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Massage and Body Image

Almost everybody has something about their body that they don’t like. It can range from not liking how your toes look to some serious issues where the person gets panic attacks just thinking about shopping for new clothes. In any case, it can and does affect how they live and has tremendous negative impact on their happiness and quality of life.

Most people think that everyone loves a massage therapist – who wouldn’t, right? Well for some people, it can cause panic and distress, and it shows either through their body language or they flat out tell us that massage isn’t good for them. Their body image creates such a false sense of self that they don’t think anyone else could see them and accept them for their own individual self.

The paradox here is that massage can really 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.


There are three options to consider. Let’s look at the risk versus reward for each of them.


1. Don’t get a massage.


This is the easiest because it involves doing absolutely nothing. The risk is nonexistent since you are not stepping out of your comfort zone to possibly think about a reward.


Conversely, the reward also adds up to zero. You didn’t get a massage so your body doesn’t feel any better, and you still have the stress you had before. Nothing happened. Nothing changed.


2. You get a massage, but the massage therapist comments about the one (or many) aspect(s) of yourself you desperately hope no one else notices.


If this has happened to you, please know that you got landed with a crappy massage therapist. There’s no other way of putting it – that person was unprofessional and disregarded ethics trainings built into every accredited massage therapy program. It’s inexcusable, and we deeply apologize on behalf of that practitioner.

On the positive side: that will NEVER happen at Under Pressure Therapeutics. We are here to help you, not think about how you look in any capacity. It goes against what we believe and it prohibits our abilities to actually help you with your specific needs. The only thing that we judge is your posture and range of motion because that’s part of our job! We look at it to determine what treatments could help you with your pain or range of motion, and that’s it!

3. You get a massage. A great massage. And the therapist does nothing to make you feel uncomfortable about your body. In fact, you feel pretty good about your body after the massage.


For some this might seem like a really high risk from that individual’s perspective. It causes you to be vulnerable. However, from the perspective of a professionally trained Licensed Massage Therapist, risk doesn’t even exist! We don’t care how your body looks. We just want to help you feel better! Which means that the reward is high. Again your body will feel better from the massage and you can start feeling better about it.

We have no idea how your body got to be in the condition that it’s in, and we don’t care! That’s not to say that we don’t want to know of your struggles – we do! We want to know if you have a medical condition or if you were in an accident that really messed up your body or if you’ve had multiple surgeries. If you’re coming in for therapeutic massage, the most we assume is you’re in pain and need help.

We have worked on all different body types, and each person has different goals and pains. We are here to help, not to hurt or judge or anything like that! So please, let us help you. That’s what we want to do! We want to help you instill a more positive view on your body image. If you’ve been avoiding us because you feel uncomfortable about your body, please talk to us, and we will figure out ways to help you. We don’t need explanations. We just need to know that you want a massage because you’re in this kind of pain and you want to leave your clothes on. If laying face down can make you feel uncomfortable, we can have you in a side-lying position. It’s YOUR massage, so we want to make sure YOU are comfortable. 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.