So, it’s the weekend and I’m having the usual conversation with my friend about whether we should go out or stay in. It’s cold, dark and miserable and it’s only 5.30pm. The conversation as it goes most weekends goes something like this.
“Well we could go out and we should go out as we’re single, but it would be nice to stay in the warmth. I could brush up on my full body massage routine, tailor it to how you’re feeling, tired and stressed, which is standard for a Friday night. Then we could have a healthy dinner and we will both feel amazing tomorrow”. “What do you think”?
As I’m sure you can imagine, my friend had no intention of setting foot outside in the cold after that conversation. I mean, who wouldn’t want an hour and a half full body massage with a facial and an Indian head massage thrown in for good measure.
There’s nothing better than starting the weekend feeling amazing rather than tired and burnt out after drowning your stresses in the bottom of a wine bottle, only to feel worse the next day. That’s my opinion anyway, although believe me it was the opposite not too long ago! I’d wake up most Saturday’s hungover after knocking back copious amounts of vino to take the edge of a tough week.
So, I set up the room, light the vanilla amber and lavender coconut wax blend candles hoping to create a gorgeous scent and a sense of calm. The heating is turned up a notch so the room is cosy and I cover the massage bed with fluffy towels, biscuit and powder blue, my favourite colour combo. Oh, and not forgetting the fur rug thrown over for extra warmth, adding a nice soft fluffy texture against the skin. For me, it’s all in the detail!
The music is on, calm, slow, you know the kind that takes you to a whole different place and makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, and then my friend arrives. I treat her like I would a client and go through the important questions of how she’s feeling, if there’s any issues, back problems, shoulder tension etc. and then we agree on what type of treatment she’s looking for and the areas of the body, if any she would like me to focus on. I ask about the type of pressure she likes, whether she’s had massages before and if so the type of massages she’s had (deep tissue, thai etc.). I need to understand what will work for her.
For me, the pressure is one of the most important aspects of a massage. What’s enjoyable for one person is very different to the next. I personally like people standing on my back (no pain no gain), so if I based my treatments on my own preferences, we’d both end up in a whole lot of trouble. I then choose a massage oil depending on how’s she’s feeling and it’s clear she wants a relaxing massage. So, I make a blend of lavender, ylang ylang and bergamot, a blend I created, which to me is the most relaxing scent!
Before we agree to silence, so she can enjoy the atmosphere, the music and get lost in the moment, I do a little pressure test and ask which pressure feels the most comfortable. At least then I know that we’re in tune with each other. Now the focus is pure relaxation and no chats. I really get into the flow and it amazes me how much I actually enjoy giving massages as much as I do receiving them. I find it really therapeutic, particularly whilst I take in the beautiful aromatherapy scents. That’s crazy right! I mean I must love it if I’m happy to give up my weekends and evenings to make someone feel good.
I’m not sure if I enjoy it because it’s so physical, it literally feels like a work-out at times, and I have “a whole load of energy I need to put to good use”, or whether it’s the fact that I know I’m making someone feel good. Actually, it’s definitely both! And that’s the point, the reason I love holistic therapy so much is that I’m finally in a job where I can make people feel better and they can feel instant results! You can literally tell by someone’s face after the treatment how they’re feeling. When they leave smiling, I smile, it’s such good feeling and when they book in for their next appointment, well that’s a result!
I always follow up the next day with a little message. It’s important for me to know how my clients are feeling and to understand the effects of their massage after a good night’s sleep. And that’s the thing, everyone says after having a massage they feel extremely light and that they slept like a baby. There will be the odd occasion where my client may be a little sore but that’s when they’ve asked me to focus on knots with a more intense pressure to help break them down. Worth pointing out that I wouldn’t advise going partying right after a massage as a massage boosts circulation pushing your lymph fluid around the body so you shed excess fluids more quickly. Dehydration alert, hence you need to up your H2O afterwards!
I finish our holistic evening with an Indian Head Massage, they are divine (tried and tested). They are also very good for relieving stress and tension in the head, which is apparent with a number of clients who have highly stressful jobs. I leave my friend to rest for a good 20 minutes and go into the kitchen to make dinner. We chat over our healthy meal about how she felt after the treatment (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want Pizza) and in no time at all she’s literally falling asleep on the couch. She heads off home to bed (peaceful sleep no doubt) and I pour myself a glass of red wine! I had a lovely evening mastering my craft and making someone feel good, and let’s face it, I could never be T Total so there’s no point in kidding myself. Everything in moderation!
In a world that is moving at rapid speed, it’s so important to look after yourself. In my next blog I will be talking about all the benefits of a body massage, but for now, my Sunday roast is calling!