How do you perceive massage?



I came across a post that someone had put in a Facebook group I belong to and it had to do with reputations. The question this person put to all of us was basically, “How important is it to you, how everyone around you perceives you?” While I didn’t respond to the question posted, it did get me thinking about how reputations are usually generated by people’s perceptions and opinions of other people or the things around them.

The definition of reputation found in the Merriam- Webster dictionary is the “overall quality or character as seen or judged by people in general.” The reputation of things seems to get applied to lots of things in our lives. It’s one of the ways we form our opinions of things.

So, I thought, why not apply this word and its definition to massage. In other words, how do people perceive massage? Do they understand truly how much it can help them? Or do they let other people’s perceptions of massage sway them away from it? Or have they had a firsthand experience and it wasn’t to their liking, for whatever reason?



Now if that’s you—you’ve had a bad massage and don’t want to go there again—I would encourage you to try again. Try it again at a different time in your life or maybe with a different therapist. Just keep an open mind, one more time. Then if it truly doesn’t rock your world, that’s okay. You tried.

Sometimes our opinions or perceptions of something can be right on the money or way off base. I have had a few people who were sure they wouldn’t like having a massage and finally allowed themselves the luxury of one. Wow! They couldn’t believe how it made them feel. How it helped them. Then their next words were usually, “Why did I wait so long to get a massage?”

Another way reputations are created is with what someone else has done to give themselves that reputation. Allowing others to judge the actions of that individual. The same could be said for massage. How did it or not help someone? Giving others observing a secondhand view of massage. Helping the observer perceiving the information, create a positive or negative perception for themselves. Will they or won’t they get a massage?

I would say with time, the perception of massage is becoming more positive than it was 20 years ago and not just with the general public. The medical field is also realizing how beneficial massage can be to their patients. Time has created a more positive reputation for massage.

In the last 10 years, I have heard more often from a client that his or her doctor has recommended massage for them and that is a wonderful thing in itself. It helps to get the word out on the usefulness of massage— that perhaps it can help with some ailment, ache or pain. I would encourage you to give massage a try and develop your own perception of it.

Susan Santi is a certified massage therapist and owner of Ahhh Massage in Virginia. Feel free to contact her with questions at 218- 410-2144.

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