The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Massage For The Roly Poly Set

on September 26, 2013

One of the greatest perks of my day job is that I have amazing benefits.  Included in those benefits is massage therapy, but until about six years ago I had never used the money allotted for massage and I’ve been with the organization for sixteen years.  This may sound odd, but I didn’t get a massage because I didn’t think I deserved one.  I am not a professional athlete, I don’t do heavy lifting during my working day, and I had no specific medical condition for which massage would be recommended so I thought it would seem frivolous, like I was just doing something to pamper myself.

I write these words and I am surprised and saddened that I once had so little self worth that I believed that a bit of pampering was undeserved.  I’m also surprised because now I know that massage is a must for anyone who sits at a desk in front of a screen all day.  Back pain, sciatica, and carpal tunnel are just some of the ailments that arise from life in a cubicle farm and massage can definitely help to relieve and prevent those conditions.

The one thing that I never considered when I finally decided to go for a massage was my size.  You can be more or less modest dependent on your level of comfort plus you’re on your front most of the time, so I never thought much of it.  But it turns out that there are a lot of larger people who will not go for a massage because they are embarrassed that they will be unclothed and touched.  I also found some evidence that bigger people have been charged more for basic massage than the average person and I must say I was shocked and appalled by this.  My clothes take more fabric, so I pay more, I take up two seats on an airplane, so I pay more, but you rub me down for an hour and claim that because my muscles are deeper that you get to charge me a premium for your time, I don’t think so.

Dale Favier, a massage therapist in Portland, Oregon believes that “every body on a massage table is beautiful” and that “there are really no exceptions to this rule”.  He also says that every woman has cellulite and men have “silly” buttocks, but he celebrates what the rest of us would call flaws.  Waiting for a massage until you lose some weight may also be counter productive.  According to one source I found, the physical benefits of massage are many including improved circulation and improved flexibility and range of motion, both of which aid the muscles in working more efficiently and burning more calories.  And it may also aid directly in fat loss as it’s believed that massage may burst the fat capsule in the subcutaneous tissue and allow it to leave the body.

Part of getting comfortable with massage is finding the right massage therapist for you.  As I am covered by benefits I must go to a Registered Massage Therapist or RMT if I want reimbursement and I think it’s a good rule of thumb to stick with someone who is qualified as they could do some harm if they are not properly trained.  I’ve been massaged by both male and female RMT’s and I don’t have a preference, but if you do then make sure to specify when you book your appointment.  The only issue I ever had with a male RMT was when I had gone in complaining of hip pain. I figured that this meant that he would have to touch my hip and since muscles are all kind of connected he was probably going to have to touch my bum. Poor dear Richard, for whom English was not his first language, listened intently to what I wanted and then started to hem and haw and kept turning to show me his hip and sort of motioned his hand around his buttocks.  I watched this awkward dance for a while and finally said that I understood that he was going to have to touch my bum.  He immediately relaxed and we got started.  He relieved a lot of my discomfort in my hips, though I must admit I didn’t expect him to use the blade of his hand to define the line betwixt my cheeks through the sheet so that he could better navigate my hip and buttocks.  All I could imagine was him thinking “Karate CHOP!” when he did it, but other than some inappropriate giggles on my part we made it through the session.

A massage therapist is a health care professional willing and able to make you feel better. If you have benefits please make use of them and if you don’t you may want to check out massage schools in your area as students need practice and the rates will likely be reduced.  If I still haven’t convinced you to go get a massage then read this which says among other things, that the psychological benefits of massage are greater for an overweight person than an average sized person not only in terms of de-stressing, but also related to body image and body acceptance.

– the Goddess



2 responses to “Massage For The Roly Poly Set

  1. nancytex2013 says:

    I’m sure you already know this, but just to confirm – even those of us with a more average size still cringe every time we envision those hands digging into our cellulite. 🙂

    • I hear ya. Maybe I’m a closet exhibitionist of something because if it makes me feel better I’m all for it. The only time I think about my size when having a massage is when the RMT needs to lift my leg and then I feel a bit self conscious, but otherwise I’m happy as a clam to be poked and prodded. Perhaps it’s because I’ve gone for regular massage for a few years now and I have a great RMT (Hi Christina!) who makes me feel at ease.

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