My short bio: I started massage on my mother from childhood; she had a complicated injury from a motorcycle accident that led to yearly surgeries, and I was her at-home every-medical-care-provider she needed. I went to school for massage two years ago and completed professional training 11 months ago. There's a lot out there about massage, and not much of what I've heard is true. I love my profession. I loved it before I even knew exactly what it was. I thought I was in love with physical therapy for the longest time and that massage was just light touch, only fancy petting, something only the rich could afford the LUXURY of. I've learned the difference, and I couldn't have been more wrong. Massage is a necessity.

I'd love to talk to anyone about any aspect of my life, but I'm really hoping to educate people on just what massage is/means, and what it can potentially do for a person, and even what people can do for themselves through self-massage.

My school:
Utah, the mother school: Denver, my campus: Steiner Education, my school's umbrella corp:

Here is my proof:

Edit: I do have work five days a week during the day/evening, so I won't be able to respond then. Please don't think I don't care!

Comments: 1611 • Responses: 10  • Date: 

FLGulf483 karma

What's the protocol when you are massaging a man and he gets a raging mega boner?

lifehackednoob624 karma

We therapists don't think anything of boners, particularly if the client doesn't make a big deal of it.

Edit: Yes, I was using general terms, and no, I'm not a doctor, so if the physiology is wrong, I'm sorry. This is what I was taught, and I'm open to constructive criticism, so please give me a chance to redeem myself before you say I'm not fit to be talking about massage. Please disregard any explanation given by me on the physiological response of the engorgement of the penis.

The way I was taught, therapists are made sure to have conservative draping techniques (the way the sheet is folded and tucked over a client) so the client is comfortable, able to relax, and does not take anything more from the touch than a professional tissue manipulation to benefit the health of the body.

If the guy is being lewd, I'm able to end the session. I've never had it happen to me yet, but I've had to talk to a couple people about the way they were talking in-session. I'm in a vulnerable position, as is the client for that matter. If either of us does/says anything on the sexual side and the client has an issue later, all the officials have is the words of each of us, and the client has more weight. I try to protect myself professionally as much as possible. It's really easy for me to lose my license.

comikid395 karma

So ELI5, why is massage essential? I've had a few, but never felt that motivated to go all the time. EDIT: Thanks for all the interesting and thought-provoking replies!

lifehackednoob11 karma

This is something that really is such a broad question, it's hard to answer, even if it doesn't seem like it.

I'm pro-massage for anyone, not just professional massage, not just at spas or places of great reknown. Massage is an essential part of life no matter who you are. What happens when you stub your toe? Hit your head? You rub it, press on it, knead it. That's massage. I tell all my clients to do self-massage and to stretch and prolong their appointment massages for as long as possible.

While self-massage can do a lot, there are some things you can't do on your own, and self-massage is only half productive, because you're using muscle to relax muscle. I wish I could work on myself a lot of the time, but it just doesn't work like that. That's why there is professional massage.

Who you are, how well you take care of yourself, and what you do for a living are really big factors in how big a role massage should play in your life. For instance, I have a client who sees me weekly; she has scoliosis terribly and had a very bad fall recently. She's obese and doesn't exercise regularly. I'm not saying this to be harsh to the client, just using her as an objective example. She gets complete pain relief for a full week after her massages with me, an improvement from when she started seeing me, and she is seeing structural improvement as time goes on. This is what I live for.

But cases of need don't have to be this severe. I have plenty of mothers and office workers who have muscle tension that needs to be worked out, or it pulls other parts of the body out of line, multiplying problems.

If you're a laid-back person who doesn't worry, doesn't have repetitive movement in any muscles, and who has good posture and is active enough to keep muscle tone and not be overweight, you probably don't need professional massage, or if so, then rarely. Otherwise, I'd try going once and keep a journal of how you feel each day, and try to notice when you return to feeling 'normal'. Try to see if you can pick a time where you're uncomfortable and would like to have less pain/discomfort, and see how far from the time of your massage that was. I usually recommend people go weekly for a few weeks to get the body into shape: literally. Working on a body is often like sculpting. Sometimes the clay is hard and needs to be worked longer than others. The longer you go between sessions, the harder it will be to pick up from where you left off.

Buishi322 karma

How surprised are you that the first question was the boner question?

lifehackednoob392 karma

Not at all. ^ ^ It's probably the most-asked question, and a very valid one. I never get tired of answering it, and always have something to add to it if people want to keep talking.

