To Glute Or Not To Glute?

When it comes to the gluteal muscles, or “glutes” as they’re commonly referred to, there is a surprising amount of debate among bodyworkers and clients alike as to whether this area of the body should be included in a regular massage session or not. The buttocks have long been an area that, especially in the U.S., have been seen as potentially erotic in nature, with many people growing up knowing that someone touching their behind is an inappropriate gesture unless that person has express consent to do so. Even when entering massage school, many students fill out paperwork that asks them both if they are comfortable having their gluteals worked on as well as whether they are comfortable working on the gluteals of their fellow students. So should the gluteals have a regular place in your massage sessions, or is it best left out?

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Being Able to Say "No"

For massage therapists especially, one very difficult challenge seems to be the ability to say “no” to a given situation if we need to. We are such giving people that it can be extremely difficult for us to tell anyone that we cannot accommodate their request. Many of us would almost rather not practice than have to do that, but the unfortunate reality is that we have to draw boundaries in and around various parts of our lives and keep those boundaries intact. Otherwise, we risk overextending ourselves and burning out. There are many situations that may call for a therapist to say “no.” The following are some common potential situations therapists may run into as well as ways to help therapists find out if they are in such situations and how best to say “no” while still being professional.

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The Vocabulary of Massage Therapy

When I had to “fire” my first client, it was due to a unique set of circumstances, largely centered around the language used in text communications with me. He spoke of feeling the “love through my touch” and that he wanted me to “engulf and envelope” him with my “soft and sweet sexy hands.” To his credit, he had been a complete gentleman while in his very first session, and may, in fact, have meant nothing but honest and sincere, if awkward, compliments by the words. But the fact that I had been made uncomfortable, even if unintentionally, by that and other text messages he sent, was enough to cause me to refuse to rebook him. The brand new and still fragile relationship of trust and safety between us had been broken.

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An Inside Look at Massage Cancellation Policies

One of the hardest things that massage therapists have to deal with is clients who cancel their appointments, especially when it turns out to be a no-show who has given no notice that they were planning to cancel. It is for this reason that many massage therapists have had to enact cancellation policies for their practices. Some clients are surprised or offended that they will be charged for a missed appointment or last-minute cancellation, since to them it seems only a minor adjustment to the massage therapist’s schedule. In this post, I would like to give people an inside look into the process of setting up a massage room as well as how not showing up for an appointment or cancelling on short notice is truly an inconvenience to your massage therapist.

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Massage Is Preventive Medicine

Imagine, if you will, a scenario. Two women, both of the same age, similar physical characteristics, and similar lifestyles. They both have rather intense careers in similar fields and find that stress builds up in their lives on a daily basis to the extent that it begins to impact their health. One woman simply grits her teeth and muscles her way through each day. She won’t let anything slow her down, and as a result, she starts to notice that little health concerns tend to grow into much larger ones.

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The Therapist's Touch

What separates an amazing therapist from a good therapist, or even from a bad therapist? Undoubtedly, certain characteristics come to mind. Someone who really cares. Someone who shows you the kind of respect that you deserve as a human being. Someone with the energy level and professionalism that helps keep you calm and relaxed. Someone with the intuition that helps them pinpoint and treat your problem effectively. Someone who takes the time to really listen to you and attend to your needs.

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The Body as an Instrument

Talk to anyone in an orchestra (or anyone who is a musician, for that matter) and they will tell you that their instrument needs constant proper care. String instruments need to be tuned and bows rosined, woodwind instruments need their reeds properly stored and moistened, and drums need to have their membranes tightened. If these steps were not consistently taken to ensure the instruments' top performance, the entire orchestra would sound disgracefully out of tune.

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