I inhale deeply. My breath levels out, my heart rate slows, I'm ready. I place my hands on this warm, breathing, alive body before me. Initial contact. Touch. It's the most intimate experience a human can have, and it's in my control. I'm responsible for this person. I connect with this person on a level which many humans never get to enjoy.
My hands on a person's back. The feeling is warm, sometimes hot, and slippery. Spreading lotion across a person's bare skin. Learning their curves, bumps, anatomy. Their body is speaking to me, through my fingertips. I'm feeling where they hold their pain. I'm feeling where their body needs attention. I'm feeling their emotions, history, their life through my hands.
For example, much of my time might be spent between their shoulder blades and also on their shoulders. Tightness in those areas tells me about their insecurities, their self-image. Slouching, rolling the shoulders forward, hanging the head are all manifestations of poor self-esteem. I can sense this just by touching, my hands exploring their muscles.
Massage is part science, part compassion, part energy. Take away any one of those things and a massage will fall short of its potential. If both my partner and I (because that is what a client truly is: a partner in healing) approach a massage understanding all three aspects, open to possibility, magic can happen.
Acute injuries can heal more quickly. Old chronic pains can dissipate without medication. Abuses of all kinds can be addressed and released. But more common is the feeling of calm and peace we both feel throughout our time together. We've connected. We've shared, likely without saying many words. It's magic, and it's magic that I've personally been honored to experience.