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Draped Confessions

Below Tony Goodson shares his thoughts and a few memories of his experiences as a massage therapist.  Listen in as he talks about his passion for the work done on his table and the people he serves, God’s flock.

HEALING WITHOUT MEDICINE

On a daily basis, I see more than just physical hurting, while I hear mental, spiritual, and emotional pain as well. All this is said because of the position I’m in as a massage therapist. The majority of my clients are females and many of them are exposing parts of their bodies while sharing what’s going on in their lives. It’s both a privilege and level of stress.

I must admit the two titles of Reverend and Massage Therapist go together like trying to mix oil and water. Is there such a person? What could these seemingly opposite positions have in common? I had an opportunity to have a priest work on me during a class test-out session and eventually asked him, “Why would you study this profession?” His fantastic reply, “I want to help people heal not just spiritually, but physically as well.” We love God’s people, love to touch the lives of others, and are healers. I grew up in a society that looks at “massage” as something negative and/or very pleasurable … sexually. The words “Massage Parlor” usually are associated with happy endings. 

 It isn’t easy! There are temptations galore for the heterosexual male. Why would I subject myself to such temptations? Not everyone can do this. Quite frankly, I never initially thought of any possible temptations going into massage therapy.

Like many, I was curious about receiving a massage. Years passed while my body continued to age with minimal therapeutic benefits of a hands-on massage. I remember driving by massage schools many times and thought of just trying out a $25 session for half an hour.

 

THE MALE HOTEL CLIENT

Well, another “episode” happened again, but not what you may be thinking. I was on call at the Hilton Hotel some years ago when I received a text to see if I was available to do a massage for a male client who requested a male therapist. Our first thought is that if a man makes this request, it is because male therapists usually give greater pressure. I thought this was the case.

 

I introduced myself to the client who was already robbed and ready for the table. I instructed him to lay face down underneath the sheets on the table and left the room to wash my hands. Upon return, he was lying spread-eagle, face down on top of the sheets.

 

All I saw were golf balls that I didn’t want to see. I said to myself, “Umm. I see where this is going. What am I going to do to cover his privates up?” I pulled the sheets very hard that he was on top of and draped him, as if using a towel to cover. At that point, all went well until I turned him over.

 

As I was working his arms he requested me to work his abdominal region. No male client has ever asked me to do this since I was in school. He said it helps his acid reflux which may or may not be the truth. I didn’t really see a problem with this because I thought maybe it really does help. Finishing with the scalp and neck, his conversation quickly turned to my last indication that he may be interested in something else.

 

He asked, “are there any gay bars here?” I knew of only one but didn’t know the name. After the massage was over, he asked for a business card, which was not offered.   Usually, if I am uncomfortable with a client, I don’t offer one. I notice I’m a bit quieter with them ….

WATCH THIS SPACE

Upcoming stories will focus on additional services offered by The Healing Place and Tony’s time on the table - stories of massages gone well and gone awry.   Part education, and fun entertainment, we hope this blog will tickle you and inspire questions and conversations with your practitioner.

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