Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happy Endings NOT

Like many other massage therapists, there comes a moment when a client or potential client feels that a massage is nothing more than something sexual. Some may just assume since you are a massage therapist that it is a front for some type of sexual business. Some may refer to it as a massage with a happy ending. There are many different ways and forms that this takes from the very subtle to the outright direct requests.

I do know some massage therapists will cave in to the pressure of extra money while disregarding their ethics, morals and the real purpose they most likely wanted to learn massage. In fact, I remember one former massage therapist telling me of one of his adventures that he bragged about until I said, look - I don't want to hear it! Fortunately he is no longer a massage therapist.

It wasn't easy for me to bring this up on this blog because I'd like to pretend in many ways that it does not exist or it only exists in a few cases. Yet, I know and I get confronted with it even if it is in a somewhat joking manner. I did not go into massage to do things sexually for others. I am so repulsed by that thought that I can barely find a coherent sentence to say what I want to say.

My father used to get me to always massage his neck or back when I was a kid. While I now am understanding that I had a special touch and sense in my hands, it was how my abilities got mangled up into something I had no desire to do that caused great distress for me. While the initial request to massage his neck or back which hurt, was most likely legitimate, there were times that it led to things, no child should ever have to do with a parent. And for many years, the healing ability that I was given was mixed up with the not so good things I endured. It took a long time to get myself to the point of being able to go to massage school and learn this skill without the sexual stuff trying to take place.

One of the types of body work I prefer is the modalities that allow the person to keep their clothes on. I'm so much more comfortable working with someone in this way than having a draped but unclothed person lying on a massage table. Maybe the triggers of my past are still very prevalent. I have found that I can be just as effective through the clothes of someone as I can without the clothes. There is no difference for me in that. And it allows me to escape past some of the sexual innuendos and games that too many want to play when getting a massage.

More importantly though than my own triggers that I face is that so many in our country do not understand what massage is really about nor what it means to live in our bodies. To be touched in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental way is one of the most healthiest things we can give our bodies. Yet, many of us have been taught that to be touched is something that is equal to sex and sex is touch. While that may be true, touch in its purest form is what should be the norm in our society. There are so many examples of this around us if we only open our eyes and look at them.

I'm here to say, that if you allow yourself to be touched in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental manner, your life will positively change in many ways. The knowledge that we can gain from ourselves through touch and the metamorphosis that can take place are far greater gifts than we could ever give ourselves. Touch may be a part of sex but wholesome touch is not sex, it is much greater than that.

My hope is that anyone reading this will be a little more informed as to what massage is and what it is not. Most massage therapists do not like to have clients confuse sex and massage because it diminishes the gifts they have. Those massage therapists that do cross the lines are not only violating the code of ethics they adhere to as part of their license but they are degrading one of the most basic human concepts which is touch. Please don't fool yourself or others into thinking that crossing the line is ok.

If you do not get regular massage or bodywork done, you are missing out on so much. The body is a storehouse of so much information and sometimes that brief moment of touch can yield so much for our lives. It can truly be a beautiful thing if we allow it to be. If you're unsure about what massage should be or have questions, please feel free to ask me. I'll do my best to answer it.

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