After the massage one is usually asked to go for a little walk and then to write down a brief report of one’s experiences. He began his walk happily and then returned for his cup of tea and to write the report.
He was surprised and continued coming. He explained how he had been abused as a child and told me about his youth with only painful memories and the decision not to show anything of his inner feelings. Much later he lost his teenage daughter. He was past crying but could only laugh and eat in order to hide and forget it all. And now, after the fifth massage session he was suddenly able to feel sadness. He wept and put his hand on his heart. After the seventh massage session Gerard said that the rhythmical tapping on his upper legs during the massage had encouraged him to do the exercises again which the physiotherapist had told him to do daily. He should really have been doing them for a long time already but had never got around to it. He said that this was why he is now walking better than ever.
At the start of the second series of seven treatments, Gerard surprised me when he slowly undressed and lay down on the massage bed almost naked. I carefully covered him up with a sheet and asked whether he had found an oil I could use to which he was not allergic.
He said: “You can use any oil. I am not allergic but did not dare to show myself earlier and did not dare to tell you this either.”
Together we chose an oil. Almost all scents called up painful memories, even the rose oil, of which he said: “Do use this one, for I trust that this painful memory will also go away.
And: “I don’t want to write any more after my walk, but I will bring a note with my experiences of the previous week.”
And thus it was done.
After the ninth session Gerard came in proudly and walking securely without his rollator from the waiting room to the treatment room where he occasionally cried. He was so pleased to be able to cry again. He had started having art therapy and also there he could cry and no longer got stuck in the tasks, as had been happening in the first sessions with this therapy. He mentioned in passing that there was more life in his lower body and that he had even had some erotic feelings.
Every week Gerard comes in looking content and the last time, when hanging up his coat, he said: “Today I got up in a good mood, which is something I have not experienced for a long time.”
Not all stories are as successful as Gerard’s. I have again and again been surprised by what this massage could achieve, and my list of indications has grown again thanks to Gerard’s openness and enthusiasm.


Marion Gores
Nurse, specializing in external therapy and Bentinck massage.
Therapy Centre Aquamarijn in Arnhem

Do you have a medical or paramedical qualification? Or do you have basic medical knowledge? You can learn the skills and theory of the Bentinck massage in Amersfoort.