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massage etiquette

Getting a massage is one of the most relaxing and rewarding things you can do for yourself. If you don’t understand proper massage etiquette, though, it can become a stressful experience instead.

Do you wonder what you should or shouldn’t wear during a massage? Should you talk to your therapist, and if so, what should you talk about? What if you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious during the session?

Today we’re going to shed some light on these important (and often-asked) questions about massage. Keep reading for your complete list of massage do’s and don’ts.

DO Speak Up

Massage therapists are intuitive people, but they’re not mind-readers. You should absolutely say something if:

  • You feel too hot or too cold
  • You need to use the restroom
  • You feel any pain or discomfort
  • You prefer lighter or firmer pressure
  • You have areas that are ticklish or sensitive to pressure
  • You forgot to mention a major injury, surgery, or medical condition

If you’re having a hard time relaxing, let your therapist know. They can always adjust the table, face rest, music, lighting, and their techniques to help you feel more comfortable.

DON’T Feel Pressured to Make Conversation

In some settings, silence is rude. Massage is not one of those settings.

Most massage therapists will tell you that they perform their best work in silence. But if you prefer to chat while you’re getting a massage, that’s okay too.

However, do be mindful of the things you choose to talk about. Religion, politics, and sexual innuendo are never appropriate subjects in this professional setting. And although we’re all dealing with pandemic fatigue, avoid the temptation to discuss COVID-19, masks, and related topics.

Instead, use your massage as an opportunity to forget about the outside world (and the pandemic) for an hour.

DO Show Respect for Your Therapist

Massage therapists are skilled medical professionals. One way to show respect for their work is to use proper terminology.

For example, avoid terms like “masseuse,” “massage bed,” and “massage parlor.” All of these carry negative connotations more closely related to a brothel than a spa or clinic. Instead, use modern (and respectful) terms like “massage therapist,” “massage table,” and “massage clinic.”

Respect also includes the same etiquette you’d apply in other professional settings. Take a shower before your session and plan to arrive a few minutes early. And unless you’re on-call or there’s a family emergency, be sure to switch off (or completely silence) your cell phone.

Important note: If you’re sick, getting a massage will only make you feel worse and potentially spread your illness to your therapist too. In this case, it’s best for everyone involved to cancel your appointment and reschedule it when you’re feeling better.

DON’T Worry About Your Therapist Judging You

Massage therapists have seen everything (and we do mean EVERYTHING). As a medical professional, your massage therapist knows that bodies come in all shapes and sizes.

For this reason, you never need to feel worried or self-conscious about your appearance.

Your therapist will not judge you based on the presence (or absence) of body hair. They are not bothered by scars, acne, blemishes, lipomas, or eczema. They don’t care whether you choose to wear your underwear or remove it. They are not passing silent judgment about your weight, age, gender, shape, or size.

So never feel like you need to apologize for any of the things listed above. It’s not necessary. Remember, your therapist has only one goal on their agenda — to help you feel your very best!

Now You Understand Massage Etiquette

It would be easy if there was a handbook that explained proper massage etiquette, but many people are left wondering what they should and shouldn’t do. If this sounds like you, we hope this blog has answered most of your questions!

Has all this talk about massage made you want to receive one? Book your next session at Simply Massage in Avon or Glenwood Springs today!

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