JERRY: So she’s giving me the massage and I’m just making conversation.
ELAINE: I don’t like to talk during a massage.
JERRY: Neither do I, but I do it for them. I figure they’re bored.
GEORGE: Yeah, I do that too. I feel guilty about getting the pleasure. I feel like I don’t deserve it so I talk. It stops me from enjoying it. There’s nothing to eat in here.
Are we sometimes uncomfortable with the idea of getting a massage just because it feels good?
Based on my own experience, it seems that George is not the only one who struggles with the justification of getting a massage. It is not unusual that a client will come in for a pre-scheduled session asking me to attend to a sudden tweak that appeared on the appointment day. It took a while for me to notice the pattern, but it has been so consistent, that I’ve concluded that the Seinfeld writers are onto something.
The subconscious inclination to justify discretionary pleasure is common to more than just massage therapy. A recent study showed a tendency to be more accident prone with cell phones when a tempting upgrade comes to market.
Have attitudes changed?
“The Note” Seinfeld episode was released in 1991, that was roughly the time when bodywork was growing in popularity. A few years prior, the concept of making an appointment with a massage therapist barely registered on the radar of most people’s consciousness.
The generation of the Seinfeld characters otherwise known as Baby Boomers were the first embrace to massage en masse. Their endorsement helped break a barrier of public perception that it was for luxury, or somehow a part of sexual services.
The health benefits are justification enough.
Regardless of popularity nobody needs to feel guilty about getting a massage. Not even George. There is a enough evidence for the health benefits gained from regular bodywork, that subconscious justifications are not needed anymore. Check out our article on the importance of it here.
Hopefully, this three part series provided a bit of humor and inspires people to schedule some “silent” bodywork.