How many eyes does a massage therapist have?
From the moment the client entered our office, and until his departure, we must carefully monitor him. Full immersion in the process of examining the client and a thorough analysis of all the “prompts” available to your senses, left by the client’s body and body, can provide boundless amounts of information that will help you choose the most effective technique for this particular case and develop a treatment strategy. The result will be healthy and satisfied customers!
Of course, we are all used to relying on our eyesight – with our own eyes we can see the client’s gait, his posture, movements, mental and emotional state. But this is only the beginning. Each massage therapist has “eyes” on his hands and an inner eye, an eye of the mind, using which we will even more deeply recognize the client’s body. It is the ability to use such types of “vision” that brings our work to a whole new level.
Of course, you were told about the principles of using all the senses in the massage process at the institute or school of massage, but this topic is so vast that it is never superfluous to discuss it a little more.
YOUR REAL EYES
Attention to visual, visual hints during the examination of the client (and, of course, before it starts – from the moment the client entered the office) will give you very valuable information about what the client wants to receive from the massage and which approaches will be most effective . It doesn’t matter if you are working with a new client (unless in this case this process will take a little longer) or with a regular client, which will take you a couple of minutes to examine, it is always useful to pay attention to the following details:
• Freedom of movement: does the client move freely, beautifully, gracefully, or does it seem from the side that some joints are constrained, movements are limited or asymmetrical?
• Symmetry: Is one shoulder higher than the other? Or is one hip taller than the other? Is the client slouching? Is his head moving forward? It should be noted that, when it comes to medical massage, a more thorough diagnosis is necessary – a simple visual examination will not be enough.
• Breathing: when the client is breathing, does his abdomen expand? Does his chest rise and expand? Does the client have rapid, uneven breathing, or vice versa – relaxed and even? • Activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Does the client speak loudly and / or fast? Does he actively gesticulate, does he move a lot when discussing any issues? Does the client tremble, sweat? Does he seem tired, lost, sad, are there any signs of depression?
• Body language: in what position does the client sit and stand – open or closed? (For example, the rounded shoulders and the bowed head are a closed pose, and the straightened shoulders and the forward looking gaze (at the interlocutor) are open). Does the client look you in the eye? Is his jaw clenched?
The potential for visual inspection of the client is truly huge – all the information simply does not fit into one article. I will advise you one thing – take into account everything that you see, interpret it using your professional skills, and, based on the information received, decide which field to work with, at what pace, what techniques and techniques (for example, to develop mobility or breathing exercises) use. This information will even help you decide which music to include in your office. Each decision made on the basis of information collected during the inspection process makes the session more individual, more customer-oriented.
EYES OF YOUR HANDS OR PALPATION SKILLS
Of course, we all practice palpation every day and develop this skill. However, many massage therapists, regardless of experience and length of service, are faced with the fact that palpation for them turns into a routine and in the process of diagnosis they lose concentration. We can spend 5-10 sessions a day with different clients, we do it every day, our attention is scattered, we get tired, our mind floats away somewhere far, far away, and in this state it is very easy to miss important details.
Perhaps, beginners simply do not have enough palpation skills, and for experienced ones this “eye” is blurred in the same way as real eyes – this is not so important. We should always pay attention to the state of the client’s tissues, feel any little things and constantly maintain feedback – this will make the client understand that they see him, hear and feel that he is not indifferent to the massage therapist. One simple question: “I feel that something is wrong here, and you?” can already make a big difference. But this is all psychology, and in fact, without attention and practical skills, it is nothing. Palpating, concentrate on the following:
• Tonus of the tissues and texture: does the tissue appear palpated to be grainy, dry, swollen, smooth, full, tight, relaxed, not amenable, uneven, wavy, is it easy to lift and move, is its mobility unrestricted, is there nodules? In fact, all of these descriptions may not be useful to you – intuition will help you!