Massage & Bodywork


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C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 35 EXPLORE THE DANCE Dancing your way through a (practice) massage can dramatically improve the rhythm and flow of your strokes, especially when you play music you love. Practice with a classmate and play your favorite songs during your sessions. It doesn't matter if it's alternative, jazz, hip-hop, punk, or rock. Cut loose and really dance. Sway your hips, bounce up and down, roll your shoulders—and keep massaging. What does this energy and these movements of your own body bring to the massage? What components of this experience can you bring into a client session? EXPLORE THE SONG Explore the massage session music you use. Constantly search out music that clients will enjoy, but that also inspires you. In some spas, specific strokes are choreographed to a preplanned (legally procured) soundtrack. This is a fantastic way to build a unique and inspired massage routine. Put together an hour of massage music you enjoy. As you massage, think about bringing the quality of the song into your strokes. An upbeat rhythm might inspire tapotement strokes, while the sad, haunting melody of another song might cause you to drop into the tissue and work very slowly over the deeper structures of the body. A change in a song might fit well with a change in body area or a change in technique. By connecting with music, you are more likely to be present in your own body and apply strokes with fluidity. Pablo Picasso said, "Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life." When massage clients come to us, we have the opportunity to help them leave everyday life behind, if only for an hour or so. When we connect to our own bodies and pay attention to the colors, rhythms, sensations, and shapes of our environment, we transcend dull routines and infuse every massage stroke with inspiration, enveloping the client in the art of our craft. Anne Williams is the director of education for Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals and author of Massage Mastery: from Student to Professional (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012) and Spa Bodywork: A Guide for Massage Therapists (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2014). She can be reached at "Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life." Pablo Picasso

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