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  • Writer's pictureCaron Lerner

Palpating and Massage

Palpating and Massage


Websters dictionary defines Palpate:

To examine by touch especially medically


Websters dictionary defines Massage:

Manipulation of tissues (as by rubbing, kneading, or tapping) with the hand or an instrument for relaxation or therapeutic purposes.


As a massage therapist, it is my job to accurately assess every client before, during and after each therapy session.  I use my senses to determine the best course of the therapy session.

 Massage Therapists wear many different hats. Primary and most important I have the privilege of helping my clients feel better, relieving their pain, calming their stress and allowing them to relax.

Palpating is one of the most important methods I use to ascertain areas of discomfort.  Moving my hands over my client’s bodies, I can begin to feel irregularities in the dermal layers. Whether it’s areas of tightness, heat, striations or other inconsistencies, I use palpation to determine how best to relieve and begin to repair the problem. 

I use palpation to “map out” my course and plan of action to achieve the best results for my client. As I begin each session I take the time needed to determine the areas that will need more emphasis.  There are times when I’ve come across an area that needs extra attention.  This is when I communicate my findings with my client.  It’s then when, together we decide on a course of action to attend to the problem. I do not have a “textbook” massage.  Each session is geared towards the client’s needs THAT DAY.  No one gets the same massage ever.

I take the time to palpate because that is what will lead me to assure you that I understand why you’ve walked into my studio. I’ve heard far too many times, “I didn’t even know I was hurting there”.  What a disservice we would be doing if we allowed our clients to walk out the door with underlying issues.

If we all took the time to palpate and feel the different hidden problems beneath what is blatantly visible to our eyes, what a significant difference we could make in our clients daily lives. 

It’s my job as your Massage Therapists to hear what is not being said, feel what cannot be felt, listen when there are no words, and see when someone doesn’t want to be seen. I can see pain in your eyes, I can feel tension in your neck, back and body and I can hear the sound and inflections in your voice. I am so much more than a massage therapist. 

The privilege to have the ability to alter a person’s day by helping to ease their pain is life altering. I work to find a balance between mind and body. It is a very thin line to navigate. The fragility of a person in pain is a multi-level process helping to break through layers of emotional pain. It’s like melting an iceberg. It all begins when we place our hands on our clients. Take the extra time to feel what’s under your hands.  Palpating will open doors and ensure your clients that you know your craft and that you are there to provide a safe and healthy path to their wellness.

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