How Massage Differs from Going to the Dentist
I like and respect my dentist. Getting good dental care is a priority for me.
Dentists take great care to make patients as comfortable as possible. But comfort in the dental chair is not why we go to the dentist. The point of going to the dentist is dental health
Whereas experiencing comfort, ease, and safety are what massage is for.
Massage should not hurt.
Massage should feel good. That is the point of massage.
A longtime client liked massage around her jaw muscles. Each treatment when I first touched her face, she’d open her mouth wide to be helpful, just like at the dentist. Each time, I invited her to relax her jaw, always assuring her that she could move her jaw as she wished, but not for my sake.
Similarly, when I lift a client’s arm to work with it, the client sometimes suspends the arm in the air. I appreciate the helpful spirit. There’s no need to help. In fact, allowing me to take the weight of your arm helps the nervous system remember how to relax. Clients are welcome to suspend or move their arms as they wish, but not for my sake.
The point of massage is your comfort and ease. Each treatment is the practice of reminding the body how to relax, which happens when the nervous system feels safe. This cannot happen when there is pain.
Sensations of comfort and ease convey a sense of safety. Feeling good helps the body relax and feel better.