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How To Behave In The Massage Room

How To Behave In The Massage Room

Getting a massage is a wonderful way to relax your body and mind, and completely recharge the batteries. Whether you’ve just received a gift voucher for a local massage business, already have a regular sports Massage Therapist you frequent or are going to get a massage for the very first time, there are some important things you should keep in mind when it comes to massage room etiquette to optimise your experience.

Similarly, if you are a business owner or have started working as a Massage Therapist, there are some important massage room etiquette tips that, when extended to your client, will make their experience and yours all the more pleasant.

Here we’ll talk about massage room etiquette and what’s appropriate for both Therapist and client.

Etiquette Advice For Clients

To Shower Or Not To Shower?

Whether you’ve just ducked into the gym for a quick workout pre-massage or have been running around after the kids all day, it’s a good idea to give yourself a quick rinse off before your massage. Not only will it make you feel all the more relaxed while you lay on the table, but it will also make it easier for your Massage Therapist to work their magic. Massage therapy rooms are often confined spaces so keeping body odour to a minimum wherever possible is advisable for both parties.

Eating Before Your Massage

It makes sense that if you eat a heavy meal before your massage, your Therapist might get an unwelcome surprise as your body expels gas. It’s only natural that all of that pressure on the body will aid in digestion. To avoid this, allow your body plenty of time to digest your food before your massage. Give yourself an hour after you’ve finished your meal.

You also don’t want to feel the need to visit the bathroom during your massage, so make sure that while you do stay hydrated, you don’t have too much to drink just before the massage begins. You should also make sure to empty your bladder before it’s time to go in.

Speak Up

When you are having a massage you are paying for a service. If you are in pain or you aren’t enjoying your massage, speak up. While Massage Therapists will always do their best to apply the right amount of pressure and check in with you to see how you are enjoying your massage, it’s ultimately up to the client to help guide the Therapist as to how hard is too hard.

It’s also important to speak up about any injuries or chronic conditions you have before the massage begins. If you’re not sure if they need to know, mention it anyway. While a massage can assist with certain conditions one may have, they can also exacerbate others.

Feeling Unwell? Postpone Your Massage

If you’re sick, it’s not a good idea to get a massage. It’s also common courtesy to not spread germs and, with Massage Therapists often working for themselves and without sick leave, it’s important to be considerate and give yourself some time to recover before re-booking your massage.

In addition, getting a massage while you have a cold or flu can also make the symptoms worse.

Don’t Be Concerned About Hairy Legs

Some women can feel self conscious about their legs if they haven’t shaved them and they’re going in for a full body massage. This then impacts the level of relaxation they feel during a massage, and can ruin the experience. The fact is, Massage Therapists don’t care about hairy legs, and as it doesn’t impede on the massage whatsoever there should be no concern or cause for embarrassment.

Be Aware That Your Bottom Is Fair Game

When receiving a full body massage, it can come as a shock (especially if you don’t frequently receive massages) when your Therapist all of a sudden lifts the towel and begins to apply pressure to your glute muscles. If you’re concerned about this or simply don’t feel comfortable, just mention to the Therapist before the massage commences that you’d prefer they skipped that area.

What To Wear In A State Of Undress

Most Massage Therapists will ask you to disrobe once you’ve entered the room, and will leave to give you a few minutes to get undressed and on the table with a towel. Bras can hinder the massage so it’s strongly recommended that these are removed, and underwear is sometimes optional while some places will offer disposable underwear for those who have completely stripped down.

Try Not To Linger Too Long Post-Massage

It can be difficult when you’re completely relaxed to get moving, but after a few minutes of enjoying the feeling of being completely relaxed it’s important that you get dressed, thank the Therapist and pay.

The room will in most cases need to be prepped for the next client, so it’s courteous to avoid lingering even if you are in a zen-like state.

Etiquette Advice For Massage Therapists

For Massage Therapists, there is also a massage room protocol which every Therapist should take note of. Doing so will not only make clients feel comfortable, but it can also boost your return-customer number.

Personal Hygiene Should Be A Number One Priority

Just as it’s common courtesy for a client to show up for their massage clean, it’s also important that all Massage Therapists present themselves well, and have a high standard of personal care and grooming. For example, always consider the length of your fingernails and don’t wear strong fragrances as this can overwhelm the client and be counterproductive when working with essential oils.

Create The Ideal Space

The room in which you conduct massage therapy should reflect the style of massage you specialise in. Above all it should be clean, well presented and care should be taken to create an ambient, relaxing atmosphere.

Talk, But Not Too Much

While it’s important to build rapport with your client and gauge their specific needs, it’s also important to remember why the client is there and so the sole focus needs to be on them and their needs. Avoid chit chat unless the client keeps indicating that they want to continue talking.

Ensure Your Clients Always Feel Safe And Secure

Using a towel to drape over your client's body to only expose certain areas when necessary helps your client to feel safe and comfortable with you. It’s important that you don’t become complacent with this, as it not only helps your client to feel comfortable but it also assists to enforce boundaries.

Maintain Contact And Focus At All Times

When moving positions or to different areas try to maintain contact with the client as much as possible. It can feel unnerving for first time clients if they aren’t sure where you are in the room.

Take Your Time

While you may have another client arriving shortly, you need to give your present customer enough time to collect themselves, especially after a deeply relaxing massage. Debriefing is also a good idea at this point by asking them about their experience, and it also gives you a chance to offer further recommendations.

By following a few simple steps to ensure massage room etiquette is always front of mind, both client and Massage Therapist can enjoy a positive experience in a relaxing and professional environment.

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