Benefits of Massage for Those With Hyperhidrosis
The third time I went for a massage I was sooooo ready to completely tune out the world and relax. I set my intention as one of enjoying all of the benefits massage has to offer. As one who suffers from hyperhidrosis, I think there are some underlying benefits to massage that other people might not think of. You see, a massage to the average person might be simple: book an appointment, take off your clothes, and simply relax. But for excessive sweaters, even the thought of being naked and touched can make us sweat. I always thought that I could never get a massage. I’d be too worried about my sweating, I’d get too embarrassed, I’d overanalyze everything about the experience before I even got in the door, and then not be able to do it because it’s just too much outside of my comfort zone of what I can safely do as a sweater.
Set Your Intention to Not Sweat
But, what would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? You’ll never know until you try. I’d rather try and fail than never have tried at all. So, since I had gone through with my first massage several months ago, and then a second massage, I felt more comfortable the third time around. Intend to try. If you get too uncomfortable or too worked up, at least you tried.
When I arrived for my massage, my stress level that had built up over the last several weeks was at its peak. I was ready to forget about it and have it massaged out of my being. I pulled out my trusty fan, set it up in the corner so that it pointed toward the top of the massage table, and got under the sheet. I could still feel my heart racing a bit and my breathing get shallower, so I closed my eyes and focused on taking some deep breaths to calm down.
By the time my masseuse, Julie, entered the room, I was not sweating. Like, not even a little bit. I had even kept the blanket on rather than using only the sheet. Halfway through the massage when I flipped over, I actually had her turn off the fan because it was making me cold. This never happens! I remarked that I was shocked I wasn’t sweating, and Julie said, “I’m not. It’s because you and I have meshed well and this has become a safe place for you.”
This is so important. New situations are scary, but if you are forthcoming by explaining who and how you are, and bringing what you need to the situation, you can create your own safe haven. Yes, you might still sweat, but you can do so in an environment where you have made it okay. Other people’s acceptance of your sweating does help, but regardless of anyone else, you have the power to shape your reaction to a situation, as well as your intention going into that situation. Of course, sometimes this is easier said than done. I have plenty of scenarios where I absolutely hate my body and loathe being cloaked in puddles.
Decide You Can Do Something That Non-Sweaters Can Do
However, push yourself anyway to do things you normally wouldn’t do because of your hyperhidrosis. Little by little, one sweaty foot in front of the other, dripping hands held palms up to say yes, you can expand your life. When Julie got to my hands and feet and used the massage oil (she uses oil, not lotion; she told me it won’t absorb as fast and is less sweat inducing), my brain always plays the freak-out reel. Oh, no. She’s touching my hands. She’s touching my hands. It’s going to make them sweat even more because she’s touching my hands. Ahhhhhhh. This time? It went from a movie reel to IMAX 3D. You guys, I DID NOT SWEAT the entire time she was massaging my hands and feet, or the rest of my body for that matter.
Conquer a Fear
The thing I like about IMAX 3D is that it’s truer to life. Things are crisp, clean, and easily conveyed. So the inner monologue I had going on during this massage was one I was not expecting. I’m DRY. She’s touching me with massage oil and I’m DRY. So this is what it’s like to feel normal. I’m doing it! The puddles I usually experience were gone. I could’ve created puddles with my eyes, though. That hour-long experience of being dry in a situation that I had been afraid of putting myself in all of my life made me want to cry. I still get teary just thinking about it.
“In your moments of fear, recognize what your own power of choice is.” – Gary Zukav
Step Outside of Your Sweat Box
I chose to go through with a massage with the intention of enjoying all it has to offer. I wasn’t going to let my hyperhidrosis hold me back from experiencing the healing power of touch. It was more than touch, though. It was a mental and physical breakthrough of the limitations I so often feel because of my sweaty body. It was pure, unadulterated bliss. There were no pressures, no worries. Just me being me, with an unexpected bonus of being dry.
Lessons From a Massage
You are worthy of being touched.
Bring all of yourself (and any sweat accessories you need) to your life.
You can’t really go anywhere once you’re on a massage table. But, you can go places in your mind. Decide right then and there that you can transcend your circumstances. You, too, can do something despite what your body might be telling you.
Be open to an experience. It just might surprise you.
Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle