I have heard many people tell me this, and it breaks my heart every time.
"I'd love to get a massage but I'm too overweight."
I begin the blog series with this painful statement because it brings up so many other issues beyond someone's weight. It's not as simple as someone feeling bad about the numbers on a scale. It has to do with feelings of shame, self-consciousness, self-loathing, vulnerability, and worthlessness.
To address the concerns that are solely about weight- very rarely would a higher body weight mean you could not receive a massage. Sometimes, the health issues that can come along with a higher weight could cause complications that your massage therapists should known about - such as high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes. But as long as those conditions are monitored and controlled, there is no reason why you cannot receive a massage.
But let's move on, because when someone tells me that they are "too overweight", I understand that they usually mean a number of other things.
People of a higher weight are, unfortunately, used to being ridiculed. Being self-conscious and embarrassed about their bodies is common. When someone says they are too overweight for massage, often they mean that they would be embarrassed about being seen unclothed. Some feel like a therapist would be disgusted to touch them.
I have good news! Your massage therapist is NOT judging you. They are going to find the best way to treat your muscular pain regardless of how much you weigh. I have worked on people of ALL shapes and sizes, and not one found that their weight prevented them from having a relaxing, soothing experience. If you are self-conscious about their body and prefer for me to not massage or undrape a specific area, I always respect your wishes, as would any licensed massage therapist. Becoming comfortable with a therapist will take a little while, but once you build that relationship you'll wonder why you didn't treat yourself to massage sooner.
To end, I have a very important piece of advice that I want everyone to follow: If you ever go to a massage therapist and they make you feel embarrassed because you are a higher weight- DO NOT EVER GO BACK. If that happens, it is the therapist who is in the wrong, NOT you!
Everyone deserves to get a massage, and everyone can and should- regardless of your body weight.