Giving a massage can become like meditation for the therapist. Once immersed fully into the massage, the hands seem to be moving on their own and conscious thought is reduced to a bare minimum.
My hands just “know” where to massage and what techniques to use. I can place my hands on a client and instantly find that spot that’s sore and needs attention. Sometimes I even surprise myself by what techniques I use, them being different from what I logically would choose. I “Just” know if I should be gentle and use long soft strokes, or I should be intense and use pinpoint focus. I “Just” know if there’s need for more caring and compassion or it’s a need for physical attention.
When I’m in that state, it can feel like knowledge is flowing through me, that my “Higher Self” or some other power is directing my massage. My intent is crystal clear and intense and the results are very powerful. I don’t consciously use my learning or logic to massage with, but just know what’s right and wrong in that particular moment.
It’s a difficult thing to fully describe. The closest expression I’ve come across is when artists say they go into the “Zone” or “Flow”.
As Wikipedia describes it: “Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity … The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task.“
As with artists, not every massage brings me into the “Zone”. Some massages lack the challenge to bring on the Flow and become relaxing instead. This perhaps becomes more of a meditation, which centres and calms me.
Reading what artists write about the “Zone”, we share many common experiences. We both feel time disappear and can be surprised by discovering how much time actually did pass. We share a feeling of very narrow focus, barely or not at all, noticing what goes on around us. Often we work intensely but afterwards only see the results and have only a vague recollection of what we actually did to achieve it.
Some painters can only reach the “Zone” being completely undisturbed and alone. I’ve found that when I give massages, especially short chair-massages, then my environment doesn’t matter. I “zone out” the noise, people and disturbances around me and become completely immersed in my task.
It is after those “Zone” sessions that people always rise from the chair or table with a huge smile on their face, feeling amazed by the effect of the massage.
It’s not only the receiver who gains benefits from it, I do as well. Being in the “Zone” is very rewarding in itself, it’s almost thrilling. And to see how people react and how happy they are for the massage brings on a second reward to me which always lights up the day no matter how grey it was.
Have you received a massage from a therapist in the Flow and was it different from a non-Flow massage? Share your experiences by posting a comment below.