Probably 75% of all my massage clients say they come to me for stress relief. Their lives are too rushed, too demanding, too crazy. They want some quiet time.
Swedish massage techniques are excellent for relaxing a client. Massage therapists look for signs that they are reaching the client’s parasympathetic nervous system. This branch of the autonomic nervous system is the part that is restful, relaxing, restorative. The therapist uses technique, consistent pace, and appropriate pressure to relax the client. Sometimes the client falls asleep during the treatment.
In my experience, men are more likely to fall asleep during a massage than women. But women do, too.
The first time I had a client fall asleep during a session, I thought to myself, gee, you know, I wonder if I could just sit and read a book for the rest of the time? Would he even notice? Of course, I didn’t do that – I kept working. When he started snoring, though, he snored so loud he woke himself up. That was the end of naptime.
Other clients don’t wake up, even once they start snoring. It’s amazing. Some of them are really loud, to the point therapists working in the next room can hear them. I know this for sure, because once my client is sawing logs, I can hear people in the next room laughing.
It’s not just men who snore, either. And some of the ladies can be heard in the next room, too!
When they wake up, I never say anything like “boy, you really snore light a freight train!” or, “I bet you’re single, nobody could put up with that racket!” It’s a hard-and-fast rule, never comment. I say, instead, “did you fall asleep for a while?”
Women don’t mind falling asleep. They don’t like to be heard snoring. When a female client realizes she’s been snoring, she is usually embarrassed and apologetic. “Hey,” I tell her, “it just shows that massage works!” or “It’s a big complement on my technique.”
The men never apologize for snoring. I guess snoring is a manly thing. It’s kind of expected.
I only feel bad, sometimes, that I have to wake them up. If someone falls asleep that deeply during a massage, I figure they really need rest. Sleep is a sign that I’m doing my job correctly.Roseann Magda
Hands On Therapy of Evanston
1909 Central Street
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Chicago Acupuncture Clinic
3723 N. Southport Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60613