by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© November 2022, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Massage is one of the most ancient forms of bodywork and physical therapy. Many types of massage exist, and they can be very helpful for relaxation, healing and development.
Massage is a huge topic. This article is an introduction to point out some aspects that others often overlook.
Massage and the development program. Massage is not currently a major part of the development program because there are several problems with it, particularly with professional massage.
Down massage. This may seem like an unusual topic, but it can be very helpful and is discussed later in the article.
Home versus professional massage. We divide massage into that offered by professionals, and that which is done within the home by married couples or intimate partners, or even parents with their own children. The reason is for safety and cleanliness, which are severe problems with massage today.
Types of massage. There are many types of massage and this section is quite incomplete at this time.
Professional massage is when a person visits a professional who is trained and usually a licensed massage therapist. Massage is often offered at private offices, as well as at health clubs, spas, hotels, and resorts around the world.
Many massage therapist are excellent professionals. However, problems with professional massage therapy are:
1. Infection. Professional massage therapists touch several or more naked or almost naked bodies each day. Some of these clients have infections on their skin that easily pass to a massage therapist, who in turn can pass them on to other clients.
A massage therapist may not realize that he or she has a skin infection. It would help if all massage clients showered just before their massage, but this is rare. This is a problem with all body work today.
It does not seem to matter much if the masseuse uses massage oils that are supposedly antiseptic. Washing the hands and arms between clients with a strong solution of hydrogen peroxide, followed by soap and water, would help a lot, however.
Otherwise, it is very hard for concerned massage therapists to protect themselves and their clients from infection. Unlike other medical specialties, gloves cannot be worn easily with massage, although it would not be a bad idea and it might be possible. Also unlike other medical professions, usually the person is unclothed, making it easier to spread skin infections.
I hope massage therapists will wash carefully between clients. For cleanliness reasons, at this time I would avoid or be extremely careful with all professional massage, since this is a problem, even if few are aware of it.
2. Energetic problems. Massage therapists often pick up stray energies and entities from clients easily, again because direct touch is involved. Then a massage therapist can easily pass these on to the next client.
This occurs without the conscious knowledge of either the client or the therapist, in most cases. I experienced this myself, and it may be one reason I am writing a less than flattering article about massage. I realize many massage therapists mean very well, and do excellent healing work. However, these problems exist.
I experienced the problem from an acupuncturist who was treating several clients at the same time, moving from one to the other.
3. Sexy. There is nothing wrong with down sex. In fact, it is a powerful healing method.
However, one must be careful because sexy can easily become an emphasis that is not helpful for healing. Professional massage can be and often is very sexy.
It is also easy to go from just massage to massage plus sex of some kind. This is most often unclean and a violation of the Commandment against adultery.
4. Predators, solicitors, molestation and rape. Having a massage license from the state is no guarantee of competence or integrity (The same is true of any medical professional).
This is part of the false promise of licensing. It may help weed out a few “bad apples”, but it also covers up and hides a lot of bad practices. For more on licensing, read The Case Against Medical Licensing on this site.
While some massage therapists are wonderful, any time a person takes off all or most clothing, there is more at risk for sexual predation, solicitation for sex, molestation and rape.
Young women – 12 to 35 or 40 years of age – are at the highest risk. However, it occurs with anyone, today. In fact, a person can be “recruited” into cults using sophisticated brainwashing techniques that can be done during a massage, believe it or not.
It can also occur if a woman receives a massage from another woman. In one case I know of, a female massage therapist had a male ‘friend’ who hid in a closet and, once a client undressed, the two raped the client and then forced her to keep silent about what happened.
We do not mean to be negative, but we hear about these cases, and they are real. We are not trying to demean massage, but we do want to protect people. While some massage therapists are completely honest and straight, for reasons of safety alone, we cannot recommend professional massage, especially for young women.
Massage at home with a partner is much safer, with many fewer problems. We discuss it in the next section of this article.
If you wish to have a professional massage, bring a friend along. The person can read a book or text their friends during the session. Do not tell the massage therapist you will do this ahead of time.
This can be an excellent method of healing and bonding between a couple. It can be done between a parent and a child, but there are problems. For example, it will condition a child to sexy touch and the child may not realize the dangers that exist with massage by people outside of the family. It can be too sexy even within the family, even wearing some clothing.
Home massage between married partners is the only massage we currently recommend, and one must still beware of cleanliness and other cautions.
Giving a family or couples massage. We recommend the following precautions:
1. The one giving the massage must wash the hands thoroughly for at least a minute with soap and warm water, almost like you will do surgery. Also, be sure the fingernails are trimmed closely and are perfectly clean. Use a nail brush, perhaps, to make sure they are clean.
2. Ideally, use soap as a lubricant, rather than massage oil. Soap is very antiseptic, unlike massage oils that actually can spread bacteria and fungi. If the soap gets too thick, just put a little warm water with it and it thins out easily.
3. If possible, mix your soap solution with some 35% hydrogen peroxide to make it even more antiseptic. The massage also now becomes an oxygen therapy, which is also excellent.
4. Have a spray bottle of 3% peroxide close by and spray the person during the massage. This is also for preventing infections.
5. Be sure the sheets, bed cover, massage table or other surface the person will lie upon is very clean.
For the one receiving a massage:
1. If possible, shower before getting a massage. This will remove a lot of bacteria from the skin. Couples can shower together, and it becomes part of the massage experience.
3. Both partners, and parents and children, should ideally follow a complete development program. In addition to the diet, lifestyle, and supplement program, the daily use of a near infrared sauna will slowly heal skin infections of all kinds.
