Over the years we noticed that our Japanese massage therapists were consistently more popular than average. We knew they were skilled at massage as well as being trustworthy and empathetic - but so was every other therapist on our platform. So, what was making Japanese therapists especially popular?
We set out to discover the reasons and were pleasantly surprised at what we found.
Best of all, we learned that even though it was massage therapists from Japan that had been reaping the benefits, any nationality could employ similar techniques to give and receive a better massage.
Read on to discover how you can improve your next massage by following some simple but effective traditional Japanese traits.
We believe a key reason why Japanese massage therapists have been consistently popular in London may be connected to common characteristics from their cultural background.
According to Japan Today, a popular Tokyo based online newspaper, Japanese people are most often associated with being polite, punctual, kind, hard-working and respectful.
These are all excellent qualities for a massage therapist to have too.
Needless to say, every country produces countless different types of personality. So generalising behaviour based on nationality alone can be misleading and at worst unfair stereotyping.
However, long established traditions can also be indicative of certain traits typically found in people of that nation.
Our research found that Japanese therapists on our platform regularly perform their massage sessions in a way that is reminiscent of a particular cultural tradition - the Japanese tea ceremony. And customers have loved it.
The traditional Japanese tea ceremony, or sadō (茶道), is a long-standing Japanese way in which tea has been prepared, served and enjoyed between the host and guest, in an unhurried and ritualistic manner.
From the humble settings in which such ceremonies are performed to various protocols which govern how to serve and drink the tea, the whole affair exudes an air of calm, dignity and equality.
Even before the tea is served, hosts take special steps to ensure the atmosphere feels far removed from fast paced city living. The room is warm, modestly lit and quiet. There may be traditional melodic music playing softly in the background or it could be completely silent.
The ways of the tea ceremony are specifically designed to help guests detach from the pressures of everyday life for some hours and enjoy a more peaceful and relaxed environment. Not dissimilar to our own recommendations on how to prepare your room for a massage session.
The host prepares and serves the tea in a very specific manner. Close attention is paid to the placement of objects, such as the teapot, cups and utensils, in a precise and unobtrusive way.
Exactly defined hand movements are used during the ceremony, to avoid untidiness or imprecision. This approach also helps create an atmosphere of competence, encouraging the receiver to relax in the comfort that they are in the company of an experienced professional.
Throughout the ceremony, both host and guest treat each other with respect.
Each stage is conducted in a calm and unhurried way. There are appropriate moments to pause and reflect on the service. There is no pressure to rush and the sense of urgency, which is so common in regular city life, is diminished.
At the end, gratitude is expressed towards the host for their warmth and kindness before the host neatly tidies up and farewells are exchanged.
Even if you have never had the pleasure of attending a Japanese tea ceremony, we hope some of the above may have sounded familiar if you are a regular customer of massage.
We believe approaching a massage session with humility, serenity and attention to detail have not only helped make some Japanese massage therapists in London busier and more popular but are also exactly what the best massage therapists of any nationality already know and achieve during their sessions.
Therapists can improve their treatments beyond technical ability alone by emulating many of the qualities seen in Japanese tea ceremonies, to create their very own Massage Ceremony:
> Approach sessions with humility, serenity and respect
> Be extra careful throughout the treatment. Example tips include:
- Store belongings with consideration towards others
- Create an atmosphere detached from everyday commotions
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before starting
- Keep jewellery, oil bottles and other items out of the way
- Ensure phone is on silent
- Tidy up at the end of the treatment
> Be polite and attentive throughout the session
> Leave calmly and quickly without causing disruption
Use the advice above to create your very own massage ceremony and enjoy giving or receiving a treatment that complements a highly revered and popular tradition from the other side of the globe.