Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting a beautiful young woman, I’ll call her Wendy, who came to the spa for a massage. She had a gorgeous face, perfect skin, beautiful, dark flowing hair. Wendy was in her early 30′s,married, with a 2-year-old son, and shared with me she was trying massage to relax because she was having trouble getting pregnant again. She said she only wanted her upper body worked on. (A little disclaimer here-I really HATE doing just one part of the body in massage. I do pretty deep work and working one part of the body for 55 minutes is not only physically demanding but is really, really boring to me! The client will usually be really sore after. Plus, the benefits of full body massage are so numerous that I always recommend the person get the whole treatment. According to Massagetherapy.com, full body massage is indicated for “ increasing relaxation and decreasing anxiety, massage lowers your blood pressure, increases circulation, improves recovery from injury, helps you to sleep better and can increase your concentration. It reduces fatigue and gives you more energy to handle stressful situations.” ) So as I was explaining to her the benefit of full body massage she blurted out “I’m too fat for massage!” She went on to share that she had a thyroid issue and had gained over 100 pounds and was really embarrassed by it.
My heart went out this lovely young woman who was defining herself only by her body. Having fought a weight issue since puberty myself, I totally understood what she was feeling. “Oh honey”, I said to her, “You are beautiful and deserve to feel good no matter what size you are!” We talked a bit more and she said “OK, do whatever you think I need”
I left the room after instructing her to undress down to her comfort level and get under the sheets. When I came back, I brought my emotional level down to the most nurturing, healing level I could, and asked God to help send loving energy to her. I gave her a wonderful, full body massage with lots of work on her neck and shoulders and left her with the message “My wish for you is to experience relaxation and peace and to love yourself, just as you are. You are beautiful!”
Her lovely face has haunted me because I wonder if I gave her what she needed. She was so distraught at gaining weight and was blaming herself. My heart breaks every time I hear a woman put herself down, curse her body or get angry at herself for her size. In 30 years of doing body work, I have seen women of every size and shape and you know what, they are all beautiful. The human body is an amazing vehicle to tote around our souls in. Here’s what I want to say to every woman about her body.
You are beautiful, just as you are. You deserve love, just as you are. When I give you a massage, I am not thinking that your thighs are too fat, worried that you didn’t shave your legs, or care whether you wear your underwear or not. I want you to feel completely comfortable in my massage room, and strive to make you feel wonderful, every single time.
If you want to get angry because your thighs are too fat, you have a big belly or you’re not in the size you want to be, go ahead, get really, really angry! But don’t get angry at yourself, get angry at the food industry for packaging chemicals, sugar and other crap as healthy. Get angry at the media for airbrushing models and giving women an unrealistic picture of what beauty is. Get angry at advertisers for the constant deluge of food advertisements on television. And get really, really angry at anyone who tells you that you don’t deserve to have everything you want, including a massage, because of your size!!!
Only when you completely love and accept yourself AS YOU ARE, can you find your way to a balanced life, choosing healthy food, the right exercise and peace with who you are. My wish for you is that you find peace in your body, today, right now and gratitude for this amazing body that carries you around!