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Words Matter on the Massage Table

Professional massage therapists understand that their approach and the environment they create will influence their new or current clients.  At the same time, their conversational style and words used can be both impactful and humorous depending on the context.


To a massage therapist, words and phrases used in practice may create a different intention, or outright laugh, even when used in a more clinical meaning. A stroke used in a dimly lit room is simply part of the practice, yet can be used in a misunderstood context.  For example, “Effleurage” is a form of massage involving a circular stroking movement made with the palm of the hand. The average customer will simply feel the motion rather than know the word. Lingo out of context can create confusion.


Inside the term “hump” may bring to mind images of an illegitimate massage parlor operating outside of ethical boundaries… inside what appears to be a legitimate practice the term refers to the C7 vertebrae and the muscle or other tissue that can build over this area.


A skilled massage therapist, like Tony Goodson, in practice for over 14 years, uses the term vibrate, when describing how fingers or devices are used to shake and loosen up muscular fibrous tissues in his clients. 


Goodson has learned that sometimes comments he makes creates a moment where misunderstanding for a moment is replaced by laughter.  While giving a massage to a male client, Goodson asked “Has anybody ever massaged your head before?” Timing was everything, as he had just finished working on the client’s pelvic region using a legitimate approach.                                                                                                                                      

At The Healing Place, comfortable, clean massage rooms are complemented by your choice of music during a 60 to 90 minute massage. Hot towels over the feet and pressure to your liking are common elements to every massage Goodson performs.


If you’ve enjoyed this article, please let Goodson know you’ve read the fine print, and hopefully chuckled.  He can be reached at (402) 213-9885 to schedule a massage or learn more about other services like thermography or EmSella (pelvic floor therapy).

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