As I’ve gotten some of my best hands-on massage from men, I found that curious and asked her why she thought that.
“Because I’d have to suck in my guts for a man,” she responded.
Interestingly enough, men certainly don’t feel the need to suck in their guts for me. And nor should they.
If I got paid for the number of times a woman confessed apologetically about not having shaved her legs, I’d have quite a bit more in the bank.
The truth is that we don’t really care about your hairy legs. What matters is how they feel and what we can do to make them feel better. It doesn’t occur to me when I see your spider veins that you may think they’re unsightly–I’m wondering if there are varicosities below. (And that’s a problem because of the possibility of blot clots.)
Or if you’ve got weight to lose, I’m certainly not judging you on that. Frankly, most of the time I don’t even notice, not like you do. I’ll remember that your left shoulder is cranked up and keep an eye on that mole on your back to make sure it doesn’t get any bigger.
In the past 16 years that I’ve been a massage therapist, I’ve had friends who are in desperate need of a massage. When I’ve offered to work on them for free they’ve declined. Why? Not due to pride because maybe they can’t afford a massage, but because even with the draping used, they don’t want me to see them without their clothes on.
And that’s a shame.
I have worked on semi-pro bodybuilders, teenagers, senior citizens, pregnant and post-partum women. Women and men with different body types and wildly diverse needs.
One client’s son was captured by the enemy in war time and another needed me to work on her stump where her leg had been amputated. One was on a transplant list while another had donated a kidney.
There have been tears of joy during massage and weeping due to emotional pain or the death of a loved one. We’ve had confessions in conversations, discussed relationships, and religion.
You come to me with diverse stories and lives, varied careers and health histories.
When you talk, I listen. I have even cried with some of you. When you feel the need for quiet, I’ll leave you to your thoughts and dreams.
What do I see when I work on you? I see a person who needs me to help them feel better. I try to figure out what’s causing you pain in your back–is it stemming from your hips or legs? I see muscles and fascia.
p.s. If you’re wondering what on earth the photo is at the top, it’s the form of massage that I specialize in, Ashiatsu barefoot massage. Interested in trying it? You can schedule an appointment here.