Most guys are super embarrassed that they got a boner, if it happens, and usually the therapist is the calm one in the situation. We're trained to look at the body as a body, not as a sexual object.

papasmurf826249 karma

what's some quick easy advice for the layman to give a better shoulder/back massage?

Source: I was recently asked to participate in a massage train, had no idea what the hell to do. thanks!

lifehackednoob301 karma

A mistake people make is using their muscle all the time. Give your hands a break and use the fatty pads of your forearms to just kinda lean on the person in front of you. You may have to sit up more, but using your weight to bear down on the person gives good weight to the stroke without any energy spent on your part.

Other than that, make a fist, and pinch your first finger's first knuckle with the pad of your thumb. Use the tip of your thumb to go after pesky knots instead of using your fingertips. Saves your fingers, and the position really supports your thumb.

Erthe16 karma

My partner sustained a minor neck injury in his earlier years, and never got it checked out. I know massaging his neck and upper shoulders helps him feel better, but I feel like my technique is super poor. I just tried your suggestion (to make a fist), and honestly my thumb is too short for it to work.

What else can I try?

lifehackednoob16 karma

Have him lie on his back on the bed with his head to you. It's a better angle if you can sit in a chair to the side, but it can be done with you sitting on the bed too, if that's not possible. Take your forearms and move them over his ears, so your hands are in the crook of his neck on either side. Use your fists (not balled and hard, keep them loose so your fingers can give and not stick him with hard bone) and roll them in a circle, rotating your wrists in and out, pulling the tissue at the crook of the neck outward toward the shoulder. You can use your finger knuckles to pull upward from the base of the neck along the back, using the weight of his head to provide pressure.

If he's sustained an injury, no matter how small, be careful when doing neck massage. I've heard tale of a client who became paralyzed when a therapist pulled their head toward them doing massage like this. I don't say this to scare you, just to caution. Pressure can still be used, just try to make the pressure come from the back of the neck forward, instead of the base of the neck up (when it comes to the base of the skull). This is primarily important with the base of the skull, since that's where the weakest joint is in the area, where the skull attaches to the neck.

CheddarVapor155 karma

Are all knots pretty much the same? Do you have any tips on how to address/avoid them? You mentioned many clients are in the Navy so I assume they've got all kinds of knots. Ha.. sorry.. Serious questions though

lifehackednoob8 karma

Seems like this has been answered already, but I'll put my two cents in.

I kinda see knots in a few different lights. There's muscle, then there's connective tissue. Connective tissue can be tendon and ligament (attachy, hard, stringy things), or it can be a kind of mesh body-stocking that surrounds and is inside every muscle and covers every body compartment. That's the stuff that keeps the things in your body where they are and not moving every which way and getting tangled. Muscle can get knotted up and tight in an area, and that may just be the fibers of the muscle not being able to relax. Another option is that the connective tissue is too sticky/hard/congealed/tangled in that area and is balled on itself. In that case, it's not a matter of just stretching, but you have to apply heat and pressure to soften the connective tissue and mold it to the way it's supposed to be.

I hope this is a good answer for you. All in all, most knots can be treated the same way, but some are so dense you have to just crush it with pressure so you can even begin to spread it out to how it's supposed to be. That's where deep tissue massage comes in.

lifehackednoob133 karma

I see a couple really good questions were just posted, and I'm getting ready for work now. I really wanted to post this notice so people know I see their interest and I'll return it, but duty calls! Thank you all so much for showing interest, and I really look forward to talking to you all. <3 ^ ^

PatrickMorris118 karma

How often do people hint that they are looking for a happy ending? What are some if the cheesiest/most embarrassing ways?

lifehackednoob225 karma

Hmm... I work near a naval base, so I get lots of lonely military guys when the subs come in. It's kinda funny sometimes, because a guy will casually mention it inquisitively, testing the waters, but I can tell he's actually interested. I feel for the guy in a way, and it makes me smile a little because there's no way in hell it'd happen. I let him know it's totally professional, and if he wants to have that done, he needs to find another woman, in more or less words. Usually it doesn't come to telling him off, and I'm usually mid-massage, so I just turn the subject and act like it never came up, partially to save him embarrassment.

I don't get the question/comment about happy endings often, really. I think I haven't had anyone mention it this month, though I do get a lot of return clientele, so most know me enough already to not ask silly questions haha.

AutoBond-5 karma

Just how happy were you when you heard "The Client List" was cancelled?

lifehackednoob2 karma

I've honestly not heard of it, so just as happy as I ever am. ^ ^