After you have massaged the back half of the receiver's body, he feels completely relaxed and is melting into the table. Although the idea of continuing sounds good, your massage partner probably would rather not move. Your request to turn over might be greeted with groans of resistance, so treat this time carefully. Speak quietly and offer assistance if it is needed. Always hold up the cover to ensure continued privacy while your receiver turns over.
Receiver is face up and covered.
Ask how the receiver feels as he rolls over. Suggest that the recipient be aware of the muscles you have just massaged, and check to see if turning over is easy or difficult. Ask if the recipient feels stiff or is able to move effortlessly. If the recipient feels stiffness, reassure him or her that sometimes the initial reaction to treating muscles is resistance. The reason is, you have just worked on a large group of muscles that may have been holding the body incorrectly, and you have changed the operation of these muscles, giving them a suggestion of how to work properly. Muscles have memory, so the old memory may try to assert itself, causing an achy feeling as the muscles work in a new way. Continued massage will sustain the suggestion you have initiated. In addition, encourage the recipient to drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush out any toxins released through massage; these toxins can also cause muscles to feel achy after the toxins are released.
Once the recipient has turned over, settle the cover over his or her body as shown in FIGURE 7-1.
Check now to see where bolsters, pillows, or rolled towels are needed. If you were using a face cradle attached to the front of the table, remove it so you have easy access to that end of the table. Often folks like a pillow or two placed under their knees and calves to take pressure off their lower backs.
If the receiver can manage it, use nothing under the head, or just a small rolled towel behind the neck. You want easy access to the neck and upper back, and sometimes pillows get in the way. However, remember that the comfort of your recipient is primary; if your massage partner wants a pillow under the head, provide one. Let your receiver settle in, relaxing again as you check his or her comfort level once more.