It’s not like pizza

I’ve been avoiding prenatal massages.

It’s so unlike me, because usually I’d paid a stranger on the side of the road to rub my back, but prenatal massage seems like it would be like prenatal yoga: lame. I like to sleep facedown, elbows out, or on my back, and am destined to toss and turn on my side for the next 4 1/2 months. [Even with my Snoogle, I’m never *really* comfortable] Since I hate sleeping on my side with a passion, I was determined to find a massage place that had a suitable facedown option for pregnant chicas, because the last thing I wanted was to pay to lay on my side. Miserable.

So you can imagine my level of excitement when I called my favorite place and learned that they have a bolster, which has a cut-out for your belly, so you can lay facedown. YEAHHHH! I was just calling “out of curiosity” but when I found that out, I booked an appointment for today. My body has been aching for the past week –sore hips are a biotch- and thought it would be a nice treat before my week of teaching begins.

My favorite guy moved to Phoenix so my appt was with a new massage therapist, but I didn’t even care. I was going to get massaged, facedown. Heck yeah.

My massage room, which had lovely stalactites, bear paw prints  and dream catchers painted on the walls



and I laid down on the bolster, ready for 60 minutes of bliss.

pregnancy_bolster Source

Except for one major problem:

They designed the bolster for people with 4 ft long torsos 🙁 If I got my belly to go in the cut-out correctly, my face went where the boobs were supposed to go. Lovely.

So instead, I had to get massaged on my side.

And it sucked.

The massage therapist was competing in some kind of massage race.. with herself. She was fast, hardly used any pressure, and it was just weird. The only nice part was when she rubbed my belly in a gentle circular motion. I could feel the baby kicking- I think she was a fan 🙂

I, however, was not.

Massage is not like pizza. When it’s bad, it’s not “still kind of good”… it’s bad.

Lesson of the day: Use the foam roller.

photo (19) 

It’s only $20 and does it right, every time.

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  1. girl in the pink on August 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    haha I love your pizza analogy!! Perfect!

    Bummer on the bad massage!

  2. Krystina (Organically Me) on August 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Haha, why would they design a pregnancy bolster with such ridiculous proportions? Sorry Gina. 🙁

    • Fitnessista on August 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      because they hate me. haha

  3. JennyO on August 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I agree! I was so excited about my prenatal massage and left disappointed.

  4. bo on August 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    That stinks! Don’t give up on finding a good pregancy massage, I can’t imagine that there isn’t a specialist in the area that doesn’t have an adjustable bolster to work with or at the very least can get you comfortable on your side. There should be LOTS of pillows involved to support you even more than your sleeping pillow does. Also, don’t settle for a crummy therapist. Pregnancy massage does not mean no pressure. You do have to avoid sustained pressure over certain points, but other wise its like any other massage. Just on your side. Look for someone who speciailizes in prenatal massage, it sounds like you got someone who just doesn’t know what she is doing. OR go find some chair massage, not the perfect solution, but it can still be a decent rub down. Good luck!
    Bo (LMT)

  5. Leanne (Bride to Mrs.) on August 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    That room is so random & the dream catcher? Really?! Bahahaha it gave me a great laugh.

  6. Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats on August 16, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Aww what a bummer! I hate it when I go into something being super excited and it ends up being a disappointment. I don’t understand why massage therapists, pedicure people, etc think that it is a sprint. I think a massage should be a marathon. I mean heck…I’m going to tip better if it is! 🙂

  7. Carrie on August 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I was really confused as to why there’d be 2 cup holders in the bolster until I realized they’re for boobs! Torpedo boobs at that…

    As much as I want to enjoy massages, it just feels like I paid $80-100 to have someone beat the crap out of me–even when they promise they won’t. Not fun.

    • Melissa on August 16, 2011 at 11:51 pm

      LOL I thought the same thing. I laughed so hard at the ridiculous proportions….. but I am sorry to hear about your lousy massage 🙁 I hope you find something better.

  8. cathy on August 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    sorry, for the less than stellar experience, gina. but your sense of humour shines through in this post!
    better luck next time??!

  9. Katelyn@ Foodie Goes to School on August 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Since you’re the one carrying your little baby girl I think the Pilot needs to be your personal masseur. Just a thought 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 16, 2011 at 5:19 pm

      right?! i have to beg him. BEG.

  10. Julie (A Case of the Runs) on August 16, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I also have a short torso, so I’ll stay clear of tables like this, too!

  11. Laura @ prettylittlewords on August 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Bahahah yes, what is with the boob holes???!?? That thing HAD to have been designed by a man. Oh my gosh, cracking up over here!

  12. Kate @ Vet in the Saddle on August 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    that sucks! I had a bad massage this past weekend too, the girl beat up my shoulders so bad that they were bruised! no fun 🙁

  13. RunFitMama on August 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I found a place that had a special prenatal table with cutout for the belly right in the massage table. True facedown massage. It felt so good during pregnancy to finally be able to “lie” on my stomach!

  14. Juliet @ irun2eat! on August 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Sorry about the failed massage : ( That table looks completely unrealistic for any pregnant lady less than 7 feet tall, what are they thinking?!

