I recently wrote about a project working with adolescents to reduce attendance at Accident and Emergency with deliberate self harm. I have now done two sessions there and am beginning to get a sense of what the work will be about.
Yes I will be doing massage using essential oils but in many ways the task is more about conveying to the young people how they can care for themselves better and how to get the most out of a massage they are receiving.
I see the most important thing a client can do is to give feedback to the massage therapist. If something hurts, say so. I have often heard people talk about the concept of, “good pain.” This I see as the pain an athlete or gymnast feels when stretching as well as the pain when the massage therapist is working on areas of tension which leave the client feeling much better afterwards. However, I am not a therapist who, “always knows best.” I rely on my clients to tell me if they need more or less pressure. I have clients who like a lot of pressure during the massage. I also have others who like a much more gentle approach. It is part of my role to respect this!
I am also educating the young people to be in control. It is their decision if having a massage what to wear and how much clothing to take off. The clothing isn’t an issue in the work I am doing with them unless you count shoes and socks but it may be for them receiving massage in the future. Most clients strip down to knickers/underpants but a few take off everything and even fewer opt just to have their back done.
I also discuss with the young people what the effect of the different oils is and safety aspects of the oils, e.g. avoiding strong sunlight or sunbeds after massage with citrus oils. I have only read about the consequences of the photo-sensitivity that can be caused and want to keep it that way. With this particular group, oils that aid sleep are important. I mentioned lavender and the fact that some while some find it really effective, others find it too stimulating and for them either Roman or German Chamomile with the possible addition of Frankincense make a good alternative.
I am looking forward to this Thursday’s session and finding out more about what the young people want from me and how I can help them most with their difficulties that take them to the, “Here Now” project.