How to Introduce a Friend to Massage

Not everyone is ready for the hands-on experience of massage therapy, and some may even have some personal issues about touch. If you take the time to educate and introduce a friend to massage, you’ll allow them to come to massage and bodywork on their own terms. Then, they are more likely to be open to the safe, comforting, professional touch that the massage therapist provides.

You understand how you feel after a massage and you know how things work, but do your friends? To the uninitiated, massage seems like a bit of mystery. Some associate massage with the “masseuse” of yesteryear. Others think about it as an “out there” practice and question the effectiveness. Very few, however, will deny the benefits after they have actually had bodywork from a skilled, certified massage therapist.

So how do you introduce someone else to massage? The basic rule of thumb is that their perception of the purpose and effects of massage affects the reality. That is, the bodywork will be more effective if they can actually relax and are open to the relief of aches and pains offered by the therapist.

One way to educate about massage is to talk about the benefits. Most people are aware that massage is effective at relieving stress and promoting relaxation, but there are many more benefits. For those who suffer from low-back pain, a massage may be more effective than medication at reducing pain. Specialized sport massage, something that might appeal to your golfing buddy who needs to loosen up his swing and increase his range of motion, can help athletes recover from the physical and mental stresses of physical activity and competition. For people who are less active, massage can increase range of motion. Other benefits can include, a sunnier disposition, or an improvement in posture, improvements to the effectiveness of the immune system, and, of course, a relaxing experience.

Another way is to be specific about exactly what you experience during your session, from the intake conversation with the therapist, to a description of the massage table, your level of undress, how the therapist drapes you for modesty, and how the massage ends in an exit discussion. This demystifies the experience and lets them feel more in control.

Gift certificates are another great way to share massages with people in your life. Purchase a gift certificate for them with your favorite massage therapist and come with them for a “couple’s massage” (same room, two therapists) or just be there with them to answer questions and bask in the praise you’ll get when the come out of the session.