What Your Massage Therapist Really Sees In Your Body
Do you feel self-conscious when you go for your massage?
Relax! This is what your massage therapist is really thinking when they massage you.
For most of us therapists, our definition of a beautiful body is different to the one the beauty industry has.
The reason is that we know just how amazing each body is .. how the web of muscles work together to give you movement, how the skeleton moves and how each part interacts with your brain and affects your mood, feelings and thoughts, how your body’s systems work to cleanse, nourish and nurture you, even when you might not take much care of yourself.
We are massage therapists because we love the difference we can make to your life, even if it’s just for an hour.
For most of us, there is no better high than getting a client come in stressed, unhappy or sad, and an hour or two later sending them away feeling at least a little bit better about the world.
If you feel you are carrying too much weight …
Usually we won’t notice. Even if you are very large, what we are thinking is how we can best help you and make you feel comfortable. If you are larger, the only thought that is usually running through our heads is helping you get comfortable on the table, putting you at ease if you are self-conscious and making sure we give you the massage you want.
So if generally you stress about those extra kilos, the hour or two you spend on the massage table is the one place where you can, like Elsa, let it go.
Or scars, or cellulite or anything else you perceive as body imperfections. Instead we use these as clues as to what might be going on in the muscles of your body.
So if we see a fresh scar, we may ask you about it, just so that we don’t massage over it, or do more damage to an existing injury. With stretch marks, we may notice these, but perhaps only to use essential oils that can help minimise these.
Many of us are Mums and have similar markings on our bodies under our uniforms, and know that stretch marks are often the signatures our kids leave on our bodies after giving birth.
Does your skin suck up the oil?
If we are using lots of oil, that is a pretty good indication that you are dehydrated and need to drink more water.
You know when your therapist suggests at the end of the massage to drink lots of water? We don’t do that because we are channelling your mother (usually we have kids of our own to nag already) but because we are genuinely concerned for your health and have noticed you need to hydrate.
Also, massage is a really powerful treatment for the body and will naturally move any toxins that are sitting in your lymphatic system. The water will help flush them out. Without it, you may have a headache the next day.
With those clients who simply won’t let their bodies go, won’t let us move their arms, legs or head without trying to “help” us, or who steadfastly stay conscious and fully present the whole time, we try hard to assist them to just surrender.
For some clients this can be the most scary and difficult part of the massage. Giving up can be one of the most challenging things a human being can do.
Often it will indicate to us perhaps some past trauma, an underlying anxiety or a level of deep distrust a client has that is reflected in their body. As a massage therapist, we are only concerned with helping you relax and will often have a few tricks up our sleeve to make this happen.
Our job is to make you happy, and a happy client is usually a relaxed one that has allowed us to work our magic.
And a handful of requests
- Don’t be shy about telling us what you would like .. if we are massaging too soft or hard, or if there is an area that you would really love us to spend more time on, let us know. Clairvoyance is not a skill taught at massage school.
- Please don’t call us masseuses or where we work a massage parlour. These terms are usually associated with sex workers *smile*
- On that topic, most of us aren’t sex workers, so if its any sort of “relief” or just a “sensual massage” you are after (and yes we have heard every euphemism) then please go direct to the person who can help you .. look for adult services in the yellow pages or ask your concierge
- Please be reasonably clean (enough said)
- We don’t care if you shave or not. But stubble can hurt our hands so don’t be offended if we don’t massage any parts with stubble a lot.
- Would you show up a for a job interview late and get a good reception? Please be courteous and be there early so we can get you on our table on time, and if you are late, don’t be surprised if we cut your treatment short so we don’t inconvenience our next client.
- Thanks! Our aim is to give you massage or beauty treatment you are after, not the one we want to give. This is not McDonalds, we don’t do set routines. All of our massages are personalised to you. So please let us know during the massage if there is anything you would like changed. Our aim is to make you happy.