The development program, and not most others, slowly, but dramatically reduces the number of infections in and on the bodies. It will also help protect anyone receiving a massage so that infections do not take hold as easily.
Over a few years time, massage becomes progressively safer as one’s health improves.
4. If the one giving the massage notices infections on the skin or other suspicious lesions, one can use a little black salve to remove most fungal, bacterial or other skin infections. Most people today have up to a dozen skin infections.
These are many and depend upon the type of massage and the skill and caring of the person doing the massage. This section has not been completed.
MASSAGE FOR HEALING RAPE
Some people object to my mentioning rape and massage in the same article. However, I do so here for therapeutic reasons. Some rapes traumatize the skin, the fascia, the muscles and the bony structure of the body. The proper type of massage can be most useful to help heal some of the traumas of rape. However, all the same warnings and cautions apply. For more on this topic, please read Healing Rape on this website.
These include deep muscle massage, shiatsu (massage of the meridians or energy channels, Energy Center Massage. It can greatly speed up development.
Others include reflexology or zone therapy and lymphatic massage (very good). Another powerful one is massage in the shower with a shower massager. Some people also like using an electric massager. Here are a few details about several of these.
REFLEXOLOGY OR ZONE THERAPY
Foot and hand reflexology are so powerful, simple and safe that they are recommended for everyone as part of every development program. In fact, they are one of the most amazing therapies available. Read the article entitled Reflexology for much more about this wonderful method of healing.
Safety. We suggest washing the feet or hands first (see Disinfecting The Feet below).
Another option is to have the person receiving the session put on some thin socks so that the person giving the session is not touching the feet directly. However, washing the feet is still excellent.
Also, BEFORE AND AFTER giving a reflexology session, wash your hands thoroughly with plenty of soap and water. Also, be sure your fingernails are well trimmed and very clean.
Professional reflexology is not quite as safe from infections. In this case, a stranger is touching the body and may have picked up infections from other clients, or elsewhere. However, professional reflexology is much less hazardous than full body massage.
Most professional reflexologists wash the feet first in a small foot bath or with a wet towel, hopefully with plenty of soap and hot water. Be sure this is done!
Ideally, add to the foot bath hydrogen peroxide that is sufficiently strong to disinfect the feet significantly. One can use 3% peroxide or about ¼ cup of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide, mixed with the water in a small bassinette or foot bath. The clients’ feet should stay in this foot bath for at least 10 minutes for proper disinfection.
One must still make sure, if possible, that the therapist’s hands are very clean and that infections on the hands of the therapist are not passed back and forth. One way to do this is for anyone offering professional hand and/or foot reflexology to wear thin, surgical gloves.
Some won’t like this idea, but it could help avoid infections.
For young women, another benefit of reflexology over full body massage is that the client need not remove much clothing. This does not mean it is perfectly safe, but it is better.
Also, foot and hand reflexology are excellent ways to help the health of one’s family and friends in a non-threatening and non-sexual manner that feels very good and involves therapeutic touch.
ROLFING OR STRUCTURAL INTEGRATION
This is a form of very deep bodywork that has some aspects of massage in it. However, the goal is to impact and actually separate the fascia layers, which can become adhered to each other. The fascia are layers of tissue that cover the organs and muscles, and are just under the skin.
For those with chronically poor posture, and those for whom chiropractic is not enough to correct certain problems, Rolfing or structural integration can be wonderful. It is organized into 10 beginning sessions, which can be followed by more advanced sessions that just go deeper.
Types of bodywork that are related to this include deep muscle massage and myofascial release. All of these can be helpful to release some adhesions in the body that can cause pain, restriction of motion and many other problems.
Safety. The best idea is to only undress as much of the body as needed, and definitely avoid totally undressing, which is not needed, anyway.
Rolfing and structural integration are done wearing only underwear, so this is a problem for young women, especially. Also, Rolfers and other body workers touch random bodies all day long, so there is a good possibility they can pass infections from person to person. For these reasons, I cannot recommend this excellent therapy too much.
If you want Rolfing, please research carefully whom you go to, and I would consider bringing along a friend, especially if you are a young woman. Mothers or fathers must accompany children for safety reasons, as well.
REIKI, LAYING ON OF HANDS, AND OTHER METHODS
While these can have value, we do not suggest going to a professional for them today. There is too much rogue infiltration of the massage and reiki professions and people who go for these therapies can easily receive implants in the body and worse. All the same other problems of massage can also occur.
A theme of this website is the importance of moving subtle energy downward through the body from the head to the feet. This is a key to understanding the development program.
All development programs are designed to move energy downward using diet, lifestyle, nutritional supplements and the healing and development procedures.
Massage is one of these procedures, and can be a powerful one. Here is how to use it to move energy properly through the body.
1. When giving or receiving massage, visualize energy moving downward from the head to the feet. An excellent way to do this is to do the Pulling Down Procedure during the massage.
NOTE: This is not particularly relaxing, but it is very helpful for development.
2. Use a massage session to teach the one receiving massage the Pulling Down Procedure by pulling downward on body parts such as the toenails, toes, feet, ankles, knees, hips, waist, shoulders, ears, lips, and nose. This can be a very helpful exercise.
3. Some people are aware of blockages of the subtle energy channels that run vertically from the head to the feet. If the giver or receiver is aware of these blockages, massage can be focused on these areas to help release them.
4. Some are able to anticipate where subtle energy will hit a blockage in the future. In this case, massage can target these areas.
6. Only move the hands downward from the head to the feet during a massage.