I have been facilitating men's massage and bodywork classes now for over 5 years. In my most recent series of workshops at BRLMT in Montclair, New Jersey I have changed up the rotation adding myself to the mix of bodies on the table. For many years I taught tableside, rarely getting a chance to receive touch myself…the life of so many LMT’s, we work so hard to help our clients and find little time to get on the table ourselves.
I am now being reminded of how I felt way back in my Swedish Institute Massage school days. Being on the table receiving massage is a huge part to learning. I have always run my workshops this way, people both giving and receiving touch and I have watched men learn so much from both sides.
The other night I had a pretty profound AH HA moment when an IT MAN, ( what I call my IN TOUCH MEN workshop attendees…) executed a move I have been working with for 14 years now. He did it completely backward and I was like "WHAAAAAAAT….. Do that again!". He at that moment realized what he had done and switched the movement to the way I instructed. I stopped him and said now go back and do it the way you did when you revised it, and low and behold IT WAS SO MUCH BETTER, for more reasons than I will get into in a blog post, but I learned in that moment that what I had thought was correct for so long was in fact not. I have now changed the way I work with that stroke in all my sessions.
I say in my workshops to people new to learning touch, that massage is a practice, like yoga and martial arts. The more you practice the basic moves laid out in front of you the deeper and deeper your understanding of them gets. I am so thankful to all the guys who have shared touch with me I lean from you all every time.