Unspoken Questions about Massage Therapy

Posted on October 26th, 2012 by Shari´ Parks

Have you ever had unspoken questions about massage therapy that you are to embarrassed to ask? I’ve taken the most popular ones and compiled an answer for you so your next session you will be completely relaxed with having these burning questions answered.

Q: Do I need to get completely naked? I’m concerned the therapist will judge my body flaws.
A: No, you don’t have to take off more clothes than you are comfortable with to receive massage. Some people take off underwear, some leave there’s on. Talk to me and I will adapt to your needs. Be aware that wearing more clothes such as stockings, pants, and shirts can interfere with the use of certain techniques, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy receiving massage in casual clothes. No worries about the therapist ‘looking’ at your body. My focus is on your muscles and how your body response to the pressure applied.

Q: I’m ticklish. What should I do if I have a giggle fit while receiving my massage?
A : Laughter is welcomed. Some people are sensitive to particular techniques, which make them feel uncomfortable and want to giggle. If that happens, I may use a broader stroke or deeper pressure so it doesn’t tickle.

Q: What if I get an erection during a massage?
A: Don’t panic. Sometimes as a result of your nervous system going into relaxation mode (or because of certain medications) erections happen. I know that this is a physiological reaction and will treat the situation accordingly. Usually I will re-direct your attention by altering pressure or moving to a different area of your body. Your unintended erection, and any embarrassment, will soon pass.

Q: Massage has to hurt to do any good, right?
A: Massage need not hurt to be effective. There are a variety of modalities; some such as friction and deep tissue that are slightly uncomfortable, but should not hurt. If you’re wincing under the pressure and tightening up, that will work against the goals of massage, which is to invite your body to relax, reduce pain, increase well-being, and have long, supple muscles. I’m not in the torture business. Within 5 minutes of your session with me, I ask how’s the pressure and quickly modify if the pressure is too much. Recognize that your needs and pain threshold might change with each visit.

Q: I’m never sure about gratuities for massage services. What should I tip?
A: Massage therapists working in spas don’t usually receive the full fee charged for their services. They work on a percentage split with the spa owner or receive a salary. If you are visiting a spa, tipping is common (15-20 percent) and therapists may depend on tips for their income, just as restaurant servers do. As a small business owner and sole proprietor I certainly welcome a 15-20% tip per each session.

Q: How do I talk to my massage therapist about money? I’d like to come more often, but it would be a financial hardship.
A: If you feel your financial situation won’t allow you to receive further treatment, make sure you’ve considered all your options. Check with your employer or insurance carrier to see if you might be covered for massage therapy treatments. No coverage? Consider shortening your sessions instead of eliminating massage treatments all together. I offer sessions as short as 30minutes. Also, consider purchasing a 3 or 6 package and save money that way.

Any more unspoken questions for your therapist? Ask. Your honesty will strengthen your therapeutic bond and let you deepen your relaxation time and feeling of healing.

And that’s what it’s all about. You.

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