Should you feel guilty getting a massage?

Sometimes when I am talking to a client and discussing how long it has been since their last massage, or when they want to set up their next one, they hesitate before responding.  They tell me that they feel guilty about getting their massage.  It’s not because anything inappropriate happens during their appointment, or that massage itself is a bad thing.  They are people who give of themselves a lot and feel like they could be using this time and money to be doing something for somebody else.

Guilt implies that something wrong has been done.  Perhaps, but not necessarily, something illegal or unethical.  People feel guilty when they believe they have done something that they knew they shouldn’t have.

Massage helps you to be unburdened from stress you have been dealing with.  It helps to relieve the physical pain brought on by stress, overuse of muscles, an injury or a medical condition.  The clamp around your head is loosened and your headache goes away.  You are able to turn your neck or bend your back without screeching pain.  Your mind gets a break and you get a new outlook on the issues you are facing, and solutions come a little easier.

Is there something wrong with any of that?

The people who discuss the idea of feeling guilty are usually those who are caring for others.  They are caring for family members, such as their children or a parent.  Some are helping a friend, a cause, or an organization make it through a difficult time or a big project.

If you are caring for somebody else much is being asked of you.  You are doing a lot of giving.  You can only give so much without the source being replenished.  Make the time to get yourself taken care of.  When you are well you will be able to continue with the care you are providing.  The quality of your care, and your life, will greatly improve.  You may find yourself with increased energy or have more patience and tolerance when you feel good and are not worn down.

Airlines instruct their passengers that in case of an emergency to put their own oxygen mask on first, then to care for others.  It is good and beneficial to take care of yourself.  It doesn’t mean you are selfish, but it lets you recharge and restock your reserves to continue to assist those you care about.  The people you are helping know you occasionally need some time to yourself, so enjoy your massage free from guilt.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at

Make a commitment to feeling good

Do you want to feel good, be healthier, do the activities you want, and have enough peace to sleep well?  Most people do.

Now answer this question – Are you interested or committed?

If you are interested, you will make some effort to be active, eat well, and take care of yourself.  You do things when it is convenient.  However, you get interrupted by events in life and get off track.  Your progress slows, may stop, and you may even feel worse.  You want to feel good but you don’t want to start over again.

If you are committed, you keep in mind what it is you want.  You set goals, make a plan, and look at the progress you have made instead of how far you have to go.  You keep your eyes on the target and work consistently to take you toward it.  You see obstacles as a challenge to overcome – a hurdle, not a brick wall.  You start feeling better which makes working on your commitment easier when you don’t feel like it at the moment.  You feel terrific when you achieve your goal, or even small steps on the way.  It gives you confidence to reach higher and you realize you have even more potential within you.

People do this in many other parts of their lives.  You may plan and budget to be able to buy something (a house, a new car, or something smaller).  It’s easier to pass on the gourmet coffee if a beach vacation is in the plans.  You may work on learning something for school or to achieve a career goal.  You may help another person, or a group, or a company reach their goal.

The committed person makes real identifiable progress.  Time has a way of slipping by quickly and life can keep us busy, often with small and relatively unimportant things that distract us from doing what we really want to do.

I’ve heard many talk about making massage part of their regular wellness plan.  Those that do come in regularly realize great benefits.  They make a commitment to themselves.  They make the time instead of waiting to find time for a massage.  If you don’t make the time, your schedule will get busy and fill up and before you know it many months have passed since your last massage.  You end up with the same physical problems and stress levels as before.  The people who do commit make noticeable improvement in their physical issues and stress; the ones who do not commit feel good briefly and then fall back to where they started.

What is it that you really want?  What is on your mind? What do you think about getting or achieving?  What are you committed to obtaining?  What would you do if you had more energy, felt good, slept well, and had a handle on your pain and stress?  What could you do with if you had fewer headaches or less neck or back pain (or whatever is bothering you)?

It’s your life.  Nobody can do it for you.  Even if you are busy caring for others, you need to take care of yourself so you can continue to care for them and to give.  The best part is all you have to do is make the appointment and show up for it.  I’ll do the rest and your body and mind can relax, recover, and recharge.  You will find that regular massage helps you to feel better longer than the occasional massage.  You will experience the effects longer and will have your next massage to look forward to when pain or stress starts to return.

Make a commitment to feeling great.  You will be glad you did.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at