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An Association of Massage Therapists

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Massage implies touch, and touch has either an inviting or a disturbing connotation for some. For many, the disturbing connotation is a sexual signal. Do you know anyone who feels, "If you touch me, you have other ideas"? Appropriate touch is not a sexual signal, but rather a nurturing act. There are times we all just want to be hugged, and touched, to feel that we are OK.

We would do well to bring nurturing touch into the family lifestyle. With the increased understanding of child psychology, it would seem that we need to practice "appropriate touch," rather than be frightened to touch at all. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, experiments were done with baby monkeys and surrogate mothers who did not touch them. Researchers found that the babies went "bananas" if they didn't have physical contact.

For one reason or another, not everyone likes to be massaged. Some prefer to give, but not receive a massage. Others would rather receive, but not give a massage. And some don't care for the exchange at all. This is to be respected. If someone is leery of massage, suggest a safe head or foot rub to start.

Next: How To Massage: The True Power of Massage


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