“I’d never get a massage,” a friend once confessed to me. “You’d see how fat I really am.” And “I’m SO SORRY! I didn’t shave my legs!” another confesses when you’re about to start the massage. Do massage therapists care about extra cush or stubble? What do we really think about your body?
Most massage therapists are honored that their clients trust them to touch them with healing intent. It doesn’t matter what color you are, if you’re bloated from that big burrito you ate during lunch (yes, gas happens. It’s ok.), if you broke your razor or if you’re chunky.
My clients have ranged from anorexic with lanugo (fine hair growing all over the body in an attempt to keep it warm) to so large that they can barely fit on my massage table. One client had lost part of her leg to diabetes, and another worried about disfiguring scarring from tattoo removal. Others have worried if their postpartum bellies would ever go back in place while some think that their spider veins are so awful they can’t even believe I would touch their legs.
But I’m so….My body is so…
Yes, we “see” all that, but we don’t think about it unless it directly affects what we are trying to work on. We try to figure out what’s causing you pain in your back–is it stemming from your hips or legs? We see muscles and fascia (although my kids are convinced all I see is naked butts). 😉
Massage therapists are more likely to be concerned that you are in pain and are wondering how to make you feel better than judging you about what your body looks like under your clothes. How can we help?
If you have scars, we simply want to make sure we can work with them. “Unsightly” psoriasis? We need to know if it hurts so we can avoid it. When you have something contagious (think athletes’ feet), we simply need to know we can bypass that area.
What do massage therapists think about when they see your body? We watch how you walk, observe if you’re crooked, if your head’s tilting to one side, how one hip moves better than the other, etc.
Frankly, I think most of us totally forget as soon as you put your clothes back on if you have moles or fatty deposits or pimples on your back. Because we see you as you not as your body.
And we see you as a whole, as a human, one who deserves to feel better. That body of yours–we work on it so it can function to the best of its ability.
That’s what we think of when we give you a massage. Now, if you’re past due, schedule a massage already!
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