Therapeutic Massage
Registered Member of MTANS
The Massage Therapists' Association of Nova Scotia
Since 2000
2369 Agricola St. • Suite 202
Halifax, Nova Scotia • B3K 4B7
902 • 405 • 3710
jessica.marsh.hfx@gmail.com

20.7.15

No Comment

A client I hadn't seen for quite a while came in for a treatment. We chatted for a bit and just as I was leaving the room so she could get on the table she blurted out "Aren't you going to say anything? Didn't you notice? I've lost twenty pounds!"

You would think that of all the people in your life, your massage therapist - the person who sees your body in much more detail than most people in your life do - would be the first person to say something if you lost weight. But I've made it a steadfast rule that I never comment on my client's bodies, unless I see something I'm concerned about, like a rash, an abnormal looking mole or a bruise. There are many reasons why a person loses or gains weight; many reasons why a person's body changes during their lifetime. They might be sick or they might be depressed. They might be struggling with an eating disorder. Also, if I say "You look so fit and healthy!" to a client one day, maybe when they come in the next time, if I don't say the same thing, they might wonder if they don't look fit and healthy that day.

I also never comment about body piercings or tattoos. Tattoos are frequently done to commemorate a significant life event - a death or a loss - that might be painful to draw attention to. I know someone who had a tattoo of her husband's name. Her divorce was painful and stressful (as most are), so on her birthday that year she decided to treat herself to a massage. It turns out the massage therapist was an acquaintance. As the treatment was starting, the therapist said "Oh, that must be your husband's name! How romantic. Wait, that is your husband's name, isn't it? Uh... is he still your husband?" Needless to say, her massage was not as relaxing as it could have been.

I want my clients to know they are in a safe space when they come to me for treatments. I want them to know that I am not judging their bodies, whether that judgement be positive or negative. I take care of my clients and I love them and I love their bodies, just as they are.




"I Thc That I Am Byotfol"
by Momiji O'Malley 2012