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Spa Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts of Getting a Massage

by | Apr 30, 2021 | Massage

One in four Americans gets at least one massage each year. Meanwhile, one in twenty people gets massages at least once a month.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum, it’s good to get familiar with the basic rules of spa etiquette. It’s natural to have some questions about what to do (and not do) during a massage. But we also understand that it’s not always easy to broach the topic.

Relax — we’re here to help. Whether it’s your first massage or your hundredth, here are some do’s and don’ts of spa etiquette.

DO Undress to Your Comfort Level

Massage therapists receive professional training to ensure that your private areas remain covered. In fact, proper draping with sheets or towels is a legal requirement in the US.

With that said, it’s up to you whether you feel comfortable removing all your clothing (including underwear) or if you prefer to keep them on. Your personal comfort is more important than what you are or aren’t wearing. Your therapist can tailor their techniques to work around any clothing items you choose to wear.

And since we’re on the subject, don’t feel embarrassed about your body — ever. Massage therapists have seen thousands of bodies in every shape, size, and condition. There’s no need to apologize for your weight, your scars, your feet, or the fact that you forgot to shave your legs.

DON’T Assume Your Therapist Is a Mindreader

Massage therapists are very intuitive and can pick up on body language and other unspoken signals. However, there are certain times when you should feel free to speak up.

These include:

  • If you would like more or less pressure
  • If you feel any pain or discomfort, or if you feel too hot or too cold
  • If you’re not sure which type of massage is best for you
  • If you need to blow your nose or take a sip of water

Bonus tip: It’s also perfectly fine to ask to take a short break if you need to use the bathroom. (It happens all the time!)

DO Avoid Inappropriate Topics

Even if you’ve been seeing your therapist for a long time and have built up a good rapport, there are certain topics that should remain “off the table.”

Just like other professional settings, you should avoid bringing up:

  • Religion
  • Politics
  • Sexual comments, jokes, or innuendo

You may think it’s funny to joke about a happy ending, but trust us — your therapist won’t laugh. At best, you’ll offend them. At worst, you’ll be removed from the spa and barred from returning.

DON’T Forget to Prepare for Your Session

Last up on our list of proper spa etiquette are a few suggestions for getting the most out of your session.

  • DO take a shower or bath before you arrive
  • DON’T arrive late (try to be 5-10 minutes early)
  • DO mention any allergies or health problems, including recent injuries and surgeries
  • DON’T forget to turn off your cell phone so you can enjoy the silence
  • DO bring cash or a credit card to tip your therapist (20% is standard)

Taking a few moments to prepare before you leave home (and before you get on the table) will ensure you have a relaxing massage experience.

Your Go-To Guide to Spa Etiquette

If you’ve always been too shy to ask about proper spa etiquette, we hope this guide has answered some of your biggest questions.

And if there’s anything we didn’t cover here, don’t hesitate to ask your therapist or the spa receptionist. They’ll be more than happy to discuss your questions and concerns!

Has all this talk of massage made you ready for your next one? Book a session with us and get ready to enjoy the best massage in Vail, Colorado.