Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2012

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Page 105 of 132

AROMATHERAPY include enhancing extras like the use of aromatherapy, foot soaks, and warm packs to increase the sense of luxury and relaxation experienced by the client. The drawback to such routines is that clients may not get the specific work they need for their particular areas of muscular tension. The advantage is that clients can anticipate their massage experience and can count on receiving the same massage when they return for another session. When massage is used purely for relaxation, the predictable quality of a set routine can actually add to the client's sense of safety and ability to unwind. Routines are probably best used for specific body areas in relaxation settings. For example, some therapists develop a very effective foot routine that helps them build a loyal clientele who especially like foot massage. In many spas, the face is massaged while the body is cocooned in a body wrap. If a therapist has taken the time to develop a face massage routine that incorporates a variety of strokes, it is likely to enhance the client's experience. CONTRASTING CASE STUDIES Consider the following examples of how two different massage therapists open and close their sessions. Steve pays attention to how he opens and closes his massages. He likes to use resting and holding strokes and a short breathing exercise (described in "The Beauty of Breathwork," Massage & Bodywork, July/August 2012, page 100). To open the massage, he places his hands on the client with clear intent and allows the client to accept INHALATION ROUTINE At the beginning of the session place 1 drop of an essential oil or blend of oils between your hands and rub them together to generate heat. Now, hold your hands close to the client's nose while he takes a deep breath. Use sedative oils such as hyssop, lavender, or neroli at the beginning of the massage, and stimulating oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint, or rosemary at the end of the massage. Photos courtesy of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Check out video of this article's techniques in the Massage & Bodywork digital edition on Visit the newly designed Log in. Explore. Enjoy. 103

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