Thoughts on Relaxing into Massage — My Clients Take, Part 2

A warm table and relaxing music helps many clients to relax during massage

A warm table and relaxing music helps many clients to relax during massage

In addition to asking my clients what they do to relax before massage (see previous blog post), I also asked my clients about what methods they use to help them relax most effectively during the massage. This post details responses to the question “What tactics do you use to help you relax most once you are on the massage table?”  Here is a sample of client responses:


“I tune into how I am feeling and what I most want to experience relief from. I focus my breathing into those areas as the massage begins and goes along.”

I like to talk a bit at first, to catch up with my massage therapist. Then I usually get very quiet and focus on what’s happening in my body. I consciously do this by dismissing any thoughts that come up about work or other stressors in life. If my mind starts to go there, I focus on the music and bring the experience back to my body.”

“I believe there is a natural flow to the massage, a communication that takes place through touch and breathing. When I focus on that, I am able to relax fully and completely.”

“I find the heated table, the relaxing music, and taking deep, rhythmic breaths help me to relax the most. When I forget to breath, I focus on your breathing to help me remember.”

“I am very comfortable with you and I like your energy and touch, so it is easy for me to relax when you are massaging me.”

“If I am having a hard time relaxing, I will focus on the music and the pleasant surroundings to clear any troubling thoughts from my mind.”

“I issue an invitation to myself to let you in. I see receiving the massage as a very loving gesture to myself, and the more fully I can let you in, the more complete is the experience of that love.”

I zone out completely. I do this by focussing on my breathing and not thinking about anything else. I let myself float off.”

“I trust you as my massage therapist, and I know that you won’t hurt me. As we have worked more together and this trust has built, it has become easier and easier to fully relax into the massage.”

“I pay attention to and focus on letting go in areas where my body is guarded or crying out for attention.”

Your touch helps me relax the most.”       

Breathing always helps clients to relax during massage

Breathing always helps clients to relax during massage

I like the long, deep compression strokes and rocking at the beginning of the massage to put me instantly into a relaxing frame of mind. I also tune into the breathing process throughout — both your breathing and mine. This helps me to remember to breathe.”

“What helps me to relax the most is breathing, the warmth of the table, the presence of the therapist, and tuning into my own bodily cues about what is happening during the massage.”


I use my experiences in Pilates to help me realize that I can breathe into massage similar to how I can breathe through a particularly challenging Pilates move. I can see that hanging in there with the pain or tightness for a bit and breathing into it really does allow the muscles to relax in both practices.”

I focus on breathing into tight areas, and especially those areas that are painful and/or guarded. I intentionally ask my body to let go in those areas and use breathing to facilitate that process. I focus on what it really feels like as I start and continue to let go.”

“Breathing allows me to relax. But before breathing, there is a belief — a belief in the benefit of massage, especially deep tissue massages like you give. The more I believe in the benefit, the more I breathe into it, and the more I can allow the experience to work its magic. I think breathing is also an effective way of communicating with you during massage.”


Have other thoughts you want to share? Please feel free to add a comment on what helps you to relax most during a massage!





Written by

Kathie Tupper is a Licensed Massage Therapist and the owner of this website.