11 February 2022
Working in the wellness and spa industry, you can hear many misconceptions and stereotypes. Unfortunately, our – masseurs – task is not only to work with the human body, but also with stereotypes to change them. As the awareness of the society grows and urgent needs are revealed, e.g. to reduce stress, which often accumulates in the body, the approach to massage also changes. Spa centers are rapidly developing, offering the possibility of relaxing treatments and massages. It is an optimistic vision for us, for massage therapists and spa & wellness therapists. The article was written to speed up the decline of old opinions a bit, answer curious questions and reveal some secrets about the spa. So what are these views that stop people from going to get a massage?
1. Massage should hurt
It is a fairly common view and definitely widespread among people who have used various forms of therapeutic massage so far. Usually, during such massages, you may feel pain, but this does not mean that the massage is well performed, but simply about inflammation or other dysfunction of the body and the body’s response to the massage therapist’s touch. It is worth adding here, or in fact significantly emphasizing that massage is uneven. Massage is a general term. There are many types of massages and they can be grouped according to their origin, action – is it supposed to heal, relax, remove soreness, prepare for physical activity, stimulate muscles to grow, etc., etc. Among them, some will hurt, and some on the contrary, they will give you pain relief. One of them is the relaxing massage, which is performed with calmer techniques that give a feeling of bliss and relaxation, but it is also not just stroking, as some believe. After a relaxing massage, you feel refreshed and your muscles are relieved of tension. Think about it – maybe thinking the massage is going to hurt, you just want it to be done deeply and with more pressure. If you want the masseur to perform a stronger massage, even if he does not ask about the pressure beforehand, you can always communicate it.
2. I have a massage when something hurts
Such an opinion about massage has developed in environments that know only therapeutic massage or use it interventional, when they actually suffer any trauma or feel pain. It should be mentioned here that in Poland, especially in its eastern regions, the massage culture is at a relatively low level. This means that when you say massage, you mean pain relief or rehabilitation. You are just starting to wake up to the realization that massage can be a way to relieve stress or have a good time. Spa centers play an important role here, as they develop at a rapid pace, at the same time giving the opportunity to use the water zone and saunas definitely associated with a pleasant weekend. There is one more thing you should pay attention to – if you go to the massage BEFORE the pain occurs, then you are preventing it. So come for a massage regularly and the pain may not appear at all.
3. I won’t pay that much money for stroking, my wife can pet me
Here we go to the heart of the well-worn and somewhat infamous view about massage. Well, massages, especially the relaxing ones, are a bit associated with erotic massages or with some form of male-female relationships. Of course, there are erotic massages, but they are performed in special offices that deal only with such services. If you are looking for such services, you will not find them in the so-called in normal salons or in a spa, and if you think that you will receive ambiguous signals during the massage, I will tell you that a masseur who respects himself and the client’s dignity will never send them. Besides, the massage itself does include stroking techniques, but they are a small part of the massage, and a properly selected methodology cannot be based only on this technique. If you’ve been to a massage that only seemed to you stroking, it may have been performed too lightly or by an inexperienced masseur. However, I will raise the issue of price another time.
4. I am ashamed of the masseur or I will not undress
As masseurs, we often meet shy clients and those who do not fully accept their body. The vast majority are women. We understand this resistance as much as possible, because we are also human. However, as certified therapists, we maintain professional ethics and respect for the human body, no matter what it looks like. Besides, for us the sight of the human body is not something new and we probably will not notice the shortcomings that you see in the mirror all the time, and even if there were visible changes – scars, stretch marks, asymmetry, we always treat the human body with care and respect. In addition, we care for the privacy of the client by properly working with towels – covering the body, giving a safe space for changing. Remember – you never lie completely naked in our office. Before the massage, we give you a massage a disposable lick, and during the massage we will always ask you (depending on the type of massage) whether we can discover the chest. Our priority is the well-being and comfort of the client, so do not be afraid to come to the massage, even if you have never used it.
5. All I need is a massage chair
The so-called substitutes for masseur’s hands, i.e. popular armchairs, beds with vibration option, massage guns. Of course, they fulfill their purpose in some way, but the role of human touch cannot be overestimated here. And although armchairs or beds do not require specialist service and are easy to use, they will never “sense” the places to be given more attention or adjust the pressure force to individual changes in muscles. Human touch, positive energy flowing from the masseur are factors that have a healing, relaxing effect on a person and his psyche, not only the body. Therefore, it is not enough just to use massage devices, or at least once in a while to feel the magic of human touch.
6. Massage is a luxury, I cannot afford it
Massage is often considered a luxury or a redundant thing, wasted money for nothing. Price is usually a sensitive topic, but it should be noted that a good service will always come at the right price, and masseurs who know how much they give will value themselves. The profession of a massage therapist is just as valuable as a doctor or baker, but still underrated. There is hope, however, that these stereotypes disappear as clients find out how much relief they have experienced or how well they feel after a massage or spa treatment, sometimes even better after visiting a doctor. Current times generate a lot of stress and fear, so the importance of professions such as psychologist, psychotherapist, masseur, spa & wellness therapist – we are looking for ways to deal with stress and emotional tension. Massage becomes everyday life, not a luxury.