Getting A Massage Shifted My Relationship With My Body

Updated: May 28, 2019

Letting my body be seen and touched seemed like the scariest thing I could ever do — but a massage turned out to be a necessary step in my recovery.

Posted on January 22, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. Lesley A Miller

Lying facedown and naked on the table, I became more and more convinced I was making the biggest mistake of my life.

An old injury, a pinched nerve in my upper back, had been causing me a great amount of pain. For a while, I tried to play it off as no big deal — I’d certainly been through things that were more painful — but each time I attempted to lift my backpack or bend over to write, I would visibly wince in pain, causing my friends to exchange concerned glances. After months of this, I’d finally gotten fed up enough to do something about it. I’d thought about going to physical therapy, but I've already spent far too much of my life in hospitals to enter one voluntarily. I decided a massage studio would be warmer and less clinical — even though getting a massage was something I swore I'd never do.

Then again, I never thought I would go to rehab either, and here I was, six months out of eating disorder treatment and trying to push myself to try new things.