If you are fortunate enough to receive regular massages, good for you. They can improve posture, digestion, stress levels, circulation, immunity, and so much more. The relationship between client and massage therapist is an interesting one. It’s at once very personal, but also very removed. You do essentially strip down for this person and let them put their hands all over your body. But they also don’t know much about you (unless you’re one of the chatty types, but even still, they can only learn so much in a 60-minute session). Massage therapists are an interesting hybrid between a type of medical professional and a luxury service provider. They’re not doctors, but they are trained in subjects like pathology, physiology, and kinesiology, and should be treated as such. Still, awkward moments abound between clients and massage therapists. Here are 15 things your massage therapist wishes you knew.
You don’t know what firm is
Everyone who thinks they like firm pressure actually likes medium pressure. You have to realize that a massage therapist has very strong hands and has clients who ask her to literally walk on them. A real “firm” is too firm for most.
But please communicate regarding pressure
You should definitely talk to your therapist about your preferred pressure. Don’t just suffer if she’s applying too much or too little, and then give her a bad review. If you ask for an adjustment, she’ll happily give you one.
Please don’t come in sick
Massage therapists are pretty much trapped when someone shows up sick. They can’t turn away a client, but they also run the risk of getting sick. For everyone’s sake, don’t make an appointment when you’re sick.
She’s a massage therapist; not a masseuse
Masseuse kind of has negative (and sexual) connotations. Your massage therapist is a trained type of therapist and wants to be addressed accordingly.
Talking isn’t part of her job
If your massage therapist is quiet, she isn’t being rude. She isn’t paid to talk: she is paid to massage. And most therapists remain quiet unless the client wants to talk—feeling out what the client desires.
Upgrade to the aromatherapy oil
You really should upgrade to the aromatherapy versus just the regular massage oil. You’ll feel ultra relaxed after. The warm environment of the massage room opens up your pores and nostrils and really lets the benefits of the oils sink in.
She doesn’t care that you haven’t shaved
Keep in mind that she works on men who don’t shave a thing. Your massage therapist won’t notice a little stubble.
She probably deeply relies on tips
Some massage businesses take a big percentage of their therapists’ revenue, leaving the therapists to rely heavily on tips. If you really like your message, a 20 to 30 percent tip will be greatly appreciated.
You really should tell her about injuries
It’s better to overshare than not share enough. If you’ve had something bothering you in your body, even if you haven’t had it diagnosed, you should tell your massage therapist about it so she doesn’t accidentally make it worse.
The quieter rooms are already taken
Everybody asks for the quieter room. If you want a quiet room, you’re best off reserving one of the first appointments of the day. After that, it’s first come first serve for the quiet room.
She isn’t judging your body. Really.
Your therapist sees so many bodies every day. To her, they’re just groups of muscles to be worked on. She isn’t judging your weight or the size of your thighs or anything.
Don’t get nude, in the open
Massage therapists are legally meant to only undrape the area being worked on, so don’t hop up from the bed, butt naked, in front of your therapist.
Everybody farts in there
Don’t be afraid to let one go. Massage has a way of releasing trapped gasses and it’s not good for you to hold those in. And trust me: your therapist hears it all the time.
You don’t go in enough
If your therapist is saying you should come in more, it’s not entirely so she can make more money. Her job is harder the less frequently you see her. In order to get your body to a good place, your therapist would ideally work on you every week.
Please shower before
Some people think, “I’m going to be covered in oils, so I’ll just shower after the massage.” That’s understandable, but if you really stink, for your therapist’s sake, take a shower before your massage.