Rarely a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask me if I can feel the muscular lump, thickness, or tautness that I’m working on. I used to be asked almost daily, but many of my current clients are regulars so they know all about my knot-feeling superpowers and don’t need to ask anymore.
My knee jerk snarky reaction to this question is to impulsively say, “No. I’m just hanging out here cause there’s nothing that needs any special attention.” But hey, I’m a professional! So, what I usually say is something like, “Yes. Isn’t it funny that they taught us how to feel things like this in massage school.” Thankfully I’ve managed to say it so that the intended humor comes through in my voice because so far everyone has laughed right on cue.
I have to admit to being more than a bit baffled by this question when I first began my massage career because I’ve always been able to feel these types of things… even before I went to massage school. But what I’ve learned in the 16 years since I first began my massage training is that everyone is not as kinesthetic as I am.; not even all massage therapists. And certainly not most massage clients. I’ll admit to still being baffled by therapists who can’t feel what’s perfectly obvious to my hands.
Thankfully, I no longer judge my clients for not realizing how easy some of these things are for us massage professionals to feel. I mean, we spend hundreds of hours doing hands on massage while we’re in school to learn how to feel and differentiate between the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. A muscle “knot” feels very different than a bone, no matter how hard it is. A muscle that’s contracted tight feels very different than one that’s stretched tight… if you know what you’re feeling for.
Now, I’m not telling you to not ask this question. It’s a legitimate question and the therapist who’s working on you might not feel anything out of the ordinary or they may feel something different than you’re feeling. Clarification of what they’re feeling compared to what you’re feeling is a great way to help build trust in their ability to be the therapist you need. I’m simply answering your question, here. Publicly. Yes, I can feel that.