Body image; Risk and Reward in Massage

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Body image. Almost everybody has something about their body that they don’t like.

For many people it’s a minor issue, no big deal. For some people it is a major issue which can have a wide reaching affects on every sphere of their lives in a negative way.

Most people react very positively when they find out what I do for a living – compared to other professions massage therapists have a great reputation!

However knowledge of my vocation can also illicit a less than favourable reaction.

Whether verbally or through their body language, some people tell me that massage is not for them. This dislike can stem from a root issue around body image and their inability to accept themselves that can lead to a self limiting belief that they don’t think anybody else can accept them either.

The paradox here is that massage can really help with body image issues. Rewind to massage school – as a young mother of three whose body had changed drastically over the last six years of pregnancies, births and breast feeding.

I remember a room of strangers – take off your clothes and let a person you just met touch you -confronting – YES!

It didn’t take long for me to discover how good receiving massage felt even under those classroom conditions. I began to recognise the human body as miraculous, fascinating and most of all beautiful.

Then something unexpected happened – the more I saw the beauty in everyone else the more I appreciated the beauty within my own body -even just appreciating the beauty of a cell made me awe-struck!  the result was the better I felt better about being in my own skin  the better my body felt the less headaches and back pain I experienced.

For those who are a little wobbly around body image. There are three options to consider.

Let’s look at the risk versus reward for them.

1. Don’t get a massage.

This is the easiest because it involves doing nothing. The risk is low since you are not letting another person see or touch you at all. The reward is zero. You didn’t get a massage so your body doesn’t feel any better, and you still have the stress you had before.

2. You get a massage, but the massage therapist either makes note of how you look, as if it matters. If this has happened to you, I’m sorry.

You got a crappy massage therapist. That’s a bummer, and I’m really sorry.

You took a risk, and even if the rest of the massage was decent, got very little reward. This is not going to happen if you come to me or anyone I have ever trained.

Never.

No way.

I can’t say this strongly enough. It goes against the very nature of who I am, how I treat people, and what I believe.

3. You get a massage. A great massage. And the therapist does everything to help you feel uncomfortable about your body.

In fact, you feel pretty good about your body after the massage and you rebook.

In this option your risk is low. Your therapist was a well trained professional and really part of the majority of what to expect from your therapist.

Your reward is high. Again your body will feel better from the massage and you can start feeling better about it.

To a well trained therapists every single person’s body is beautiful and has an interesting story that it tells us through an unspoken connection that we train for years to be able to access. I know I am not alone when I state that  I’ve yet to come across a person that I could not help feel significantly different in the their skin.

If you have been avoiding massage because you feel uncomfortable about your body, let’s find an option that works for you. You don’t even have to explain anything to your therapist but it might to give them a hint.

Leave your clothes on. Stay sitting up or face down or lying on your side or however you want. It’s up to you. As a therapist It’s my job to help you feel better.

That’s it.

Together let’s find a way to help you relieve your pain and stress.

Don’t let your body image keep you from feeling good.

Christine Knox

CK Massage Training

Specialised treatments for Scars, Chronic pain and helping you feel like you again.