Massage & Bodywork

July/August 2013

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reAder FOruM Let's Talk About ... Um ... Erections MOre ... uM … tALK How to Respond Appropriately and Professionally By Sarah A. Ryan-Knox I found Sarah A. RyanKnox's article ["Let's Talk About … Um … Erections," March/April 2013, page 64] on how to respond appropriately and professionally to unintended male sexual arousal during a massage session to be very interesting. If I may, I would like to address this topic from a male's perspective. Males are often reluctant to receive massage for fear of an embarrassing spontaneous erection. The good news is that these concerns about spontaneous erections can easily be overcome with appropriate attire, draping, room décor, and techniques. Everything about the therapist and massage environment should be professional. The therapist should never wear tight-fitting or evening attire to do the massage. The room should have nonsuggestive décor. I use charts on trigger points in my massage room, which not only scream "professional" massage, but they are a tool to explain to the client how and why we address certain trigger points. The draping should include thick enough sheets that you cannot see through them, and I always include a blanket, which adds another layer of protection, making the client feel less vulnerable. If your client gets an erection, I feel it would be a huge mistake to bring it to his attention. He already knows what is happening to him, and he is most likely hoping that you do not! It is easy to draw attention away from this potentially embarrassing situation by moving away from the "danger zone" and looking directly into the client's eyes. If you are working on his legs, you can ask him to draw up his knees and work on the backs of the legs. I would then ask a clinical question such as, "Is the pressure OK?" "Where do you feel the most pain?" "Is there a particular action that causes you pain?" If you are doing a relaxation massage, look your client in the eyes and ask, "Are you warm enough?" or "Do you have any vacation plans for this year?" You might say something like, "Tell me 64 massage & bodywork march/april 2013 about your family," or, "Do you have anything stressful going on in your life?" You can also comment on how a particular muscle feels tight and ask if it is tender. He will appreciate your efforts to make him feel comfortable, and he will assume that you did not notice his embarrassing situation. The more comfortable you make him feel, the more likely he will return to you for additional massages in the future. He is also more likely to refer his friends. If, on the other hand, your client does have a nonprofessional massage in mind, you can simply inform him that this is not the house of happy endings. If he continues with inappropriate behavior, end the massage and inform him that he is not welcome back. It is also nice to have a relationship with the local police in case you need them in a hurry. Discounts to police and fi refighters can help your business in more than one way. The bottom line here is that no male client should ever be made to feel uncomfortable because of his … um … erection during a massage session with you. Fear of getting an erection during massage is a powerful deterrent for male clients. See what benefits await you. 65 DAviD rieDinger, Ms, LMT, nMT duBLin, OHiO MOM's Best YeAr eVer I want to personally thank Eric Brown for the wonderful article in the January/February 2013 issue of Massage & Bodywork ["Your Best Year Ever," page 56]. It is so very timely for me. I am expecting my sixth baby, but it will be the fi rst I've had during my massage career. I have been extremely stressed out about juggling a baby and best year ever 2013 Marketing Road Map a business, and wasn't sure what I was going to do. I was planning on just winging it and trusting that clients would call me when I return from my maternity leave. Your article turned those hopes into practical realities with a strategy to follow and a welllaid-out plan. I am confident now that my summer will be as productive and busy as baby and I are willing and able to make it. I just can't thank you enough. YOUR By Eric Brown When it comes to growing your massage practice, it's sometimes difficult to know exactly where to start the journey. There are many routes to take and many possible destinations. What you really need is a map to make sure you get the best mileage out of the time and money you invest in your practice. DAnieLLe CArr EMAIL YOUR LETTERS TO EDITOR@ABMP.COM. enGLeWOOd, COLOrAdO INCLUDE YOUR FULL NAME AND THE CITY AND STATE IN WHICH YOU RESIDE. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO EDIT LETTERS FOR LENGTH AND CLARITY. See what benefits await you. 13

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