Is Massage For Me?
My massage therapy journey. Blog posts about massage and wellness.
I was in my mid-twenties when I got my first massage. This was not something I thought of for myself. I knew nothing about massages other than what you see in the movies. I was seeing a chiropractor to help me with some pain in my back and neck along with a physical therapist for my neck pain following a car accident. The chiropractor was getting frustrated trying to manipulate my bones and do an adjustment on my spine. He said to me "John you have to go get a massage, your muscles are so tense and locked up that I can't manipulate anything." I had no clue that my body was that messed up. I was just always a little sore in my mind.
So now here I am with a recommendation to go get a massage. I still don't know anything except what I have seen on television and in movies. I don't know where to go for a massage and not end up in jail or being asked about "extra" services they offer. I was afraid of what I didn't know about massage therapy and how to go about the process. I don't remember if I was able to do a web search for a therapist or if I just went into the yellow pages to try to find one. (Yellowpages are the business section of a phone book, essentially a paper version of google for those of you that have never seen one.)
I found a place offering massage therapy and I wondered if I would show up and it would be like it was in the movies. I didn't know. There was no way to tell for sure how it would be. I had no friends or relatives that had ever been to a massage before. My therapist was female as I had expected from the movies, I was nervous, I wasn't sure how much of my clothes I should take off. She didn't say leave your underwear on or take them off. I left them on. I wasn't comfortable enough to get undressed all the way.
The massage itself was fine, I think I was too worried to really relax and so I don't think it helped as much as it should have. Sometimes the problem we have as humans is that we can't get out of our own way. We are too nervous to try something new, unable to give up control, and just let our bodies relax. Once you find this place of letting go it's amazing. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to get back there. You will notice you were holding your leg up or tensing your muscles to maintain stability, but when you really give up control your muscles can be massaged and manipulated to release all the tension that is stored in them.
Back to my story, so there I am, massage over, I'm dressed and she never asked me if I wanted anything obscene, she didn't touch me anywhere inappropriate and the cops didn't swoop in and arrest us. Turns out it was not the same as in the movies. I had found a legitimate place of business for massage therapy. I started making regular appointments with this establishment and my chiropractor was happy that I was starting to have more movement as my muscles loosened up.
Long story short, I still get massages some 15 years later. I've moved around from establishment to establishment trying to find the right place, some are better than others. Some therapists are better than others. It's just how it goes. Some went to schools that taught them more for the same price that other schools charged extra to learn that methodology. Some therapists are just new and learning how to make it their own, others have many years of experience and can provide you with so much knowledge on how to help yourself.
To wrap up this story, I now co-own a company called Massage Nexus. Our goal is to provide a better experience for our massage therapists and pay them a fair wage for their skills. Many of the franchise-type massage therapy companies are paying an hourly wage less than most warehouses start out. We believe that if we treat our employees better this will allow them to treat our clients better. They will not be overworked and they will not be underpaid. They will have the ability to take care of their health and in turn, when they help you they will be better suited to help you in your health and well-being journey.
We continue to research and study new techniques and modalities to offer the most effective services. Bodywork is not only about helping you feel better but it is also about helping you to recognize your own true nature, to learn to feel good, and to see the connections in your life and in the natural world. We work with people of all ages and all walks of life, including athletes and people with chronic medical conditions. Our therapists are compassionate, knowledgeable, and skilled.