Massage Therapy has been around for thousands of years and has many benefits emotionally and physically. But like any other profession there are always some people who just make things awkward or have you questioning what just happened…
Here are some stories…
“While in massage school we had an instructor from one of the other programs the school offered and he had never had a massage before. I was considered one of the best massage students at the school so he came in during my clinic hours to get a massage from me. As a professional in training I never had any issue massaging other males, so I led him into the therapy room and instructed him to undress to his comfort level and briefly left the room. When I came back in the therapy room, he was face down on the table as instructed with his shirt off. I immediately noticed that something didnt look right with the skin on his back so I politely asked him if there were any skin or muscle conditions he had that he maybe forgot to put on his med forms. He stated he did not, so I proceeded with the massage.
I lotioned my hands and touched his back and to my disgust realized why his back looked weird to me in the dim light. His back was a minefield of giant blackheads. His back literally looked like the surface of the moon. I stared to panic and wasnt sure what I should do.. I knew if I was going to make this a career I had to get used to things like this and act professionally. I continued the massage. As im massaging his back, it feels as though im down stroking bubble wrap. Its like theres Nerd(the candy) under his skin. As I start to warm the skin and get the blood flowing on his back…some of the blackheads start working loose! They are now coating my hands and getting stuck between my fingers. Theres a weird smell that starts filling the air. By this point, im sweating and getting increasingly nauseous. Im not sure how much more I can take and im desperately trying to come up with an excuse to end the massage as professionally as possible and without hurting this nice mans feelings.
Luckily, just as im about to end the massage his phone starts ringing and he gets a voicemail. He sits ups and thanks me for a fantastic massage but he has been expecting a call and has to end the session early. Im so relieved I can barely contain myself. I leave the room to let him get dressed. I proceed to the bathroom to wash up and look at my hands. They are covered in a greyish, lotion and blackhead stew.
I remain in the bathroom and wash my hands for the remainder of my clinic day”
Worst Client Ever
“One of my biggest pet peeves is people that don’t show up for their appointment or cancel 15 minutes before. People need to understand we get paid per massage.. Not hourly unless you’re in a spa. If you don’t show up we don’t get paid , if you cancel 15 mins before we can’t fill that space in that amount of time so we don’t get paid. It’s much better if you just call and cancel !
Ps my worst horror story was a guy that came in for massage, I can totally deal with a little bit of BO but this guy, holy s— the entire clinic reaked of BO , when he took off his shirt , very obvious that this guy did not shower or change his clothes often, his singlet was covered in yellow stains, worst massage I’ve ever done, I was almost gagging on the smell. He booked again to my horror and I said next time you come in I want you to have a nice hot shower before you come in so that your muscles are nice and relaxed. Did he ? No he did not, I asked him if he had showered and he said oh Yeh the other day .. Cringe.
Oh Yeh and one of his skin things broke off and crumbled in my hand . Hands down worst day of my massage life”
The Giant Blister
“When I first started doing massage about 15 years ago I was working in a fancy spa type setting. I was doing a couples massage along with my coworker. I was massaging the lady and she was massaging the gentleman. Well, unfortunately the gentleman had a Sacajawea coin sized pus filled blister on his back that popped during the massage. Every time my coworker made a pass down his back the blister would glurp a little more of it’s hell juice onto his back. Our clients were both face down so we were making the most wretched faces at each other to express our disgust as my coworker did her best to avoid touching the yellow mess. Over the 10 years I did massage therapy I saw some interesting things and met some characters but I will never forget that blister. In retrospect I don’t know why we didn’t say something about it to him. I guess we figured he must have known about it because it was huge”
Leaving out information
“My house mate is a remedial sports massage therapist and I have a certificate in lymphatic and neurovascular massage which I’ve found extremely helpful as a nurse, our household is full of stories.
From the people (men and women) who used to ask her for happy endings and sometimes follow her to the train station (she had to call the police once) or the time someone brought their cat into her spa for a “Mother daughter massage” (yes, the cat was the daughter) or the time my house mate had a client with a colostomy bag who neglected to tell her and then was too embarrassed to say anything and just lied down on their stomach and the bag burst, and after asking the client why they had a colostomy bag they said “oh, because I had such a bad case of c.diff my colon ulcerated. I still get flare up of it”
My horror story is not too bad; A patient asked me to help with her dry skin on her legs, and I asked what causes it and she said “I think just because I’ve been on bedrest” and it’s true, it’s not uncommon for skin on the lower legs and feet to dry and crack when you aren’t moving. So I grab some lotion and get to work on both moisturising and getting the blood flowing. After I’m done she tells me that it feels much better and she’s so thankful because normally people don’t massage her legs … on account of the shingles. I ask her why she didn’t tell anyone she’d had a history of shingles and she said “oh, well I was in here because of the stroke, not my shingles” … Herpes Zoster contributes to stroke risk. Needless to say, that went on her file, and I was tempted to stick my whole hand in the autoclave. Thankfully she had no sores, just scaly skin, which may or may not have been the start of the flare, even the dermatologist wasn’t 100% sure when sighting it.
You can ask people a thousand times if they have any medical history or skin conditions and they often wont say out of embarrassment or believing they know better, and it’s not relevant. You’d be suprised what’s relevent.
I told my myotherapist that I get bad period pain, I’d been seeing her for years for TMJ and headaches and never mentioned any symptoms below the waist because I thought I knew better and it wasn’t relevant, she tut-tutted me and immediately started stripping my glutes and releasing the fascia on my hips. I was migraine free for a month after that treatment! It’s all connected”
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Information pulled October 5, 2018
Photo by Moose Photos from Pexels