Southeast WI Archive
  • Southeast Wisconsin
  • May 2015
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The most important part of a massage: Feeling comfortable — Don’t let negative body image stand in the way of your health!

I remember the day a client came in and sat down, took off her high heels and just looked at her feet.

“Do you work on feet?” She asked rather timidly.

I almost had to suppress a laugh. “Of course I do. I wouldn’t be much of a massage therapist if I randomly excluded parts of the body, especially ones as important as the feet.”

She wasn’t embarrassed about how her feet looked but more concerned for me and my opinion of them. She knew that some people get uncomfortable touching someone else’s feet or think feet are “gross” and didn’t know if I was one of those people. It turned out her feet had been cramping and in pain for some time and only now that the pain had gotten so bad was she able to summon up the courage to ask me to work on them. I reassured her to always feel confident about telling me about where she would like me to work.

When consulting with a massage therapist, your therapist should never have a negative attitude toward one of the most important parts of the body — or any part of the body.

As licensed massage therapists we do not judge. We are not there to comment on your fashion sense or what shape your body is in, or whether or not your toes are painted or if your legs are shaved or not. It’s not our business and none of our concern. Our concern is for your well-being and to make sure you are happy with the massage you are getting and the results of our work.

As massage therapists, we want you, the client, to feel comfortable and safe while we work on you. That includes not feeling embarrassed or apprehensive about a birthmark or scar. As a matter of fact, we can help with scars: both softening them up and reducing redness. Always alert your massage therapist of any scars you may want him or her to work on. You never know when that therapist can reduce its visibility and increase its elasticity.

Our bodies are incredible machines and every part is as important as another. When you go to a massage therapist for a massage, whether deep tissue or relaxation, you are in control of that massage. If you want an area to be addressed, you should always feel comfortable enough to ask. If there is an area you would prefer be left alone, it is well within your right to say so.

Clients come in all shapes and sizes and with different aches, pains, injuries and expectations. If you are not comfortable with your massage therapist because you feel he or she is judging you, that massage therapist most likely is not the right one for you. Make sure you pick a massage therapist who meets your needs but keeps you feeling safe and comfortable.

Competition right now is pretty fierce with the rise of franchise massage clinics. There are lots of therapists out there hoping for your business. Pick one who has earned your trust and deserves your business.

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Rob Reader

Rob Reader has been a full-time massage therapist since 2005. He has worked on headline performers at Summerfest and professional wrestlers, and has been the official massage therapist of the Milwaukee Ballet since 2006. He currently works in Mequon at Active Body Wellness LLC, 10620 N. Port Washington Road. For more information, call 414-721-6942 or visit

Active Body Wellness offers holistic pain relief through several different types of massage. These include Swedish massage, deep tissue, hot and cold stone massage, therapeutic massage, Muscle Release Therapy and Craniosacral Therapy. Their goal is to have you pain free within as short of time possible through soft tissue manipulation.


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