An old friend of mine was suffering from frozen shoulder pain. She had been to the spa a few times before. This time was different. To check if she was awake, I tap at her door. She was still wrapped in the sheet and standing, sobbing. I gave her water and sat down with her on the table. She was able slow down her breathing and then she said she was experiencing panic attacks. A few days earlier, she had had an MRI of her shoulder and experienced a panic attack. It was frightening, she said. She felt the same sensation when she placed her face into the cradle of my massage desk. It triggered panic attacks.
We decided to continue the treatment. However, we changed it to sidelying (think of sleeping on your side). She was placed on the table with the sheet on her back. Her arms were draped lightly and her feet were exposed. We did sidelying massage the next few times.
For guests who are prone to panic attacks or anxiety, shorter sessions may be more beneficial. Some people find faster massage techniques too stimulating. It can also help to take slow, deep breathes before and after the session. Asking your therapist what to expect during the session is a good idea. This will allow you to relax and not worry about what’s next. You have the right to ask your therapist for a break or to stop.
Some guests feel uncomfortable in their bodies, particularly those with a history or abuse. Body massage in East Village can be a safe and relaxing way to feel touch. Massage therapists can also share self-massage techniques with clients to help manage stress and reconnect with their bodies (American Massage Therapy Association).
Clients who have suffered abuse may feel more at ease receiving services where they are fully clothed. We offer foot massage, Craniosacral Therapy, assisted stretching, Craniosacral Therapy, Shiatsu, acupressure, and facials. These treatments are safe and guests can control their session. The guests can cancel or modify the service at anytime. It is vital that guests communicate their needs to their provider. This allows them to check in more often to ensure comfort and to see if any adjustments can be made.
Massage therapy is also beneficial for guests suffering from PTSD. According to a 2012 study, massage therapy was found to reduce physical pain, tension, anxiety, depression, and irritability in veterans. (Collinge and al., 2012). It is crucial for massage therapists that guests have complete control over the sessions. The therapist should allow enough time for guests to ask questions during and after the session. The client should feel at ease speaking up, regardless of whether they require more pressure or a different position or technique. They also need to be able to stop or pause a session. East Village Spa understands the importance of massage therapy for combating PTSD in military personnel. To make massage therapy more affordable, we offer a “Military Massage” at a special price.
You can make modifications to your massage therapy session, regardless of whether you have a mental illness. Although your massage therapist may not be a counselor in mental health, they should be able to listen and suggest changes so that you feel fully in control. You should not be forced to accept therapists who are unwilling or unable to meet your needs. It is important to communicate your preferences and needs before you go so you get the massage you want.