“I’m gross.”

That’s exactly how many people feel when asked about their body image. They have too much hair, are too fat, too skinny, too — well, you get the idea.

Regardless of how hard friends try to prove this wrong, they only make it worse.

The embarrassment caused by body image inhibits self-care. People will often feel uncomfortable getting a massage thinking their ugly body will be found disgusting by the therapist.

Does a massage therapist care about how your body looks?

In a word: No.

The staff at London massage clinic has identified five areas which typically concern their clients.

Body Image Issues

Hairy Back.

Today’s standard of a good-looking man is different. Hairless men set the standard for beauty. When hairy men are asked to get ready for a massage, they fear the therapist will pull their hair. The therapist will apply more oil than normal and work carefully.

I’m Fat

Your friends are somewhere between skinny and obese. The difference between your body image and how you see them may make you feel negative about belly fat. Often, men and women are too demanding on themselves and force strict diets.  How your body appears to you should not be a reason for not getting a massage.

Back Acne

Acne affects more than just the skin; it affects self-esteem and self-confidence. You are not alone. Anyone having skin issues feels embarrassment and often are discouraged about their body image.  Back acne is not something that has never been seen by therapists; they are used to it and focus on the muscles and not the acne.

Ugly Feet

Talk with any therapist with over one year of experience if they have seen ugly feet and most will say they didn’t think about it.

People are self-judgmental. Believing that you have ugly feet is an indicator of a bad attitude about yourself. Relax and get a nice foot massage.

Scars

Flaws can make massage clients feel uncomfortable. The critical thing about wounds is each has a story behind it: that makes you unique and exceptional. Treat your scars like something that tells your story, but don’t let them keep you from getting a massage.

Massage therapists are trained to treat their clients with compassion — even the ones with bodily imperfections.

Therapists are looking for areas of tension. When they find them they understand that area can affect the rest of the body.

If you feel self-conscious about body image, learn more about the benefits of massage and your worries will vanish. Listen to your body and make the right choice.

Massage and Stress

Massage is any therapy where a masseuse forms the body’s muscles to decrease stress or relieve pain. All muscle manipulation is not equal, and strategies range from deep tissue to reflexology.

Research has found that massage reduces stress as it improves the caliber of both mood and sleep. Another study found that following a massage, the amount of cortisol — a hormone which triggers stress — decreased.

Massage therapy’s pleasurable qualities lead to patrons reporting an improved body image, less stress, and a happier life.