As a massage therapist, I often hear people talk about the reasons why they don’t take the opportunity to explore the benefits of massage therapy. I am here to help comfort you on some of the fears and misconceptions of getting a massage.
The most common reasons regard is the body – I’m too fat, too skinny, have cellulite, scars, too hairy, dislike a certain body part and the list goes on and on. The fact is that as a massage therapist, I am looking beyond that – looking at the body as tissue, not just a form. I am “reading” the body, looking for clues on how to treat your body, not to judge you! These indicators are often apparent just by talking to you prior to the massage, fully clothed, by looking at posture or the way you walk, for example. Be aware also, that this is YOUR massage and you dictate what I work on and what I don’t – if there is a body part that concerns you, I will simply avoid that area to make it a more pleasant experience for you. Communication and respect are essential in a massage.
Another fear is being exposed. Once I meet with you and discuss what you are looking for in this massage session (relaxation, back pain relief, etc.) I will then exit the room to give you the privacy to disrobe and lay on the table – covered completely by the sheet provided. (I always offer the option to wear undergarments if the client feels more comfortable in doing so). I will then knock before entering. Once on the table, you will be properly draped the entire time. In a professional massage proper draping is the law – literally. The only part exposed at any time is the one that I am working with; the rest of the body will remain covered under the sheet. Please note that genitals and women’s breasts are never exposed!
As a massage therapist I also hear men and women with concerns regarding receiving a massage from a male. Men often shy away from another male working on them due to stereotypical misconceptions and women fear the above; body concerns and exposure, as well as fears of the sexual nature. Whether male or female, my only concern is how to give you the best massage in a safe environment, keeping you relaxed and healing your body. There are no hidden agendas or sexual undertones. Unfortunately, many unlicensed spas are highlighted in the media, due to the lack of these concerns and often cast shadows on the legitimate businesses in the industry. Again, be aware, look for a massage therapist who is licensed and works for a reputable business.
Think about it – touch has been around since the beginning of time! There is a sense of peace and compassion often associated with it. Do you remember as a child, getting injured and the comfort you felt as a parent held you or the warmth you feel as a friend or significant other hugs you in a time of need? Touch is needed in a person’s life – it’s been scientifically proven – and everyone deserves a healing touch. With benefits such as relaxation, alleviating back pain, improving range of motion in muscles and joints, improving circulation, relieving migraines, enhancing immunity – by stimulating the lymph flow, reducing recovery time in over worked muscles, reduction in spasms and cramping, reducing post-surgery adhesions and edema, releasing endorphins – the body’s natural pain killer, eliminating the need for medications and even assisting with shorter labor for expectant mothers. These are just a few of the many benefits associated with massage therapy, and with some of the fears that are common in massage therapy alleviated, WHAT’S KEEPING YOU FROM YOUR HEALTH??
Joe Braguez Licensed Massage Therapist