Many people adore massage and there are not many days that go by in Bali where you don’t go for a $5 – $10 full body massage.
I rarely go. Give me a pedicure or some foot reflexology, but I tend to avoid the full body massage. Is it a matter of preference or is it something deeper? Maybe it’s time for a little reflection and honesty?
1. Body Image
From the moment you walk in and are asked to get fully undressed things start taking a wrong turn for me. After you bare your naked body to a complete stranger they offer you a pair of small, disposable knickers, which in a one-size-fits-all world – does not fit at all.
Finally, you are lying on a table, hoping to cover most of your body from the prying eyes of a stranger knowing that it’s no use because soon that stranger will be touching you all over.
Then the thoughts start:
“I wonder what she thinks of my thighs?”
“Oh my gosh, she’s about to see my caesar scar that never sees daylight!”
And so on.
Full body massage is an examination of your perception of your own body. It brings to mind everything you hate about yourself physically and gives you the time to fully examine it. Hoping against hope that the person massaging you does not think the same.
2. Relaxation Mind Struggle
Life is full of everyday distractions. If I am not on my laptop, I’m playing Candy Crush on my phone. If I’m not answering my kids’ 55,000 questions every day I am discussing the deeper things of life with my partner.
I rarely am ever left with my own thoughts for company.
Massage gives you an hour or two, depending on your choice, of being alone with your thoughts. To think and feel everything you have been hoping not to think and feel.
To think about your body image, or your future, to examine your worries or delve into your emotional nakedness. It’s definitely a moment of inner connection, reflection and realisation.
3. You Lose Control
It’s not every day you lose control. As adults, that was shed long ago from our nature. We control what we eat, where we live, what we say and what we do with our body.
During a massage, a person you have never met suddenly has full control of your body. They can make you stop breathing, they can fill you with pain, they can make you groan or sigh with gratification and they can make your tense muscles unwind and unclench.
I am not a fan of losing control and massage is all about losing control.
4. Sexually Unsexual
It’s time to get personal. When your partner massages you usually it is for one reason only.
When you head to a massage it’s not for that reason. Not my idea of fun.
5. It Ends
After you lay naked in front of a stranger. After you struggle with body image and muscle relaxation. Once you set your mind free to enjoy the moment and not to ponder on too many deep mysteries.
Once you finally let go…
What’s with that?
The Bottom Line
Perhaps I don’t hate massage after all. Perhaps massage is good for me and challenging and revealing. Perhaps massage takes me to a place that, while painful, will ultimately make me happier physically and emotionally.
Perhaps I don’t hate massage at all. Perhaps massage just loves me in a way I’m not comfortable with.
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