Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blindfolded Massage

My classmate and I gave and received blindfolded massage last week. I found it to be a rich experience. I received first, and contrary to my usual trance, I worked hard to pay attention to the sensations.
Starting at the head in the usual pattern, it felt kind of tentative, and slightly off center, but as Trinity progressed she seemed to gain more confidence in herself. the rhythm was good, not a lot of fumbling and stumbling. She paced the massage well, and did a 1 hour pattern pretty close to on time.
When I was blindfolded, I was disoriented a bit at first. The blindfold was pressing against my contacts funny, and they kept feeling weird throughout the massage. Working on the head and face pattern was different, not used to not being able to see, but the hardest part was worrying about poking her in the eyes. I had to switch out oil bottles because the first one I had felt wrong, didn't glide right. It was a little awkward doing the pecs, first worrying about draping and exposure, and then I bonked her on the chin when I switched sides. I was informed that my arm and leg draping was good, did covered abdomen massage, and covered glute massage. I slipped off of the center of the back a bit during the back section, but once I got centered again it worked better.
When giving a blindfolded massage, you can tell where you are by the muscles themselves, and you can gauge your pressure easily. My only big issue was being unable to gauge how much oil I was getting from the bottle. Several times I had to squirt more onto my hands, and once or twice I had to wipe off a bunch. I think that if I had been using a pump bottle I might have done better on oil amounts, but I haven't practiced much with one in regular use.
I think that giving blindfolded massage can make you a better therapist, because you rely on your sense of touch more and you listen more for feedback from your client. Working in dim light is often very relaxing for the client, and I have occasionally caught myself working on someone with my eyes closed. Touch and hearing are really the only senses you need; I haven't figured out what help smell and taste give, unless you are using moxa or incense or scented candles.

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