Clients often come to me and say, ‘I’m aching all over – please, I need a full body massage.’ Who doesn’t love the idea of lying down and having their entire body worked on? I love it too. But as a therapist I feel a bit caught when someone asks me for a full body massage when they’ve only booked 60 minutes. Sure, the kind of therapist who massages by numbers is used to this and has already calculated that it’s 15 minutes for the back, 10 for each of the legs, 10 for shoulders, and so on. But my problem with that is that one hour simply isn’t long enough to give a full body massage when you want to break down tensions and adhesions along the way and when you want to connect with what’s really going on with the person in front of you.
The other week a guy came to me in Islington wanting a full body massage and I said, well, I’ll do the best I can but I can’t promise I’ll cover everything: it depends what I find. What I found was legs so tight and tense that I spent the full hour just on them – I could have spent the hour just on his calves or his glutes! Once I got to work, my client realised how tight his legs were and he was fine when I told him I was going to spend the whole session on them. After an hour’s deep-tissue work, combined with some soft tissue release and a lot of facilitated stretching, his legs felt great and the pain in his glutes and hamstrings was gone. He said he’d be back so I could look at his right shoulder problem! I guess he had understood that deep-tissue work is slow and that a great massage needs time. Those extra 30 minutes in a 90-minute massage allow me to enter a different zone of connectedness with the body I’m working on. I’ve noticed that the clients who book a 90 minute massage with me nearly always ask if I do two-hour massages… I’m working on marketing the 24-hour massage, but I might have to work in relay with other therapists. Stay tuned.