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Massage practitioners vary enormously and it really is worth trying to find someone who suits you. Let me just quote you a certain Frenchman, Savary, after receiving a massage in Egypt in 1785:

“Perfectly massaged, one feels completely regenerated, a feeling of extreme comfort pervades the whole system, the chest expands, and we breathe with pleasure; the blood circulates with ease, and we have a sensation as if freed from an enormous load; we experience a suppleness and lightness till then unknown. It seems as if we truly lived for the first time.”

There seem to be several misconceptions about massage and this is one of them. It isn’t just a beauty treatment and it isn’t just for women. It has real therapeutic value which all sorts of men and women appreciate: sports people, people with very physical jobs, office workers sitting at a VDU all day, fishermen, farmers, nurses, tree surgeons, car mechanics, students facing the stress of exams, stressed mums and mums-to-be, to name but a few.

We all feel self-conscious about our bodies at some points of our lives, and letting it hold you back means those doubts are winning. There is nothing like someone else treating your body like a precious object for you to start feeling better about it.

It’s always a question of priorities. Here in England we seem to find it very difficult to look after our bodies. We expect them to go on year after year with no attention, and only ever look for help in a crisis. But your body, rather like a car, needs regular maintenance and care if you want to get good mileage out of it.