Hello friends! Kirsty Leanne, creator of Plus Size Travel Too, here! Booking yourself in for a full body massage is such an incredible experience but I know just how daunting it can be as a plus size person who doesn’t know what to expect.
Will I be able to fit on the table? Will the massage therapist have to see me naked? Where will they touch on my body? Do I have to take everything off?
These are just a few of the things that ran through my head the first ever time I went for a massage but now that I’ve been for my fair share of treatments, I wanted to share a few of the things I wish I knew before my first ever spa visit.
I put off going for so long, even booking an experience in Bali and then getting too scared to go at the last minute, so hopefully, this puts the minds of those that feel the same way at ease a little.
Things I Wish I Knew At My First Ever Massage As A Plus Size Person
You Have To Fill Out A Health Questionnaire Before You Get Started
At 99.9% of the massages I have been to, I’ve had to fill out a quick health questionnaire before getting started. This allows me to share any places that are feeling pain and the areas I’d like them to focus on for the massage. Usually, I just ask for legs, feet and shoulders (I know, that’s practically everywhere) because I get massages while travelling and these are what tend to hurt after being on the go for a few days.
It will ask if you have any known allergies, mainly because of the products they use during any massages that involve oil. It will also ask if you’re sunburnt and if you need that area to be avoided (most of the time, my answer is yes, haha).
The forms do not ask about your weight, don’t worry, it’s not that kind of questionnaire.
Chances Are, The Robe Won’t Fit
Spa robes are supposed to be one size fits all, but we all know that is not the case. They usually fit up to a size 14-16 comfortably and then after that, it’s a little bit of a struggle. It’s always worth asking if there are bigger ones available when you arrive, if not, you could always consider taking your own. We’ve shared some of our top picks here!
Massage Tables Are Big And Incredibly Strong
One of my biggest worries before having my first ever massage was that I was going to be too heavy for the massage tables. I always thought back to Phoebe from Friends with her little pop-up table in her flat and ruled out ever being able to get on one.
Turns out, these things are incredibly strong! They all have different weight limits so I can’t give an average but as a size 26, I’ve never felt unsafe on a massage table – even in a little spa in a tent on the beach!
You Can Always Ask For A Bigger Table If You Need
If you feel like a table is too small, you can always ask if there are bigger ones available. You can’t always guarantee it, but they may have others. I did this in Mexico and they made sure we had the biggest tables they had available. They were so sweet about it and it honestly made the whole experience for me.
You Have To Strip Down To Spa Underwear Only…
For some reason, I had it in my head that you had to strip down completely for a full body massage. Again, I think this was because of what I’d seen on TV shows and in the movies. So, you can imagine my confusion when in my first-ever massage experience I was handed a paper thong. I instantly panicked because 1) I don’t wear thongs and 2) they did not look like they were going to fit.
You can choose to wear these if you want but if you’re like me, you will choose not to.
… But You Can Keep Your Own Underwear On If You Want
So what do I wear when I have a massage? I usually stay in my own underwear or bikini bottoms. They’re usually high-waisted so they pull them down a little when they’re massaging your back and anywhere else, but it does make me feel much more comfortable. I know the massage therapists have seen millions of asses in their lives, but for me, it makes the experience a little less anxiety-inducing.
If You’re Sharing A Massage Room With A Friend, Chances Are You’ll See Each Other A Little Bit Naked
Usually, I book a massage alone, but there have been a few times where I’ve been in shared rooms with friends. If this is the case, chances are you’re going to see each other a little naked when you have to get on the tables. I’ve gotten used to this now so it doesn’t bother me too much, but I know this is something that would be hard for a lot of people.
If you’re worried about this, my recommendation would be to ask for a towel so you can partially cover yourself and then slide it from underneath you when you’ve gotten into position. They’ll have plenty of towels around so it shouldn’t be a problem.
You can also get on the table one at a time and face away.
Your Massage Therapist Will Leave The Room While You Get Changed And Get On The Table (Most Times)
For almost all of the massages I’ve had, your massage therapist will leave the room while you get changed and get yourself comfortable on the bed and place the sheet over your body. Only once have they come back before getting on the table and this was because they served me some tea and did a foot scrub beforehand.
It was also a Thai massage so I had to sit up at the end so they could contort me into some of the most complicated positions to crack my back. It was quite the experience, as I just sat there covering myself with a sheet.
When You’re Only The Table, Most Of Your Body Is Covered, Even When Being Massaged
This is something I definitely didn’t realise. I genuinely thought that just your ass is covered with a towel and everything else is exposed, but that’s not the case. They expose one part of your body one by one, so at any given moment in time, you don’t feel vulnerable. They do your back and shoulders, one arm and leg at a time and then your chest and stomach. It’s so expertly done, I love it.
If You’re Having A Full Body Massage You Have To Turn Over Part Way Through
When it comes to full body massages, you eventually have to turn over so they can massage the front of your body. To do this, they will lift the sheet fully in front of them so you can turn around without being seen. I’ve never had an issue turning over from a lying down position but if it’s easier for you, you may want to sit up and lie back down that way. Once you’re in a comfy position, let your massage therapist know and they’ll put the sheet back over you.
You Can Let Your Massage Therapist If There’s Anywhere You Don’t Like To Be Touched
The main thing I wish I’d been told before having my first ever massage is that you can let your therapist know if there’s anywhere you don’t want to be touched. I don’t like people touching my stomach and so I let them know every time. It may be a full body massage but it’s completely up to you what parts of your body they massage. If you think something will make you uncomfortable, let them know.
Full body does, however, mean full body. Your massage therapist will massage your chest and your ass if you don’t tell them not to.
Top tip: if there is a language barrier, use Google Translate to let them know or simply point and say no.
I’m a true believer that plus size people deserve the luxury of massages and so I hope this post helped. If you have any questions, let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them.