FB RLX Mx stands for a Full Body Relaxation Massage, as it is often recorded on the post-treatment notes by massage therapists. It is a kind of massage most commonly advertised by health clubs and SPAs. But what is it? There seems to be no agreement on the matter.

As a client, I’ve had my share of massages, which were supposed to be the full body relaxation types. But none of them really were. As a therapist, I’ve been giving full body relaxation massages to others, and I have my own definition:

A full body relaxation massage has to include the following body parts (not necessarily in this order): scalp, face, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, hands, upper back, lower back, abdomen, gluteals (buttocks), front of legs, back of legs, feet. It should also at a minimum include the following elements: myofascial release, light to moderate pressure stroking and kneading (Swedish techniques), deeper tissue non-Swedish techniques, joint mobilization, and, if necessary, some trigger point work.

It usually takes me 90 minutes to complete the full body massage. Sometimes, if no special problems are encountered, I can do it in 75. When a client books a 60-minute appointment, I tell them that some elements of the massage will be omitted.

At most places offering full body relaxation massages, this is what you most likely will not get:

a. Abdomen massage is almost never included, and that’s a shame, since it involves the massage of the viscera (internal organs) and the diaphragm (the main muscle of breathing)

b. Scalp and face massages are usually omitted as well, although they are critical in relieving the tension in the many little muscles which cause headache and jaw pain.

c. Foot massage is often not included, although our feet carry us throughout the day and are vulnerable to a variety of stresses and injuries

d. Gluteals (muscles that make up the buttocks) are often avoided by therapists, although many of us spend our working day sitting and experience a variety of symptoms, scientifically known as “the pain in the butt”.

e. Joint mobilization techniques are usually not performed, although these are vital for locomotion and for avoiding injuries and chronic myofascial problems.

So, to summarize, before signing up for a full body massage at another SPA, check with them first and make sure all these items are included. Or call the Breathe Spa at 403-457-3060 and make an appointment with me. You will not be short-changed, and it will be well worth it, I promise you.

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