For those who aren’t quite as adept at the art themselves, it seems like one of the most attractive perks of knowing someone who is a massage therapist would be the chance for getting personalized massages.
There is no doubt that massage therapists do give each other massages. However, it is not all fun and games.
Massage Therapy School
The practice of massage therapy is a hands-on affair and it is this way right from the start when training begins. It is in fact a very common practice among massage therapy students to try the practical application of their lessons on each other.
There are two elements to this:
- It allows the aspiring therapist to get a feel of actual human anatomy because the diagrams and descriptions from class can only convey limited information. Apart from this, it familiarizes them with the differences in texture, firmness and elasticity of different subject so they learn to be able to adapt their techniques to a wide range of clients during their career.
- It allows the subject of the massage to understand what each stroke and touch feels like to the recipient. It allows them to gauge the effectiveness of each technique through personal experience. Perhaps most importantly, it gives an appreciation for the level of pressure and the deftness of touch than can only be acquired after receiving that particular application themselves.
It is not uncommon for massage schools to specifically dictate that students exchange massages for these very reasons.
Professional Massage Therapists
When a student becomes a proficient therapist, the reasons for exchanging massages with other therapists become more nuanced. At this stage, it transforms into the ideal way for practitioners to hone their skills. It allows them to learn the finer points of technique from more experienced therapists and identify the shortcomings in their own application of the same skills.
It also is an essential part of developing an individual’s particular style and technique. Exchanging feedback as massages are traded not just between two individuals but many more allows them all to incorporate parts of each other’s methods to develop unique combinations that differ from person to person.
Massage therapists also take massages from each other when they are trying to learn an entirely new type of massage – for example, 4 hands massage. Because even similar massage styles use subtle differences in application to achieve different goals for the recipient, even experienced therapists in one particular school of massage can learn immensely from an exchange of ideas and skills from others from another school.
This exchange of ideas has actually been the basis and reason behind the genesis of some of the different types of massage that exist.
Apart from the above reasons which are largely based on the pursuit of deeper knowledge and a development of finer skills, massage therapists also use their abilities in massage as a tool of barter.
Exchanging massages for other valuable goods and services is as common among therapists as any other reason for giving each other massages. Of course, friends might exchange them as gifts.