. It takes both of us working together toward the same goal for an effective massage. I could provide the best quality bodywork possible but unless it's the best for each client's individual body- it couldn't truly be the best. The quality of the massage is as dependent on my knowledge and technique as it is the client's trust and feedback. I can only take the benefits so far without a client's participation. It takes communication and release- I've written about this before.
Another part of supporting YOUR Peace and Healing is that it is YOUR Peace and YOUR Healing. I am just in support of that process. The real capacity for Peace and Healing is within YOU! That lives in you- not your massage therapist. I give all the glory and the credit to my clients. All the soft tissue manipulations provided in a massage doesn't bring the Peace and Healing, that would be you! You and your body have to be ready, willing, and able to accept Peace and Healing. Again, there are many steps to get to that and it takes effort! Not every client is available to accept the Peace and Healing that can come from massage- glory be to those who get there!
It's easy to discount the client's part in a massage- to the untrained eye it would appear to be a completely passive role. But I am of the philosophy that it takes effort to receive the full benefits of massage. The therapist's part may be a constantly physical and active role, but that doesn't make it the sole or primary role. The therapist's role is one of the supportive facilitator. Not the Healer. When I speak about benefits, I make the important distinction that massage HELPS the body's natural processes of health.
Your massage therapist is only half the magic of massage- you are the other half! Be aware of that- consider the energy and effort you bring to the massage table. Make conscious decisions about your massage services- set goals, have intentions, actively participate in your sessions. Don't just go through the motions and remain passive in the work. Take the powerful role in your massage journey.
Peace and Healing,
Kirby Clark, MMT, BCTMB