As we approach Halloween and think about things that scare us, I thought it might be a good time to talk about “Massageaphobias” - fears people may have that prevent them from trying their first massage. For many of you who are massage veterans this may be boring or humorous but there are many people who would enjoy or benefitf rom a massage that have never tried one because of some fear that they have.
Massageaphobia #1 – “I don’t want to be naked in front of a stranger”
First of all, you will be covered or “draped” as we refer to it by sheets or other covering to preserve your modesty so you will not be naked. Part of the training to become licensed massage therapists is in draping and there are ethical standards that true massage therapists must follow. Only the area that the therapist is working on will be uncovered while the therapist is working that area. You are also free to keep on any clothing you desire. The therapist will be glad to discuss the draping and how the massage will go before you ever get on the table to make sure you are comfortable. I willprobably devote an entire blog in the future on draping.
Massageaphobia #2 – “I am self-conscious about my_____”
The blank can be my body, my weight, my feet, etc. You get the idea. People today can be so hung up on body image. Massage therapists are not there to judge people, compare bodies, etc. There are all types of bodies – short, tall, thin, heavy, toned, soft, and all can enjoy and benefit from massage. Also, if you have concerns, discuss it with your therapist before the massage. For example, “I would rather not have my feet massaged and will keep my socks on”. The therapist should honor such requests.
Massageaphobia #3 – “My third cousin’s next door neighbor’s sister had a massage and they were sore for 3 days”
There are some types of massage, such as deep-tissue, that may leave you with some slight soreness such as that experienced after a heavy workout. Remember, you are in charge of the massage and the therapist can adjust the pressure at any time if it is uncomfortable. Everyone is different and your input as to the pressure you prefer is an important part of the massage.
Massageaphobia #4 – “Massage is new age, and I am not into that”
I am not sure how anything that dates back thousands of years can be considered “new” but I do understand the concern. There are some therapies that do talk about energy and therapists may have crystals or other things in the environment that are classified by the broad brush of “new age”. Massage therapy is for all, no matter what your beliefs. Again, you can discuss any concerns with your therapist prior to the massage and you can find a therapist that provides an environment where you are comfortable.
I’m sure there are other Massageaphobias that I have not covered and each of these could probably be a blog unto itself. If there is something that is keeping youfrom trying massage and you have questions, email or call us and we will try to answer them personally.