I don’t know how I have managed to go my entire life without having a massage, but here I am at 25 – losing my massage virginity.
Whilst on a recent press trip to Bath I was given the chance to visit the incredible Thermae Spa – one of the only spas to still use the hot springs the Romans would have used all those years ago.
Not only was I given access to the spa, but I was booked into one of their aromatherapy massages.
Having never had a massage before I was incredibly nervous. I’m not as confident as people think when it comes to stripping off in front of people and as I had absolutely no idea what to expect, I was feeling a little anxious. How naked would I be? Would the therapist see me naked? Would they be uncomfortable massaging me? What if I’m too heavy for the table? I had a million questions.
When I arrived at the spa I was given a form to fill out. I had no idea the treatment would be so tailored to me personally, so I nervously filled in all the options that applied to me.
I can’t remember exactly everything I ticked, but a few of them included:
- Lack of sleep (I’d been awake most of the night)
- Self-conscious and confidence boost
- In need of positivity
- Stressed and overworked
- Immune system support
Shortly after I was introduced to my massage therapist, Peyton. I was so worried I would end up getting someone I didn’t like, but immediately I knew I’d feel much more comfortable with her. We briefly spoke about how nervous I was and she reassured me that it was going to be an incredible experience.
After we talked about the ‘feelings’ I ticked on my form Peyton asked me to smell three different aromatherapy oils that she’d picked out based on my needs. According to my answers, these were the oils that my body needed, but the one I was drawn to most would be the one my body wanted. I was most drawn to the ‘Inner Strength’ oil which was a blend of sage, frankincense and cardamom – designed to focus on the mind and calm thoughts. I guess as I was nervous this was definitely needed!
Once I’d picked my oils it was time to strip down and get on the massage table. I was super nervous about this bit but as Peyton left the room it wasn’t as awkward as I thought. I decided to keep my own underwear on as I felt more comfortable than using the ones they supplied. After I’d stripped down I got on the massage table face down and covered myself up. Nowhere near as bad as I thought…
Peyton knocked to see if she could come back in, then as soon as she arrived the turned the lights down, started some very relaxing music and set the aromatherapy oils off (which smelt amazing).
I’m not going to lie and say that the massage experience was easy as I was trying to relax, but it was hard when I didn’t know exactly what was coming next. Although I did feel much more relaxed than I normally am, I was on edge a lot of the time because I had no idea what was going on. Peyton noticed this and spoke to me afterwards saying next time it wouldn’t be so bad as I’d know what to expect.
I had a full body massage, however, the therapist asked me beforehand if there was anything I didn’t feel comfortable having massaged, so instead of a stomach massage I had extra focus on my arms. Maybe next time I’d say yes to this, but I felt more exposed when I was lying on my front.
One thing I was really thankful for was that at no point did I feel extremely exposed. For some reason, I had pictured a small hand towel sized towel covering my underwear, but instead, a massive towel that covered my body was used. This meant that whenever a piece of my body wasn’t being massaged, it was covered. I felt slightly uncomfortable when I was lying on my front as the only bits that were covered were my boobs, but other than that I was reasonably okay.
Around halfway through the massage, I did have to move from my back to the front which worried me. I didn’t know if I’d have to do it in front of Peyton or if she’d leave, so up until that point, I was constantly thinking about what will happen. I wish I’d have asked at the start as I’d have felt much more at ease for the first half of the massage.
It was in fact, much more simple than I thought. When it was time to turn Peyton held the towel up so that it covered her entire vision of me, I turned, and she put it back down. It was incredibly dignified and respectful.
After my massage had finished Peyton left the room and let me sit up and get ready in my own time. I felt so relaxed I could have stayed there for hours, but obviously, the room was needed and my treatment was over…
The whole experience was incredible and I felt so so relaxed afterwards. It was nowhere near as scary as l has imagined and I would 100% do it again (and again and again….).
Once the massage was over and I had got dressed, Peyton talked me through everything and let me know where I hold most of my tension – my back, neck and shoulders. We talked through some home care I could be doing and I was given a little booklet with all the details of my treatment in.
To finish I was taken into a relaxation room where I could sit and enjoy a herbal tea – the perfect end to my first ever massage experience.
Although I know it’s hard to stop worrying, being plus size did not affect my experience in any way and I’d hate for size to put anyone off experiencing something so incredible.