The concept of a massage hammer is not so different from using a wooden stick for Thai reflexology which is commonly done in Thailand. The wooden stick is more low-tech, but it is still a tool. I don't use tools much in massage, but there are cases where they are very useful.
Detaching from the results of my massage has been difficult yet rewarding. I had to do the same thing when I taught yoga and did juice cleanses. I always wanted to help people overcome their problems and get healthy. I realized that many people are not willing to change, and they only wanted my service for enjoyment. It’s better to just give a good service and wait for the right client to come to you who wants to make those changes, rather than expect everyone to do them.
Relieving tension and problem areas in people’s bodies is one way I can offer a good service. I find them by observing their body before the massage and feeling with my fingertips. sometimes I can release the tension with hands elbows or knees. Other times I might have to stretch and do rocking motions to get them to let go. A combination of both makes the most impact i’ve notice.
it is also important not to overwork an area. I use my intuition to know how to approach my clients problem. most of the time, I look at the hip level and can see that most problems come from their hara being off center. I fix the hips before I get into the knots. The hara’s position can tell you a lot about how the spine is torsioned or curved.
This is one of the challenges of our profession - how to do our best to help our clients, and at the same time be detached from the results. This is a subtle balance, but essential for our mental health.
I think that this is one reason why medical doctors, and especially surgeons, have a much higher than average suicide rate. It is easy to see one's best effort as a personal failure when the operation did not help or worse.
Luckily as massage therapists we don't have to deal with life or death situations, but the principle still applies. This simple motto works for me:
'We can help all of the people some of the time, we can help some of the people all of the time, but we can never help all of the people all of the time.'
”We can help all of the people some of the time, we can help some of the people all of the time, but we can never help all of the people all of the time.”
I’m going to remember that. Today I reviewed how to smoothly transition from one position to the next. That lead me into working on my partners shoulders. She is a cashier and gets tight from bagging groceries. Out of everyone, you would think that she has the least tension, but I always find the toughest knots deep under her scapula. I worked through these in the prone position and alternated doing stretching and massaging techniques. After that, I moved her into the side position to rotate her shoulder and stretch out the arms.
To close, I used some visualization to imagine the “ropes” in her shoulder releasing and her whole body being like a ship setting sail. I used the energy from the plants in our home, the sun rising, and the birds singing outside to send her some love through a gentle rocking motion. I believe that sometimes, just acknowledging the problem area with a simple touch can produce the same result as some of the most effective massage techniques.
Thank you for another great course Shama.