Guilt, Insecurity & Good Marketing

I cheated.

No not on my husband, a test or my taxes.

I cheated on my massage therapist.

If that didn’t make you gasp or think that I should have known better, then you don’t have a good massage therapist.

This month marks 15 years I have been a licensed massage therapist. I know the importance of finding a good massage therapist and sticking with her. I’ve been with my regular massage therapist for a few years now.

So why did I cheat? I fell prey to guilt, insecurity and good marketing.

I know this therapist from networking meetings, and I see her around town occasionally. Whenever we meet, she asks when I am going to come get a massage from her, soon is always my answer. (guilt)

I’m not sure how but I am on her email list and get sporadic email promotions. Business in July tends to be slow in the Phoenix area, so she ran a massage special that was only available this month. (good marketing)

One of those emails landed in my inbox on a day when I was felling challenged financially but desperately needed some self-care. (insecurity)

I took the bait.

Being long overdue for a massage, I was excited as the day got closer. Despite having been to her place before I got a little turned around going there and had to back track. No worries. I was so looking forward to my massage that I had left early and had plenty of time.

She greeted me warmly and asked me to wait a moment while she got the room ready. I was in no hurry and took the opportunity to wind down from a very busy morning. The most important thing for me in a massage is that I leave feeling relaxed.

The room was nice and ocean sounds came from a speaker in the corner. I got undressed and slipped under the sheet onto a remarkably soft table. My therapist brain immediately started trying to figure out why the table was so soft and how I could make mine that way.

A soft knock on the door signaled her arrival. She straightened out the covers and put a bolster under my feet. I was ready….

The massage was terrible.

Not the worst I have ever had, but definitely not relaxing or therapeutic. Every therapist has their own style and hers isn’t what I like.

But this story isn’t about the massage.

This story is about me giving away my power.

You see I never said anything. I didn’t tell her that the pressure was too hard or how bad it hurt when she dug her elbow into my spine. I didn’t tell her that the oil she used smelled terrible or that she used so much it felt like I was dripping.

I didn’t speak up for myself.

It was my massage and was supposed to be about me, but I didn’t let me be important. I fed into my fear of upsetting someone or not being liked. I kept thinking she would ask me if the pressure was okay so I could tell her it wasn’t, but she never asked, and I kept quiet.

This isn’t the first time I’ve done this. In fact, it is such a habit that I had a talk with myself beforehand and assured myself that I would speak my needs. Apparently, I wasn’t listening.

We all have wounded places that make us act certain ways. I’ve done a lot of work to look for those wounds and heal them. But it’s still an ongoing process.

So once again I am taking back my power, soothing my 3rd chakra and telling myself I am worthy.

Even with this misstep I still feel stronger. Strong enough to share my shame with you. Strong enough to try again next time. Strong enough to believe in myself.

And smart enough to already have made my next appointment with my regular massage therapist!


Do you want a positive massage experience? Get a Massage by Melanie. Click here to book yours now!


2 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. After Cancer treatment, a friend who also had cancer (a different kind) suggested I get Lymphadema massage with someone she likes. An Auervedic Lymphadema massage practitioner.

    I thought it was a lot of money, but worth it if it relieved my symptoms.

    During the intake, the therapist suggested I buy 3-4 bottles of supplements for my symptoms (extra $100). Then I stripped and on the massage table she covered me in tons of oil – it was hair to feet, dripping everywhere. I know auerveda often includes oily head/hair massage, but this was so much after I got up, I was dripping head to toe and she rushed me to get out for her next appointment.

    During the massage, she was brutally pushing into soft areas, all while saying she was the only one in our area who knew Lymphadema massage and how great she was.

    I left feeling oily, humiliated, beaten up by her ego as well as her physically.

    I didn’t speak up because I thought maybe this was normal for her service, but near the end I couldn’t stand her ego nor the humiliation of trying to dress while oily and being told to hurry up and leave.

    It was $200 for 90 minutes, 30 was intake.

    • Dr. Melanie Dunlap
      Dr. Melanie Dunlap says:

      It makes my heart hurt to read your experience. As a cancer survivor myself I understand the need to relieve symptoms and how vulnerable we can feel. If you are in my area I would love to give you a more positive experience. Bodywork can be a valuable part of our healing process.


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