9) I'm self-conscious about a certain part of my body and don't want the therapist to see me. What can I do?
People are self-conscious for various reasons. Some of the more common concerns are:
- I'm overweight.
- I have excessive hair growth on my body.
- I've got acne on my face or back.
- My feet are ugly.
- I have scars.
Being self-conscious should never keep you from seeking health care, whether it's visiting your doctor or seeing a massage therapist.
If you're self-conscious about a certain part of your body, you can ask the massage therapist to avoid that area.
Or, you can opt for a therapy that is done through clothing, such as shiatsu or Thai massage. Because no massage oil or lotion is used, you remain fully clothed during the session.
You can even bring your own comfortable clothes to wear.
Just remember to provide complete and accurate information on your health history form, so that the massage therapist is aware of any precautions or contraindications.
10) I'd rather see a female therapist. Should I request this?
Some men don't feel comfortable having a massage by a male massage therapist. It may be due to outdated social and media stereotypes of the profession or the fear of getting an erection during the massage.
Erection is a common physiological response that happens when the parasympathetic nervous system is activated by touch anywhere on the body.)
Some women also prefer a female massage therapist because they say they feel more comfortable.
This doesn't just apply to massage therapy. A University of Michigan study found that 43 percent of women preferred a female doctor for a colonoscopy. Of these women, 87 percent said they would be willing to wait more than 30 days to get an appointment with a female colonoscopist, and 14 percent would be willing to pay more for one.
Unfortunately, men who choose to become massage therapists are often unprepared for the discrimination they face. When clients request female over male therapists, spas stop hiring them, however skilled they are.That's why I believe it's important to challenge your preconceptions. Here are some tips to help you:
- If you see other practitioners in the clinic or spa, ask if you could meet the massage therapist before you book the appointment.
- Try booking a massage at a health club or a clinic, where there's usually a higher percentage of male clientele and staff.
- You may wish to start with an active form of massage, such as deep tissue or sports massage or a type of massage that is done fully clothed, such as shiatsu or Thai massage.