- Karen Stoner, LMT
Massage Tips and Trivia: Massage Therapists do not care if you have funky-looking feet
"Massage Therapists do not care if you have funky-looking feet"
The human body is a very unique thing. While we all relatively look the same in that we all have a head, torso, and mostly have two arms and two legs, this is where the similarities end. Everyone has stuff about their body that they may like and also not be fond of, and if one is not fond of something on their body, they can tend to want to keep it hidden or not let it be seen by others. Massage Therapists do not care. We work on bodies no matter what they look like. Our job is to fix what's wrong, and help you reach the goals that you want to reach for your health and relaxation. If your feet look funky, or your nose has an extra arch, or you have an extra curve in your spine, it does not matter. Massage Therapists have lots of different bodies on their table every day, and no two bodies are every the same. Our job is not to judge, it is to help.
Many times the thing that people are embarrassed about ultimately has nothing to do with the issue they are coming in to have worked on. For example, if someone has a strange birthmark on their leg and are not fond of letting anyone see their leg, so they avoid getting a massage, however they have horrible tightness in their shoulders. If someone is truly uncomfortable with a certain body part, their shoulders can be worked on without any exposure of the leg. There is always a way to make the client more comfortable, and that is the most important thing. Even if someone isn't embarrassed about something on their body, we are trained to work around anything odd or just make it work with what we need to do. We have seen a lot, and very little fazes us.
On a non-educational tangent, I have personally had many people tell me "Wow, I'm surprised you work on my feet. My feet are so gnarly and nasty." Honestly, in all my years of practice, I have never seen feet that I consider gnarly and nasty. My personal response to this statement is "I am a retired professional ballerina - feet don't scare me" - and that is the truth. I have seen horrible things done to feet over my life, both to my own and to others. I have never seen a pair of feet in my massage practice that anywhere near rivals what I've seen in my dance career. Every therapist is the same - they all have a back story and personal experiences that can put your self-doubt and insecurities to shame. So never worry about anything on your body (unless it is something a doctor needs to look at - then it is out of our scope of practice and we shouldn't be dealing with it anyway), chances are we've seen something way worse.