    I made the protein fluff you posted yesterday to use as a dip for strawberries. DELICIOUS!! Thanks for posting it!

    P.S. I have made more recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook and there are so many things in it that make me think of you.

  15. Colleen on August 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (I am ROFLMAO looking at the belly and boob holes on the bolster, not at your unsatisfactory massage experience. That totally sucks.)

  16. Paige on August 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Could you get one of those hydromassages? Or is that bad for babies somehow?

  17. Julie on August 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    My sister is due in October and has been so uncomfortable because of her sciatic nerve… I was wondering if she could foam roll her lower back or if it would be harmful in any way?? I don’t know why it would be, but do you know? I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you ;( You should ask for a refund!

  18. Jessica @ Jessica Balances on August 16, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Gina! So sorry you had a negative massage experience 🙁 — I just wanted to say that prenatal yoga doesn’t have to be lame… I think it’s AMAZING and I’m not even pregnant! I had to take a class during my yoga teacher training, and I was 100% blown away… I think it’s like most classes in that the “enjoyability” greatly depends on the instructor, so maybe give it a try! I personally found it to be extremely relaxing, and, while not a “workout,” it was beautiful and gentle and amaaaazing.

  19. Jenn on August 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    All I can picture is your face where the boob cut out goes… it is both a traumatic and funny picture 🙂

    Sorry the massage sucked though! That’s where your hubby can come riding in on his white horse right??

  20. RhodeyGirl on August 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    If you want I can send you the email address of my girl. She will totally come to the hotel (she comes to the house to do massages). She props you up with tons of pillows so you’re on your back but in a recline position (safe since you’re not flat) and then instead of your belly she has you lay on your side. She is good about using a lot of pressure and her prices are reasonable. I am obsessed and have been getting a massage monthly.

  21. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather on August 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Bummer about the bad massage… I doubt I’d fit perfectly into one of those preggo tables when i’m… Preggo. Not everyone is the same! Foam rollers though… Always amazing.

  22. Taylor on August 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I had a similar experience with a prenatal massage – it just stunk, plain and simple. I laid on my side, and despite having no problem getting nekkid for a normal massage, I felt really exposed on my side, and the cold air kept creeping under the blanket. It was 90 minutes of “Is it over yet?”.

  23. Jenn @ Frost Bites on August 16, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Sorry you had a bad massage….I think all of us have had one or two of those in our lifetime. Maybe next time, huh?!

  24. Jen on August 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    A good masseuse is up there with a good hairdresser IMO. There are so many that are just fine, but not my style. When you find a good one, don’t let go! Unfortunately, my hairdresser left town and the only good massage I’ve had was at a spa in Cancun.

  25. Hillary on August 16, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Lame. Like you, I have a tiny torso, so I can imagine how disappointing this was.

    And that table looks ridiculous/hilarious. Just sayin’!

  26. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen on August 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    The visual of your face in the boob part just made me spit my beer out! Too funny. Sorry the massage sucked 🙁

  27. Jen @familyfoodfitnessandfun on August 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Aww…sorry about the bad massage. I hate paying for a bad massage! Keep looking around though. When I was preggers, I found a place that had an actual massage table but the belly part popped out…it looked nothing like the picture…it was a real massage table!

  28. Suzi @ Confessions of a Fitness Instructor on August 16, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    That is totally craptacular. Obviously they would need different sizes for different sized people, why would they think a one sized fits all preggers theory would work!? Sorry your massage wasn’t super awesome 🙁 The pilot totally owes it to you to massage you after that heartbreaking experience!

  29. Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola on August 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Oh my gosh- I’m so sorry that you had such a bad massage experience, especially after you were looking so forward to it! I hate stuff like that! That room is so odd and what is with that bolster- I totally agree with the commenter who said that had to have been designed by a man! But there has to be a better massage place out there… fingers crossed!!

  30. Sejal M on August 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Weird! The place I go for prenatal massages has a contraption that *looks* like thatbolster but has moveable parts so the therapist can adjust them to fit your body. At each stage of pregnancy your body changes (obviously) so even for 4 ft torsos (lol) that one bolster wouldnt work throughout the whoel pregnancy!

    Find a place that has the adjustable ones.

    I had my last prenatal massage 10 weeks ago ahhhh (at 20 weeks( ans actually just booked one today for next week. Cant wait!!

  31. char @ char on a mission on August 16, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    That thing honestly shocked me when I saw the boob cutouts too haha…couldn’t they just use the space foam or something so that your boobs can mold wherever they may – to each their own? Sorry that, that didn’t work out. Sounds like they need a recall on the product!

  32. Niki on August 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Ugh sounds awful. And the preggo massage pad just looks awkward and uncomfortable. Even for me, who would probably fit in it.

