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What exactly is Intuitive Massage

I call my style of massage intuitive because I let the body speak to my hands. The combination of my knowledge and experience, your input and feedback, and the flow of muscle fibers under my fingers is what guides me through the treatment. Instead of just going through the learned motions of a Swedish or an Indian Head massage, for example, I prefer to spend the time working on the areas that feel best for you. 

What should I expect from my first session?

I will arrive a little early to set up. We will need a space big enough for the treatment, preferably a calm and quiet place that can be closed off. I will ask some pre-treatment questions. Depending on the treatment - and your comfort level - you may want to undress to your underwear; I always leave the room at this stage to give you your privacy. After ensuring that you are warm and comfortable, I will use whichever oil you have selected and we will begin.

How should I prepare for my first treatment?

Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that you don't mind if a little oil stains. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and a big meal for at least an hour prior to the treatment. Turn your cellphone onto silent, and tell people you will be unavailable for the duration of the treatment. This ensures you will not be disturbed. Go to the toilet just before the session begins.

Do you help treat terminal or chronic illness?

While massage has many benefits and can improve mood and general sense of wellbeing, some pre-existing conditions are actually contra-indicators and can worsen from friction or increased blood circulation. I would request that clients disclose any health concerns when booking or prior to treatment so that I may advise and proceed responsibly.

Do massage therapists massage your private parts?

I am posting a long answer here, originally written on 12 October 2021 by Michael Bruffee, A.O.S. Massage Therapy, Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences (2016), Brooklyn, USA.

I am using his words because he has so accurately captured the true essence of this very important question - 

"NO. Absolutely not, never. 

A certified, professional massage therapist should never, ever, under any circumstances, massage your private parts. If they do, and if that is what you are looking for, that is sex work which is completely separate and distinct from legitimate, non-sexual massage for the purpose of therapy, relaxation, muscular rehabilitation, and pain management.

If a massage therapist ever touches your private parts during a paid session, and you didn’t ask them to, that is non-consensual—, ask them to stop, and if they do not, end the session and leave. You have every right to say, “I feel uncomfortable, and I need to end this session,” or, “I am uncomfortable, and I can’t continue,” or even “Okay, this is over, we’re done.” There is no excuse for non-consensual touching.

Now, there are certain circumstances in which CMTs will have reason to do muscular work that brings them close to 1) breast tissue, or 2) the genital region. Notice how I’m writing about this. Underneath breasts are the pectoral muscles, pectoralis major and pectoralis minor; there are also the serratus anterior muscle, which inserts into the lateral aspect (side) of the ribcage, very much near the breast region; there are also the upper abdominal muscles and smaller muscles near the sternum.

Near the genital region there is the adductor muscle group: adductor longus, adductor magnus, and adductor gracilis all insert on the ischial tuberosity, which is the part of the pelvis that you sit on. All this is in the “crotch”, which is close to the genitals.

As a massage therapist, I deal with muscles and, if working with a female client and my work needs to access these muscles, I will always have a conversation with my client about comfort and intent. I also have that conversation with male clients. My intent is never to feel anyone up; I’m not here for sexual gratification; my intent is to access muscle tissue so that I can relieve pain and change muscular tone to help correct dysfunction.

I also am mindful about how I am accessing those areas: what direction am I applying pressure in? If my hand slipped, would that end up in an unsafe position or would I be okay? How am I standing? How is my body oriented? How is the client oriented? Do they feel safe or do they feel exposed? These are the questions that all good therapists should have in the back of their minds when working in boundary zones.

Last point: all my clothes must stay on. Even though often I ask my clients to get fully undressed before a session, I leave the room while they do that. During the session they are always fully covered by a sheet (or towel/blanket), and I am required [by law in the USA] to practice proper draping technique to cover the body so nothing is exposed except for the muscles that I am working on. And under no circumstance should breast or genitals be exposed.

So, again, under no circumstances should a massage therapist ever touch your genitals. NEVER EVER. If they do, leave or call the police."

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