Just what is a full body massage? Some may be asking this very question because they have been to Chattanooga Massage & Bodyworks and received a true full body massage. So many times I have a new client on the massage table and hear “I’ve never had that before.” Usually they are referring to the abdominal massage, sometimes to the “glute” massage. I do not understand why most massage therapists exclude abdominal massage and sometimes even “glute” massage.
First, let’s examine the full body massage as a whole. The structural part of the human body is made up of skin, muscle, tendons, ligaments, and bone. Massage is the manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body. Since the body has skin, muscle, tendons and ligaments from head to toe, when you receive a full body massage, everything will be worked from head to toe. This includes the chest muscles, abdominal muscles, the gluteus (buttocks) muscles.
What does this mean for female massage clients regarding the chest muscles? It means the pectoral (chest) muscles will be massaged. The difference between the male and female chest work is the female will remain draped so the breasts are not exposed (draping will be
discussed in a future article). Unfortunately, the female pectoral muscles are not worked as thoroughly as a male client. Unless, if the female clients modesty and comfort levels allow for more thorough work, then a complete pectoral massage can be achieved. This can be
accomplished with either the breasts being draped or undraped. What about the breasts; can they be massaged? Yes, therapeutic breast massage is available. It requires signing a special informed consent. You can read about the benefits of therapeutic breast massage for women on our main website.
What about the abdominal muscles? The abdominal muscles, tendons, and ligaments need massage also; and should be part of every full body massage. Some therapists will work all the way down the abs to the top of the pubic bone. Most will only work down to the area of the pubic hair-line. If a therapist works to the top of the pubic bone, it will be at the request of the client, and both the therapist and client have to be comfortable with this type of work. Why should this area be worked at all? Simple, the Rectus Abdominis muscle (or 6-pack), Pyramidalis muscle, and Inguinal ligament all attach in this area. If there is a legitimate reason, and both the therapist and you are comfortable with this area being worked, it can be done through the drape, or the drape can be lowered to expose this
area, keeping the genitals covered, while the work is being performed.
What about the gluteus muscles? Why are they worked? There are 3 gluteus muscles – the Maximus, the Medius, and the Minimus. These are commonly refered as “the glutes” and play an important role in back pain. All three glute muscle attach to the top of the pelvic girdle at some point; and when the glutes are tight they pull on the pelvic girdle, rocking it backwards. Many of the back muscles attach to the pelvic girdle also; so when the glutes tighten, causing the rocking motion, the pelvic girdle will pull the back muscles. This causes low back pain, you feel the pain in the back, but the problem is lower, and that’s what needs to be worked. And besides, it feels good receiving a “butt massage” – just ask anyone who has had one!
So what about the rest of the body? Well everyone expects the back, neck, shoulders, arms, legs and face. That’s just natural. It’s the chest, abdominal muscles, and glutes that seem to be averted by so many therapists. I don’t understand why, but I am thankful. When my new clients leave Chattanooga Massage & Bodyworks for the first time, they leave completely relaxed, feeling great, and have a new understanding of a full body massage.
Now just to clarify what some of you may be wondering; since there was all this talk about breasts, lower abdomen, and glutes. Massage therapy is an intimate form body-work; and yes it can be sensual. That does not mean its sexual in any sense of the word. At Chattanooga Massage & Bodyworks we pride ourselves in our professionalism, and
respect our clients and their comfort level. All body-work done here always has the best interest of the client in mind. We are always willing to discuss and address our clients concerns. We will answer any question a client wishes to ask.
Are you ready for a true full body massage? Call Chattanooga Massage & Bodyworks the Leading Provider Of Full Body Integrative Massage. 423-870-8611 or request an appointment online today!