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Have you ever had someone say: I would like to get a msg but I am worried what the MT will think of my fat body.. I have had women say that to me a few times and I always tell them. When I am doing msg I am not thinking of you in that way.. I am in tuned into the flow of the msg and how well the body is relaxing and responding.

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I hear that all the time. Even from my own mother. Those people are the ones who need a massage the most, IMHO. They need to be able to relax and accept themselves. I still haven't figured out what a good response to this statement would be. I just try and let them know that I'm not going to judge them and that I just want to help them relax and/or get some pain relief.

I work at Massage Envy. I tend to get something similar to this a lot. It's not so much of a worry of clients' weight, it's more so of voicing their "weight problem". I have a lot of sarcastic clients' who walk in saying, "Well other than me needing to lose weight..." when I am conducting my interview. I agree with Stephanie 100%, they are the ones who need this therapy treatment more than anything. You know, to help them relax. I personally believe that when they are openly self-conscious as such they are so stressed out about whatever personal issue(s) they are going through they take it out on themselves. (Just a theory).

I've heard this for years in the massage industry, and I completely agree that they are some of the clients who need massage the most. I agree also, a good response is difficult to find and it really comes down to your level of customer service. I have found that a genuine and empathetic smile along with kindly reassuring them that the one thing you will be thinking about in the massage is how to help them relax and gain relief seems to work best :)

I was a  busy massage therapist for ten years working in a chiropractic office in Hawaii.  When I moved to Alaska I got a job working in a very nice spa.   However it took me a couple years or more to get busy and make enough money to live on.  I mean I was recieving food stamps becsause my income was so low.  Most of the spa clientel were women.  I would often hear that they didnt feel comfortable with a male therapist.  And the male clientel almost always perfered female therapists also.  During that time period I remember putting on my coat after another day of no work, on my way to the food stamp place, when I over heard two women talking.  Here is what I heard.   " I want to get a massage from that guy. I hear he is really good.  But I don't want him to see my fat."   So yea, I've heard it.   And I think its even more of an issue for a male massage therapist.  

I say close to the same thing  I tell them I don't see their body per se  I feel their tissue and I look for skin issues clients understand that and tend to relax more knowing I am not actually looking at their body

I have had this conversation a few times. The client will say something to me when the massage is getting started. Something like, I was nervous or have been putting off getting a massage for awhile because I gained weight, can't lose weight.... I tell them that I don't look at you that way at all. That I am focused on what my hands are feeling. And what I can do to make change so you feel better. And once you relax and focus on how the massage feels you will understand what I mean. And afterwards they tell me that once they focused on what it felt like were able to relax. And they kinda understood what I meant.

Simply say, 'Massage therapists, both male and female, study human body in college. I  entered this  profession due to a sincere desire to relax stressful minds and bodies, relieve muscular pain, and restore free movement in the extremities.  In my treatment room, your butt is neither flabby nor sexy, it is simply a big muscle that can  benefit from my extensive education in human anatomy and my palpatory skills-- and LMTs really like muscle!.... My treatment room is a non-judgment zone!"

We hear this all the time from therapists, as well as prospective students. Educating practitioners on how to view their profession and their contribution to society and healthcare is critical in this case. When we start viewing our profession as one of providing health care and relieving patients of pain, we bring more value to the relationship as well as strengthen our inner beliefs at the same time. Over time this helps overcome such perceptions. The same can be explained to a potential patient to help them better understand how practitioners view and approach their profession.

It's impossible not to hear this line. And have you noticed that female clients are far more reticent about their bodies than male clients are? And it happens even if the massage therapist is a woman. I'm not licensed yet, but perform massage therapies on some people I know. And a couple of my ladies clients are a bit embarrassed by their bodies. I tell them to focus on relaxing and enjoying the massage and forgetting about anything else. Also to perceive the therapist like a professional. I mean, you are not embarrassed when you go to see a doctor, no?

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