Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2019

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CLASSROOM TO CLIENT education The Well-Rounded Session What to Leave In When Time is Running Out By Cindy Williams 34 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j a n u a r y / f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 9 It happens all the time. Based on what your client reports to you as wants and needs for their session, you have a plan. The session begins. You're on track. But then you find a line of tension that needs more attention than you expected. Or perhaps you follow a line of tension that leads you astray from your plan, but the path takes you to the root of the problem. That's a good thing, right? It's good until you realize your sidetrack took you farther off track than you realized, and you got lost in the time warp of a deeply focused massage session. Your client asked for a full-body massage, but now you know you have to cut something out to stay on time. Even if you are in a hurry, there are some aspects of a complete massage session that should never be left out. Plus, many of these vital components can be addressed with techniques that take only a few seconds to apply. 1. THE SLOW FLOW Often the first thing to go in a time-constrained massage session is the slow-paced flow of strokes. I can always feel the moment a massage therapist realizes they are short on time. Suddenly, the strokes become faster-paced, incomplete, and disconnected. Granted, some forms of massage are designed to use faster strokes. However, even faster-paced forms of massage are integrated with slow, soothing strokes that invite the client's body to receive and integrate the work. At times, I have felt shakiness in the therapist's hands as they speed up to race the clock, attempting to apply the same amount of strokes as they normally would, but in a shorter amount of time. Speed might beat the clock, but it doesn't make for good therapeutic touch. Your presence and calm as you apply even just one or two long, slow, connected strokes will deliver better results and still save time. Take a deep breath, slow down, stay present, deliver fewer strokes. It's that simple. 2. THE LIMBS Take an honest moment and ask yourself: How many times have you skipped over arms and/or legs entirely because you got hung up working on the back, neck, or hips? It's not necessary. Try these approaches that take 10–15 seconds. The Long, Broad Gliding Stroke. One broad, squeezing sweep offers a sense of completeness and inclusion. Simply grasping the limb proximally between your hands and slowly pulling distally in one fell swoop all the way to the ends of the fingers and toes will do the job and feel much better than being skipped. Compressing Into a Resting Hold. To accomplish this move, slowly travel down a limb (even over a drape) from proximal to distal with sequential palm compressions. An entire limb can be fully addressed with

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