By Hanna Kim - July 9, 2018
Massage is one of the few career fields in where male practitioners face more challenge finding paid work than their female counterparts. It is a field dominated by women; according to the American Massage Therapy Association, 85% of massage therapists in the United States are women.
Clients often prefer to have a female massage therapist work on them for a variety of reasons. Some may assume a woman might have a more nurturing touch than a man, others worry about body shaming, some men are uncomfortable with the idea of another man touching them, and some women worry a male therapist may be more threatening in a vulnerable environment.
It is a field dominated by women; according to the American Massage Therapy Association, 85% of massage therapists in the United States are women.
When I was in massage school, we only had one male student out of the ten people in the class. During one of our first practice sessions, I was paired with the male student. I assumed he was not doing as good of a job of providing a healing touch, when the very same could have been said of me or any of the other women in the class as newbies with limited experience.
Later in the program came some perks: us students received massages from the different teachers who had worked hard for years crafting their specializations. Two of these massages were from male bodyworkers, and this helped me realize I had let my own biases affect my views on male massage therapists.
More often than not, reasonings against having a male massage therapist are rooted in the gender binary inundated in our culture. Thankfully in recent years, we are realizing as a society that people don’t necessarily have to fit one of two molds of male and female.
The shifting definitions of and within gender identity is helping people be seen and see themselves simply as individuals with unique interests and abilities. Not every woman is meant to be a nurturer, and some men do excel in providing a healing and therapeutic massage.
More often than not, reasonings against having a male massage therapist are rooted in the gender binary inundated in our culture.
Male massage therapists who make it in the industry are often often supremely talented, as they also have to work against biases to get the same volume of clientele as a female bodyworker. Successful therapists, like the ones at our studio, often have niche backgrounds such as medical massage and sports massage, two modalities that are very effective for pain relief.
“I first came last October with a back injury I was convinced was about to be a huge medical issue. Being in between jobs and just relocating from Florida I thought it best to get a massage before finally going to the doctors. Essentially 9 months later I owe so much credit to Jason who has worked on and relieved so many chronic issues throughout this period of time I was unaware were related to tight muscles.
I literally recommend anyone who is sore, injured, in general pain, or just wants a relaxing massage to Jason. I've gone to numerous masseuses over the past 5 years and he is by far the best, by a long shot.”
“I've received two massages here, one from Michael and one from Stephen. Both incredible experiences. Really tuned into what I needed in terms of target areas and appropriate pressure. Would highly recommend massages with either of these guys. Thanks for a comfortable, relaxing and rejuvenating experience! I'll be back soon :)”
LoDo Massage Studio’s managers have rigorous standards so they can hire the right people to provide the therapeutic bodywork we know will exceed client expectations. It is important to inform clients our studios’ male bodyworkers are as highly trained and capable as any of our female therapists. Don’t hesitate to give them a shot, especially if your focus is fixing the pain and tension in your body.
Male massage therapists who make it in the industry are often often supremely talented, as they also have to work against biases to get the same volume of clientele as a female bodyworker.
Through learning and exposure, experienced massage clients often say they care less and less about who is massaging them, and more about what the massage therapist can do for them.
If you are newer to massage, it is still important to do what you are comfortable with, after all, one of the intended outcomes is relaxation. Over time, you may find yourself looking for particular skills instead of placing barriers based on gender identification.
You can book a massage with one of our talented massage specialists at both of our Denver studios 7 days a week, from 9AM to 9PM!