The Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask Your Massage Therapist
So, you’re sitting in the spa waiting room, and the thought of the lovely massage you have been looking forward to all week suddenly gives way to a whole host of questions. If it’s your first massage, you might be a little apprehensive but there’s really no need to be. Although there’s really no such things as a silly question, we’ve taken the liberty of answering some frequent questions for you right here.
Is this a legitimate massage center or spa?
Massage parlors – the type that offers erotic massage – are not obviously seedy. Sometimes you need to ask a few well-chosen questions to make sure that your massage is all you expect it to be … and no more! Those questions are:
• Do you offer therapeutic massage?
• Is the massage therapist certified or licensed?
• Do you need me to complete client health questionnaire?
Three yeses and you shouldn’t get any uncomfortable surprises.
Will I have to take everything off?
Not if you don’t want to, although many massage enthusiasts like to have their treatments naked. It’s completely up to you. Some treatments like reflexology, Reiki or Indian Head Massage are carried out fully clothed. If you’d prefer to keep your underwear on during a massage, that’s fine. Don’t wear your favorite smalls though as they might get massage oil on them (although your therapist will be as careful as possible.) Tight-fitting underwear can get in the way if you’re having lower back massage but a thong or loose undies that can be moved around will be fine. Even if you do decide to go as nature intended for your massage, we’ll still only see the area that we’re working on and your modesty will always be properly covered with a towel.
What if I drool or get an erection?
Your therapist will consider it a compliment if you doze off during a massage and if you’re lying face down, it’s not unusual to drool. Just ask for a tissue and nobody will bat an eyelid. Some men avoid getting a massage because they worry that they'll get an erection during a massage – it happens. Men will quite often get an erection during a non- sexual massage because the gentle therapeutic touch can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to a partial or full erection. Don’t be embarrassed; it’s happened before and an experienced therapist will just ignore it.
Should I talk during a massage?
It’s totally up to you! If all you want to do is close your eyes and drift away, just go right ahead. Some types of massage, like a sports massage or deep tissue/detox massage might require a little more feedback, because when the therapist is getting deep into your muscle knots, they’ll need to make sure it’s not uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to tell us if:
• It hurts - anywhere
• You’re too hot or cold
• You have any questions
• You need to tell us something health-related.
I’m worried about my body and that I’ll feel selfconscious
Massage therapists are like doctors in that they see bodies of all shapes and sizes. We can all feel self-conscious at times but don’t let that get in the way of a good massage! If you’re really worried, by all means ask the therapist to avoid the area. You might find that you get so relaxed during your massage that you stop caring… You could also choose a clothed massage like Shiatsu or Thai.
Can I see a female therapist?
Of course, you can. Some people have reasons for preferring a therapist of the opposite (or the same gender) and we promise not to judge you. There’s nothing to worry about in having a massage with a male therapist though. Men – if you’re worried about unintended erections, see above. Women – there’s really no need to feel intimidated by a male massage therapist. You might even enjoy it! You can always ask to meet your therapist before the session if you’re concerned.
Should I tip?
There are no hard and fast rules unless you’re in a hotel or spa, where it’s expected that you’ll tip 15-20% if you’ve enjoyed your massage. Most holistic therapy and massage centers would encourage a tip for a great treatment. In a medical clinic, some people don’t think it’s appropriate to tip but it’s up to you. You can always ask if therapists accept tips when you book.