Massage Anxiety

Have you ever gotten a full body massage?  Well I got my very first one yesterday and honestly, I don’t see what all the hype is about. 

 As I get older, I am developing little idiosyncrasies that I never had before.  One of them is that I do not like to be touched by people I don’t know.  Sometimes this is the case even with people I do know, unless they are family.  It gives me anxiety.  So, maybe a full body massage was not something I should’ve volunteered for.  It was offered as a complimentary perk from my full-time job and since everyone rants and raves about how “awesome” massages are, I thought I should go ahead and try it.

My nervousness began much earlier in the day even before I left the office.  I had made pasta with brussel sprouts and garbanzo beans for dinner the night before.  Not to be gross, but that is a dangerous combination in itself, nevermind the fact that my body tends to handle those foods with “explosive” results and usually at the most inoppertune times.  I thought, “oh shit” (no pun intended)….tummy please, please don’t fail me now.  My therapist would be direclty in the line of fire and I wasn’t looking forward to explaining that one to the authorities.

 The massage was at a 5 star spa near where I live and work.  It was 45 minutes and I had asked for a female therapist.  As I’m in the locker room getting “changed” into the robe they provide, these 2 very loud ladies walk in and proceed to just stand there behind me discussing their manicures with one another. I’m standing there, trying to get naked and me, being self-conscious would rather not have them as an audience.  I turned around and gave them a look but they just didn’t get it.  So I did this Houdini-quick-change- move, was in my robe quickly and high-tailed my butt out of there to sit and wait for my therapist to come get me.

 They had arranged a fruit and cheese platter with wine to be brought into the waiting area.  That was nice as I was able to relax a little with a glass of red.  Before I could finish it, I was called to go back to the treatment room but they told me I could bring it with me.  My therapist was a very nice, younger asian lady.  She was smaller than me and I thought, “really? How in the world is she going to do this?”.  On the way to the room she held her hand lightly on the back of my shoulder as we walked.  Hereby commenced the uncomfortable-ness.  When we got to the room she explained how to lay down, where to put my head etc.  She left for a moment as I got on the table and under the sheet.  I felt like I was preparing for a major surgery, just waiting for the anesthesia.  She came back in and then it began.

 The sound of the massage oil being squirted out of the bottle onto her hands reminded me of the sound that the KY Jelly makes right before being examined at the gynecologist.  So much for relaxation. I know that I was a ball of tension the entire time she did my legs, as all I could think of was how close she was getting to my private parts with every rub, push and pull.  As she did my feet all I could think was “I wonder if they are clean?  I wonder if she’s ever had to massage people with really dirty, smelly  feet?  I’m glad I wore sandals today..etc.” My mind was racing with all these weird and random thoughts.

 She began working on my back and shoulders which was the best part of the 45 minutes I was on that table.  I did have a lot of tightness in my shoulders, especially around the shoulder blades and it felt good to have her work on that.  Of course I couldn’t relax completely because I started wondering how in the world people like massaging other people for a living.  I cringe when even my husband asks for me to massage his neck.  It’s too tiring…I wonder how their arms don’t end up falling off after an hour.

 Then it was flip time.  She started on the front part and there she went with the legs again….ugh.  The thoughts started and I couldn’t relax.  She did the tops of my shoulders and behind my neck.  I kept thinking “I hope that oil doesn’t get in my newly dyed hair.” and “I wonder if this oil is going to make me break out on my neck?”.  Multiple attempts to find my inner peace were not successful.  I think it took a permanent vacation.

Finally after what felt like an eternity it was over.  She said “How was your first massage?” to which I replied “Great, it was great thank you!” I just didn’t have the heart to say otherwise.  I made it through the entire 45 minutes without any fiber-related issues and I was relieved; I just wanted to finish my wine and dive into the cheese and crackers back in the waiting room.  Which I did as soon as I got back there.

On my way home,  my mom called to ask me how it was.  I told her that it was ok…I don’t see how people pay hundreds of dollars for them.  I would never do that.  Then the conversation got out of hand…


Mom: Was the therapist nice?

Me: Yes, she was nice

Mom: Was there a lot of chopping and slapping going on?

Me: Ugh, Ma this was at a 5 star spa not at a place on the corner or Harry Hines in Dallas; it wasn’t that kind of massage!

Mom: Oh, well they always do that on TV

Me: *sigh*

13 thoughts on “Massage Anxiety

  1. I love massages but I also think about how gross it would be to massage another person and what kinds of bodies they must look at all day!
    My biggest worry is farting. OMG I worry about it the WHOLE time!


  2. bibibapka says:

    This post could have been written by me. I have never been for a professional massage but I share your sentiments. I can also be very ticklish which, I would imagine, wouldn’t make the ordeal any easier 🙂


  3. I’ve only had a massage on my back and I have to agree I wondered what all the hype is about…I had back problem and she wouldn’t do too hard because she was afraid of making it worse..duhh I was there hoping she would make it better. I also am not fond of having others touch me (when I’m naked) so I didn’t find it enjoyable at all…..So much for massages….Diane


  4. changeforbetterme says:

    thanks for stopping by my blog today (change is good …right?) I understand you about massages…..I never could get one myself…..nope…nada….not for this lady….ain’t nobody touching me but me…and then I don’t unless I have to…LOL…..


  5. Betty says:

    I love this post. For the last six years, I’ve worked in a branch of the spa industry, but not in the capacity of massage therapist or esthetician. My first massage experience was many years before my business involvement in the spa industry and I went through all of the feelings you experienced. I learned not to eat the brussels sprouts the night before and not to drink two cups of coffee within a few hours of the appointment. I’ve had both male and female MTs and I have to say I prefer the males. Most of them, compared to female MTs, have greater strength to really make the massage work. You just have to put your mind in a place that they are not touching or looking at you in a way that should make you feel uncomfortable. To them, you are just another body. 🙂


  6. Oh, this is just hilarious! My sister regularly tells me that she went for her massage, yet I’m like you — never had one. I just can’t get past the idea of a stranger putting his/her hands all over me, expecting me to relax and enjoy it! If that makes me weird, so be it.


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