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Looking for feedback on massage and touch in your own community

Hello friends,
I have decided to re-start my massage therapy practice but with an emphasis on massage toward women and children. I'd like to eventually travel to different countries to teach massage to women who may not have access to it. The power of touch is amazing and can be healing mentally as well as physically. I strive to teach these women basic techniques so they can administer massage to their peers as well as their children. I see a village or town where all the women know this skill and can trade it with each other. I truly believe that even a short, mindful period of something as simple as just holding hands can lead the way to mutual support, friendships and healing.

But first I ask for your help. I need to know how massage and touch is perceived and accepted in your community? Is massage accepted as a legitimate practice or is it stigmatized to mean a sexual experience? Also, is there a traditional form of massage or touch that is practiced where you live?

Any input at all about the perceptions, reactions to and practices of massage and touch in your surroundings would be very, very much appreciated. Please know that this information is only for my eyes and is to better understand the ways to teach and administer massage/touch in different cultures so I can better my skills and learn new ones.

Many thanks and many blessings,
Erin Dhruva


Maria de Chirikof's picture


I think most massage parlors in town are fronts for prostitution so you have to look for ones like 'Yoga' or "holistic' instead of just a massage place. I agree this is something that would benefit woman and children enormously. But there is that idea that it means something like sex for sale instead of a healing art.

It is something me and my daughters want to learn but haven't gone to places yet to see what they are like. It does have a healing quality and that is why we became interested in wanting to learn it. I appreciate your desire to teach this skill since it will have the effects of helping to heal peoples in a meaningful way that they can feel right then and there.

I hope many other woman respond and offer their views!


enDhruva's picture

Thank you!

Hi Maria~
Thank you for responding! Yes, unfortunately the legitimate massage therapists are always faced with "Massage parlours" and even some people calling themselves "masseuse's". It is the continual challenge we face. However, may I suggest that if you are looking for therapeuric massage you should look for people who bill themselves as Massage Therapists instead of masseuse's. Also, if they list themselves as being either certified or licensed (CMT or LMT) that is an excellent indicator that they are indeed massage therapists. In the united states, you can also visit the AMTA (American Massage Therapy association) website and find therapists that are members of the organization in your area.

Thank you so much for your feedback and encouragement. I will keep you posted as I develop this!


Maria de Chirikof's picture


I work as a PCA and sometimes do give massages as part of it, usually when the person is old or has poor foot circulation and have done back massages for them at times too, whatever helps is how I feel about it. I do get offended when they call me a masseuse and say "Excuse me, I am not a masseuse."

It is something we wanted to learn to do not get actually so I was interested in your post because of that. I think a lot of people are getting into the healing arts more and wonder how to find ones that are real.

I look forward to seeing your ideas develop and let us know if you ever head up this way.


Anette Leslie's picture

In Jamaica massage parlours

In Jamaica massage parlours are associated with sex and prostitution. At hotels, mainly tourists get massages because they are very expensive. The perception is that the women who offer it are usually seen/treated as whores and are asked for blow jobs or men expect them to sleep with them. The massage parlours are usually off the back street somewhere, unless they are in the hotels.

Here in Japan, it is more common and that stigma is not associated with it because it seems as if more women treat themself to this service than men. Recently I was seeking out this service and discovered a blind man who specializes in accupuncture and accupressure. I did accupressure and it was such a wonderful experience. I am thinking of doing an oil massage for my birthday coming soon. There is so much variety and they are advertised everywhere in fancy magazines and the parlours are in the most prominent places, even in the shopping malls. The prices are high and it apperas to be an elite service.I have read recently about the superior benefits of foot massages and there is one parlour close to my house that specializes in that service. I would like to try that too.

In the meantime I massage myself at least once a week, especially after a week of excercise.


enDhruva's picture


Hi Anette,
Thank you so much fo your honest and thorough response. It makes me so sad/mad that massage has been taken to this place of degradation for women as well as to the elitist pedestal reserved only for those with "money". Massage should be available to all and should be recognized for it's healing qualities as well as it's relaxing qualities. I'm not saying that massage is the answer to everyone's problems but the more one can delve into the ways it can help a myriad of physical, mental and emotional problems the more it will amaze.

Again, thank you for your response. It has given me new energy to continue with my idea!


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