Ideally when you perform any type of massage, you want to have a balanced mind, be free of worry or stress, and most certainly never be angry. Although one is mostly administering touch and manipulating soft tissue, so much more is expressed and transferred unto your client, like your energy (or bad breath) for instance.
Through touch alone a client can sense nervousness, fatigue, inexperience, or recognize confidence, strength, and caring. All of which can alter their mood, how they interpret your techniques, and ultimately their spa experience. With that being said, you never, ever, want to be giving a massage while you’re sick. Not only are you exposing your client to obvious risks but the quality of your work is inevitably compromised.
Upon waking up for work this morning, without forewarning or indication, I had an instantaneous snot spewing head cold. Besides the inability to breath, I felt perfectly fine. Normally I would call another therapist to cover for me, but not only was I opening, I was that therapist. I figured I only had 3 clients today, so I took a Sudafed and headed on in.
The morning went remarkably smooth and after a gallon of oolong tea I was ready for my last client of the day, who was scheduled for a 90 minute Hot Stone Massage. Thirty minutes had passed by and the client was face down enjoying her little piece of heaven. I don’t know if it was the increased temperature of the room, or the affects of the medicine wearing off, but I was immediately hit full force by a gravity-induced nasal drip. I tried leaning my head back to slow the avalanche of phlegm from creeping down my face without having my hands leave the client, but there was no stopping this rogue mucus from reaching the outside world. The stream of snot had begun its descent and started to meander its way through my mustache creating an itch of a lifetime. Without being able to sniffle or blow my nose, I was left with no choice but to use my sleeve, until I could get reinforcements.
Eventually I was able to get to some small towels for quick wipe here and there, but the rest of the massage was miserable and I was so preoccupied with keeping bodily fluids from dripping on the client that my performance was a bit affected. By the end of the session I had a soaked sleeve, 3 snot rags distributed around the room, and my nose was completely rubbed raw. Despite it being the worst stone massage I’d ever given, the client said it was one of the best she’d ever received and left me with a substantial tip.
Damn, she should catch me on a good day.