Massage comes with touch, is in many ways sensual, and the sort of touch used in massage comes with closeness, togetherness, and a certain type of intimacy. Moreover, massage is an activity as old as the history of mankind and it’s supposed to be gentle, kind, loving, nurturing, and healing.
To help, support, and heal people, it’s important to understand the motives of clients’ seeking treatments. There are a variety of reasons and one of those is the fact that many people just miss to be touched physically — fully and wholly. Some receivers haven’t been touched kindly or closely for many, many years already, and let’s not forget — loving, compassionate and caring touch can work miracles.
Therapists need to deal with this type of demand, and act carefully, responsibly, sensibly and with integrity while giving sessions. The last thing any client needs is to experience a feeling of abuse. On the contrary, the client needs to feel a safe and trusting space being able to open-up, relax, and let go genuinely.
Another issue is that some clients feel ashamed of their bodies or certain parts of their bodies. They may have an erroneous idea about the “ugliness” of their bodies or specific body parts or they may have actual malformations or illnesses. Respect is needed for this kind of feelings while at the same time nurturing the proper environment for clients.
Especially with therapeutic massage sessions a therapist will first need to talk intensively with the client. Many physical health problems have a mental, psychological, or emotional background or connection — partially or even fully.
Aspects of confidentiality, privacy and trust apply here and what is said and talked about should stay within the boundaries of the session. Sometimes the massage therapist is pushed in the role of a counselor and — except for being a licensed psychologist at the same time — the practitioner needs to be careful with this and know well where limits and limitations are with regard to giving psychological advice or guidelines.
Sensual and Genital Treatments
With sensual erotic, sexual, or genital massage treatments such as for instance Karsai Nei Tsang Genital Detox Massage, Maya Abdominal Massage, Taoist Erotic Massage, Yoni Massage, or Lingam Massage, the therapist needs to handle a very specific realm.
The client comes for genital or sexual healing, or for sexual pleasure, and the therapist will necessarily touch and manipulate the private and intimate parts. Here it’s of absolute necessity to be very clear beforehand about the goal of the session and set strict boundaries for both sides.
On the other hand, with these types of massage and bodywork treatments, the client also needs to get the space to a guilt-free experience of natural appearing feelings of arousal or even a sexual orgasm, without getting the feeling that it’s something wrong or to be ashamed of.
Intimacy in the Classroom
And finally I’d like another situation where intimacy aspects play an important role. You see, with giving or taking a massage training course, one necessarily works with people that touch each other intensively and frequently.
Both students and teachers need to be aware of the dynamics and risks involved here and be clear about the boundaries. Some massage teachers address this issue explicitly before a training starts, other teachers only assume implicitly that the classroom should be a safe one.
In any case, the massage classroom is a space and place of learning, and not of emotional, sensual, or sexual release, although here also… emotional release may happen spontaneously, and a competent massage teacher needs to handle those instances appropriately.