A practice as old as massage means that massage scenes have been featured since the dawn of cinema. However it’s a little hard to show the great health benefits of a massage on the silver screen. Plus when a massage is shown, it’s often wrong! Here’s four ways film (and television) show misconceptions of massage.

Misconception #1 – It Really Really Really Hurts

It was 100 years ago that Charlie Chaplin featured a massage scene in his short film, The Cure (1917). Charlie Chaplin as the Little Tramp witnesses a particularly bad massage. In fact, it’s nothing like a massage. Of course it puts him off the entire treatment. Why would he want to put his body through something like that? He spends the next few minutes in a series of comedic scenes trying to avoid getting a massage. Of course a real massage is not quite as painful unless you get a Swedish or a deep tissue massage. The entire film is less than half an hour and can be watched in its entirety on Youtube. Below is a clip of the film.

Misconception #2 – It’s Hippy-dippy Nonsense

If you’re a serious and straight guy, there’s no way you’ll sit through a massage given by someone that looks like they’ve come straight from Woodstock. That’s the premise behind this scene in Meet The Fockers (2014) when retired CIA operative, Jack Byrnes (played by Robert De Niro) receives a Hawaiian lomilomi massage by Barbara Streisands’ character Roz. Even though the comedy comes from the contrast of characters, not all massage needs to be spiritual or mystical. If you are afraid of that, simply look for a masseuse at a health spa or a hotel.

Misconception #3 – It Will Turn You Gay

A little dated now, but the very funny Seinfeld featured a memorable episode about massage. The character George finds that he is very uncomfortable with the proposition that he will get a massage from a guy. Already fearful that he might enjoy the touch of a guy, the male masseuse asks George to remove his clothes to better massage a tight hamstring. George is so shocked by the whole experience that he can barely talk. Later he confides in Jerry Seinfeld that during the massage “it moved”. It, of course being his penis! Massage, however, won’t turn you gay. Either you are, or you aren’t. It might make you become aware of latent homosexuality but it certainly will not cause you to bat for the other team. Now relax and enjoy it.

Misconception #4 – Massage Machines Will Kill You

Does the name James Bond mean anything to you? In Thunderball (1965), Bond finds himself relaxing on a rack. Or rather, the rack. That was a bad Bond-inspired joke. Anyway, during his treatment someone turns up the speed almost killing him. James Bond might teach you something about being cool and suave but it won’t teach you anything about the awesome benefits of portable massagers and other massage devices. If you’re still convinced a massage will kill you, check out the low budget horror film Massage Parlor of Death (2015), for a massage that ends with a “deep tissue decapitation”.

If you don’t feel like seeing massage on film, you can always watch a film and get a massage with our line of Naipo massage chairs and other portable massagers. It’s certainly the ideal way to get through another Adam Sandler flick (even if it features an awkward massage scene).