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  • Writer's pictureFran Candelaria

Shanti Messages - Messages to Help bring you Peace

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

Brought to you by the Shanti WellnessTeam

Body image risk and reward in massage 

May 10, 2019 by Fran Candelaria

When I tell some people that I’m a massage therapist, it can cause a strong reaction. They tell me, whether verbally or through their reaction and body language, that massage is not for them. Their body image is such an issue that they don’t think anybody else can accept them. The paradox here is that massage can help with body image issues. In massage school, we were all nervous about taking off our clothes and letting somebody else touch us. It didn’t take long for us to discover that bodies are just bodies and become much more comfortable with our own. We also experienced how good receiving a massage made us feel. Something unexpected happened – when our bodies felt better, we felt better about our bodies.

I think there are three options to consider. Let’s look at the risk versus reward for them.

1. Don’t get a massage. This option 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 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 sorry. You took a risk, and even if the rest of the massage was decent, got little reward. This option is not going to happen if you come to me. 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 nothing to make you feel uncomfortable about your body. You feel pretty good about your body after the massage. In this option, your risk is low. I don’t care how your body looks. That’s none of my business. I want to help it feel better. Your reward is high. Again, your body will feel better from the massage, and you can start feeling better about it. I have no idea how your body got to be in the condition that it’s in. You may be dealing with something that you can’t control, such as a medical condition or an injury or accident. You may be in a lot of pain or are limited in what you can do physically. Since I don’t know what caused your body to be like it is now, I can’t make any judgments about you. I’ve worked on thousands of people. Each body is unique, and I’ve yet to come across one that I could not help.

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 me. Leave your clothes on. Stay sitting up, lie face down, or lying on your side. It’s up to you.

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.

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