Wednesday, June 16, 2010

the first time massage question

This is a question I hear from people who have never had a massage,  "Do I have to completely undress?"

Answer: No.

Before each massage I always ask the client to undress to their own comfort level.  It is helpful if the bra is removed so that I may have better access to the entire length of the back.  Even though the bra might limit back massage to a degree, massage can still be applied without removing the undergarment.  Again, it's up to comfort level of the client.

I always ask the client to get under cover after they undress.  Some salons or spas use a towel to cover their client.  This is an acceptable and widely used practice, but at our therapy clinic, a flat sheet is used.  The client is draped with the sheet throughout their massage. The reason for draping is to not expose the client.  With draping, only the immediate area being worked on is uncovered.  This is called draping.  For instance, while I am working on the leg, I uncover only the leg in which I am massaging.
The purpose of draping is to make sure massage clients feel comfortable throughout their massage.  The client also has an option to have a blanket if he/she would like the extra warmth.

I do work on the gluteal muscle group.  Massage is helpful in relieving post-workout  pain and can keep the muscle from atrophying when not used for prolonged periods of time.
I usually only apply closed-hand compression to the glutes which allow the client to remain covered.  Sometimes there a situation might require contact to the gluteal muscles directly.  Even then, private areas are never exposed.  Nothing is done without client consent.

If perchance the client doesn't want to remove any clothing during a table massage.  I only ask that he/she wear thinner clothing.  Massage therapists need to have access to muscle tissue, and sturdy clothing like blue jeans are not the easiest to work through.  If  a client needs help primarily with his/her back, a chair massage works great!  Chair massages do not require any clothing to be removed.  I have clients that come in for a quick 10 or 15 minute chair massage and receive much relief!

So to sum it up.  This is your massage and I really want your experience to be a pleasant one.  The primary benefit of massage is to relieve stress, and as the massage therapist, the last thing in the world I want to do create unnecessary stress or discomfort.  So take off only what you want to take off and tell me where it hurts.

By the way, it's always good to ask family members and friends about their massage experiences and if they recommend a good therapist.  I hope that my name pops up.
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