This past week, I got a massage. I love massages. I’ve met people who don’t like them. I think they are freaks of nature, but I love them for that, as it makes it easier for me to get an appointment!
I’ve received massages more or less regularly my entire adult life. Just over a decade ago, my perception of them went from pure bliss and awe to a clinical experience. What happened? I went to massage school.
Yup, part of that collection of degrees that I don’t use is a Massage Technician certificate. After about the first month of training, I realized that I would never have the same experience from a massage again.
I started to pay attention to the man behind the curtain. Once you know he’s there, it’s hard not to look. In my head I was visualizing what my massage therapist was doing – initially to be able to duplicate it in my own practice, and then later that information was merely filed away. I can usually tell within the first few minutes of a massage if my therapist has trained in San Diego, as I know the end product produced by the local massage schools.
I was thinking all of this during my massage, and I posed myself two questions: Does it matter? and Why am I wasting massage time thinking of anything?!?!?
I no longer view the massage therapist as a magician that can make the tension away. Yet now when I encounter a new therapist I can say very specifically what I’m looking for during my session: I have the knowledge and vocabulary. I also can refer friends to different massage therapists based upon what they are looking for in a massage.
Some times I miss massage back when it was magical, but to go back to that would also mean giving up the skills I’ve learned. I love being able to watch someone walking down the street and being able to tell what muscle groups are too tight. Plus giving massages saved me during some tough financial times before my wrists gave out.
In what areas have you seen behind the curtain? Are you glad that you have the knowledge?