To break down massage to its most basic function, it can be said that when you rub a muscle you bring blood and oxygen to the area, and that the oxygen and increased blood flow helps to heal the area. This is true enough, but lacks one of the most important functions of a massage–human touch. If it was as simple as just working an area and experiencing the resulting physical effects of that area being worked on, you could just go out and buy an electric back massager and your needs would be met.
The key ingredient to massage is really the massage therapist and what he or she brings to the table. Human touch is the factor that plays the most important role in your massage. Even more important than the touch of the therapist is the presence he or she brings to the session. This is where spirituality starts to play a big role in your massage experience. Remember, an electric back massager will still do the basic massage function, but once you add the touch of another human being who is there for you, and present during your session, the whole experience goes to a new and very powerful level.
Many might ask, What does the presence of the therapist have to do with the massage? The answer is rather simple. A good therapist will not only feel with his hands areas that need work, but will also have a sense of what you need. He or she will relate their work to that need, not only in a physical way, but, very often, in a spiritual/energetic way. Lets face it– a therapist will work on a marathon runner in one way and a grieving widow in a totally different manner. It is this awareness, or sensing, a good therapist brings to the table. The session can then take on a more spiritual role —- a healing role. This is the difference between a back massager and the human touch.
The total presence of the therapist will create a safe place for the client. Once the receiver feels that they are in a safe environment, they can tap deep into themselves and allow any harbored feelings to surface. I have had sessions that have brought up tears of joy, tears of old fears, as well as pure laughter and freedom.
It can truly be a healing of not only the body, but the mind and spirit as well.