Back massage-- Individuals pair off and massage each others' backs
sometimes arms) as a therapist or skilled peer educator talks them
through and demonstrates appropriate strokes and techniques. The
program usually lasts 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the audiance and how much they get into it.
We usually ask people to make the surface of their back available for
massage, or bare, which means some level of disrobing. Some students
are sensitive to this, as you well know. Women especially. For this
reason we have a few suggestions to make it easier and more comfortable
for all. The room should be big enough for all to lay down. It helps
if it has lights that can be dimmed or that at least can be partially shut
off. If not, bringing a desk lamp is essential so that the overhead
lights can be shut off. The requestor of the program will be
responsible for checking out the room in advance and providing the lamp
if needed. Additionally, the room should be on the warm side but not
sweltering. And its really best if the room can be closed off to any traffic; no through traffic, or glass doors, or windows without drapes. A room near to a bathroom is always helpful.
Students will pair off, so having them think about bringing a partner or pairing off ahead of time helps. Generally, each individual will give a half hour massage and then they get one in return from their partner. They also each need to bring a beach or bath towel, so they don't have to lay directly on the (dirty) floor.
For the women, we recommend a bra or bathing suit top that can be unhooked in the back and then a shirt over top that also unbuttons or unsnaps in the back.
They can wear a regular blouse backwards it they have nothing else. Or
they can wear a t-shirt and then just push it up in the back. But,
they will want to wear somehting old so they don't have to worry about the
top getting stained by oil. They will need to choose between oil or
powder (provided by wellspring) for their massage. Also, we recommend
that they wear sweat pants or loose fitting pants, so they can be comfortable moving around on the floor and so that they don't worry about staining the waistband of
their clothes with the oil, etc.
For the men, they should be willing to remove their top, or push up their shirt. They should wear sweat bottoms or old loose-fitting pants for flexibility and so as not to worry about oil stains.
Of course, anyone can decide to not disrobe at all and just have the partner massage through or over their clothes, but it is not nearly as helpful or impactful of an experience.
People can observe without participating, but we will lay down some pretty strict groundrules so that others do not feel they are being voyuered. Also, no talking is permitted among the observers, except to ask approriate questions of the presenters.
The massage program will need to start ON TIME. Have everyone dressed
and assembled by the scheduled start time. A minimum of ten students/participants must be present or the presenters reserve the right to cancel the program.
Please advertise this program thoroughly and appropriately so that
participants know what to expect and come prepared.
Bottled water will be provided to each massage participant.