Body image... what is it? Why do we have such a reaction to others seeing our bodies? Well its society and how each of us are raised with the belief systems that were put in place for our families. We are taught young that our bodies are ours. That only Dr's are allowed to touch us... etc we can go...
Almost everybody has a way that they look at their own bodies and sometimes how we are taught to judge others. I bet each of us can pick out a feature of ourselves that we wish was different or that we just don't like. For many of us it's a small issue... no big deal right? Yet for some can be a major concern with how we view our bodies and/or worrying about how someone else might be looking at our body.
As being a Massage Therapist this is sometimes the first thing people will say to me is that they are worried about with their body. Its usually not the pain they carry that they want to talk about first its about how they view their body. What is "wrong" with it or how their dissatisfied with a feature of it. Most times its very verbal and other times its small jesters within their body language that massage is not for them. And many will not have a massage based just on this.. worrying about the thing that bugs them... (just little sidebar here... some history on me.... I have things I would love to change on my body, but then I remember, that I have, is mine. It's not perfect but it does a great job letting me do what I need to in a day. I am no super model but I have fun being me! Second side note* I was a certified nursing assistant before coming a massage therapist... I have seen many bodies all shapes and sizes and the most wonderful thing is you can always tell the best people from their souls. I am open to listening to whats bothering you (us massage therapist are great listeners) while you get your massage, but know you will be judging your body in a total different light than we do. As massage therapist we are feeling your tissues, muscles and trying to read what they want, how to get them to relax to our touch. SO no fear with how your body looks, ps by the way I have a secret to share. Your covered with a sheet :-D
Anyways back to things to consider Risk Vs Reward:
1.) Don't get a massage...
This is the easiest because it involves doing nothing. So NO Risk since you're not letting another person touch or see you.
The reward will also be a 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 a note of how you look, as if it matters
If this has happened to you, I am sorry. You got a crappy massage therapist. That's a bummer and I am really sorry. You took a risk, and even if the rest of the massage was decent, you got little reward.
This is not going to happen if you come to me. Never. No Way. I can't say this loudly enough. It goes against the very nature of who I am and how I treat people. What I believe is each body is unique and beautiful in its own way.
3.) You get a massage. A great massage! The therapist does nothing to make you feel uncomfortable about your body. In fact, 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 just 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 its' in. You may be dealing with something that you can't control. Such as medical conditions. or an injury or accident. You may be in a lot of pain and 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 judgements about you.
I've worked on hundreds if not thousands of people. Each body is interesting 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 lets find an option that works for you. You don't even have to explain anything to me. Leave your clothes on. Stay sitting up or face down or even lying on your side... how ever you want it's up to you.
It's my job to help you feel better. That's it. Together lets find a way to help you relieve your pain and stress. Don't let your body image keep you from feeling good!