As a Complementary Health Therapist who specialises in body work I've worked with many different people. All ages, genders and body shapes. Everyone was utterly unique. And yet amongst all this uniqueness I hear the same doubts, worries and concerns about coming for a treatment.
Most people if not all worry about me, what I’ll be thinking and that I will be making judgement. And I know because I do it myself when I go for a massage. I go into auto pilot, put on my best pants, shave my legs and hold my tummy in. Bonkers I know. And yet the daftest thing is when I work with my clients whether they have hairy legs and arm pits, a saggy tummy, cellulite or a ample bottom never enters my head once. All I see is someone who needs a massage.
So what are we afraid of?
Here’s a list of the common fears most people have and why you should stop worrying and enjoy your massage or body work session.
1. Body Hair
Please don’t apologise. So you have hairy legs/armpits/back it really doesn’t matter that you haven’t shaved just for me. In truth I probably wouldn’t have noticed until you mentioned it and it doesn’t affect the treatment in any way. I probably have hairy legs and pits too!
This goes for all genders. Women if you want to embrace your natural state that’s awesome and men if you’d prefer not to that fine by us too.
2. Your body is beautiful, too
I see loads of bodies and trust me none of them look like an airbrushed model. All bodies are unique and all bodies are beautiful. You may think you bum is too big, or your thighs are too close, or that your tummy sags and you have scars and cellulite. Believe me when I say I see you as someone who needs a massage not a list of imperfections. We are so conditioned by the media to have an idea of how we should look that we forget how beautiful and unique we all are. I’m hear to help not to judge.
3. Bodily functions are normal.
I lose count of the times someone apologises for their tummy gurgling. The look can almost be of horror, ‘oh I’m so sorry, I missed breakfast’. The thing is, most body therapy or massage treatments have some component of relaxation. And when in this glorious relaxed state your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and the rest and digest mechanism does its thing. So yes, that does means stomach growling, snoring, even passing gas are normal. Yes NORMAL. Don’t worry it doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, that’s a great sign you are relaxed. As a healthcare professional, it doesn’t faze me so don’t worry.
4. Tell me what feels right.
I’ve never known anyone not enjoy a massage but I have learnt that people like different things; so never be afraid to say what feels right for you. You may be a person who prefers a deeper massage, or a lighter touch. You may enjoy the benefits of abdominal massage or you may hate your feet being touch. It’s okay to talk to me and ask me to adjust my pressure or not work your feet. I’d rather you did than leave feeling like it wasn’t comfortable or enjoyable. Remember everyones prefered style of massage is different.
So next time you book in for a treatment try not to worry just enjoy the time and relax.