  33. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on August 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Omg that SUCKS!!! There is nothing worse than a bad massage. Ok bad s–x would rank right up there too 🙂

    But seriously to pay for that…and waste your precious TIME on something bad…ugh!! Girl ask for your money back and/or a complimentary session. I know you’re probably like, oh I would never ask them but seriously, you should not have to waste your hard earned moola on a crappy massage. Just think, the money that you just wasted, if you don’t try to get it back, that’s tons of adorable baby clothes you aren’t buying. Just sayin 🙂

    • Christine @ BookishlyB on August 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm

      At least you don’t have to pay for the sex! Well, hopefully not 😉 And you’re totally right- I’d maybe ask for a re-do with a different therapist.

  34. Sara on August 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I was so happy for you when I started reading the post but then my heart literally dropped into my stomach! You poor thing! I feel so bad…that bolster is terrible.

  35. Meggy on August 16, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    awww, man. I am in the same boat. Super sore hips, hate/despise sleeping on my side, but was craving a message. However, your experience makes sense… and does not sound worth it.

    Meggy from Chasing Davies

  36. Jess on August 16, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    BUMMER! BIG bummer! Sorry Gina!

  37. chelsea on August 16, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Poor thing 🙁 I hope you find a massage place that will get all those kinks out for you. Heck maybe a trip to Phoenix would be worth it haha ;D

  38. Nicole on August 16, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    No!! Please don’t get any pregnancy massage where they are using cut-outs in the table or crazy looking bolsters where you put your belly into them. This causes undue stress to your low back. People in the spa industry created these tables and bolsters; not people who are certified in pregnancy massage. I encourage you and every pregnant woman to find a therapist who is certified in pregnancy massage and not just someone who thinks they know what they’re doing. The positioning of the pregnant client is critical to the safety and well-being of both mother and child and there are very specific areas of the body and types of massage that should not be done on pregnant women. Most places that offer pregnancy massage don’t necessarily have someone on staff who has taken the additional training to know how to safely perform pregnancy massage.

    Don’t give up after one bad experience! Pregnancy massage, along with pregnancy yoga, are very beneficial to expecting mothers

    CA CMT, California Certified Massage Therapist

  39. Katie on August 17, 2011 at 6:36 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your massage. 🙁 I’ve had a DEEP TISSUE massage before where the guy barely put on any pressure and was a speed demon. I want it to hurt! Hopefully you can get a better one soon. 🙂

  40. Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me on August 17, 2011 at 9:19 am

    That stinks! I had a bad massage at one point too. She was pretty much ripping my muscles out and I’m so non-confrontational I just let it happen. I still kick myself about that!

  41. Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run on August 17, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I just bought a foam roller but I’m lost on what to do with it. I need to do some online research and try that baby out.

  42. Gina on August 17, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I hated sleeping on my side while I was pregnant. I vowed to sleep on my back or tummy as soon as I gave birth! But I ended up cosleeping (something I swore I would never do) and so I was usually on my side. My youngest is now 4 but I am still mostly a side sleeper now.

    I am sorry you had such a crappy massage experience but I have to say I laughed so hard when I read “If I got my belly to go in the cut-out correctly, my face went where the boobs were supposed to go. Lovely.
    ” and “The massage therapist was competing in some kind of massage race.. with herself”. Again I’m really sorry your massage sucked but thanks for making it a little funny for us to read about 🙂

  43. Andrea P. on August 17, 2011 at 10:37 am

    that sucks, sorry about your bad you think maybe for your next readers request you could do a vid on how you use the foam roller? i’ve always wanted to get one but i’m completely clueless how to use it..everytime i try it seems more like work than it would be relaxing!

  44. Ali @ urbanfruitbat on August 17, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Aww! I am so sorry to hear of your massage debacle! You are so right, when it is bad it is just bad. I had a massage therapist where I used to live, and she was amazing. I am afraid to get a massage in my new home because I don’t want to spend all the money to be bummed out!

  45. courtney @ cupcakedynamite on August 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    AWWW SO SAD!!! foam roller for life!

  46. Katie @ Plates and Paste on August 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Bummer! So sorry…that must have been so frustrating :/ Even though it’s a lonnnggg time before I want to have a baby, the thought of sleeping on my side or back while pregnant has crossed my mind. I too always sleep on my stomach.

    I don’t know much about foam rollers, but have heard about them recently. How do you exactly use them?

  47. Kat @ Big Apple Little Kitchen on August 17, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    AH! The bolster is so hilarious! OMG. I can’t get over it! sorry you had a horrible massage!

  48. Mo on August 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    So I just read this and had to restrain my laughter . . . I’m a short-torsoed gal as well and the thought of not matching body parts up with the indentations – cracked me up. I have a hard time on work out machines for that very reason. And my hands are really small, so sometimes that makes free weights a challenge – heck, I’m just challenged period. Thank you for sharing that story, I absolutely love your sense of humor and ability to make me smile even when my day is a crappy one. Take care!

  49. Sara on August 19, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    How awful! I just got my first prenatal massage earlier this week (2 days before my due date, ha!) and it was incredible. It was an hour long. She worked all sorts of incredible points. And for the last 3 days the pain in my hips has been non-existent. The massage didn’t help me go into labor like I was hoping it would but it definitely made me feel like a million bucks.

    I would try a different place!

    • Fitnessista on August 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      did you lay on your stomach or side?

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