As a Massage Therapist, we get a lot of people who might say things that aren’t quite taken as well as you might think. It’s not because we are sensitive, it’s because we get people who say things that just aren’t okay and tend to be more inappropriate than you might think.
Here are some massage etiquette items and what not to say (or do) during your next massage with us:
- Ask your massage therapist to go see a movie / come to your house / etc. We strive to retain a professional relationship with our clients. That means that we prefer to see you in our professional setting alone. We will deny the invitation and suggest you see a different massage therapist, especially if your request is too suggestive.
- Excessive noises. Noises happen. Moaning when something feels good happens. Please don’t stare at us when you do it (yes, that’s happened), and just be aware that if you’re loud enough, the neighboring rooms might hear you as well. Please bear in mind that if that’s the only thing you do the whole time, we might think that you’re trying to get more out of the massage than what you’re paying for.
- Comment on our looks/attractiveness. Because of the years of misrepresentation in our industry, we tend to be slightly more sensitive to certain compliments. While we are professional in every massage, whenever someone comments on how we look, we can’t help but wonder if you are trying to shift the professional relationship.
- Poke your head out of the room to let us know you’re ready. We’re glad that you get ready for your massage so quickly. The problem is that we have to also be ready for the massage. That might include grabbing water, going to the bathroom ourselves, or just making sure that you don’t feel like you have to rush to get on the table. Also, you yelling down the hall isn’t relaxing for our other clients in their massages, so please be patient and wait for your massage therapist to return to the room to start your session.
- Start undressing while we are still in the room. Again, to maintain a professional relationship, we need to leave the room before you start disrobing. To make sure each client is always comfortable, we only expose what we work on as we work on it. Disrobing before we leave the room is exposing areas we are not currently working on, and it is distracting when we are trying to listen to what you need for that session.
- Touch us. We touch you. We don’t want you to touch us. That’s when it gets weird. And uncomfortable. And again, we might think that you are trying to shift the professional relationship.
- Be late and then expect us to give you your full time. That includes showing up on time but taking a phone call for 15 minutes or talking to us about everything under the sun, preventing us from starting on time. We want to start you as close to on time as we can. If we end up starting late because the Massage Therapist is starting late, then you should expect your full time, but not if you are late.
- Disrespect our company policies and rules/disrespect our boundaries. We enjoy chatting with our clients and getting to know you. We really do. And there are some things we just don’t feel comfortable discussing with our clients. Currently, our hands are completely tied as far as what we need to do to reopen from the COVID shutdown, so no, we don’t want to hear your opinions on it. Just like we generally don’t enjoy discussing religion, politics, and other types of conversation that often breeds contention. It’s not that we aren’t strong individuals with opinions and such. It’s that the relationship we are establishing with you is a professional one. We want to sustain it by omitting conversations that detract from our goals–getting you to feel better.
Yes, pointing these out can be awkward. No, we aren’t calling anyone out, nor do we want YOU to feel uncomfortable in your next session if you have done one of these things. We just feel that laying it all out makes it clear on both ends what is expected during a massage.
Now here is what our massage therapists promise you:
- We will listen to what you need during a session and tailor the massage to fit your needs.
- We have a 30 minute buffer between each massage, so you will get your full time.
- We will not comment on your body, nor will we judge it.
- We will check in to ensure you are comfortable.
- We will expose ONLY what we work on when we work on it.
- We will not ask you out.
- We will care about you as a person and client.
- We will not rush you to get on the table–take your time and breathe.
- We will maintain professional boundaries, making our relationship with you a long-lasting professional one.
Professional relationships can be a bit tricky, especially when you can connect so much with an individual. We do want you to share what you want to share about you and your life. We also want to maintain that appropriate distance. If you have questions about massage etiquette or what not to say or do during your next massage, don’t hesitate to ask.