Trauma informed massage is a massage therapy practice that approaches each session with the knowledge that everyone has experienced trauma. Trauma can be from physical, emotional, sexual or mental abuse. It can come from loss or betrayal. Trauma can be caused by war zones or car accidents and doesn’t have constraints or restrictions. What is traumatic for one person may not phase another, that doesn’t make the trauma less real or valid.
A trauma informed massage consists of working with a client and the understanding that healing work is not done by the therapist. It is a collaborative effort between the one receiving the work and the one giving it. A massage is not preformed on a person but instead with them. You cannot make muscles and tissue to respond to force. It is open communication between the body worker and client that allows change to be facilitated. This communication can take place verbally and non-verbally. It is my responsibility to recognize and listen to the messages received during a session.
This approach to massage recognizes that any form of touch as well as specific actions taken by a massage therapist can be triggering for trauma survivors. As a trauma informed therapist I recognize and understand that trauma can be stored in the tissue and muscles of the body and is sometimes released during a bodywork session. There are some specific holding patterns that can be exhibited and worked with in the healing process. I am sure to check in with my clients about what areas of the body they are comfortable receiving touch and ask which areas they need me to avoid, I watch and listen for cues from the body in order to avoid causing distress and re-triggering.
Maintaining clear and open communication is imperative to trauma informed massage therapy. Creating a space that encourages clients to speak out about uncomfortable feelings allows for healing to take place. I don’t ever and will never offer advice or give recommendations about how to handle trauma. I can however, hold space and offer a listening ear, and I can refer out to a licensed medical professional as needed. Massage cannot fix trauma but it can support healing and recovery especially in conjunction with talk therapy and other healing modalities.
It is my job to create a safe, nurturing environment for everyone who comes to my table. I take care to be sure that the massage experience isn’t a traumatic one. Contact us for more information and find out if a massage with Savannah Rose Mobile Massage is right for you.