I have been a massage therapist for over a decade. When I go online, I notice there are a lot of questions being answered about massage therapy, but none of them answer the questions that I get as a massage therapist.
More often than not, the clients coming to me already know about the benefits of getting a massage. Many of them also already get a massage regularly or have received a massage previously.
There are hundreds of articles about what massage is, the benefits, why one should get a massage, and how to prepare for a massage. Some articles briefly touch on the questions I get asked. I feel this isn’t enough to be satisfying. It’s probably why my clients are asking me these questions in the first place.
This article will answer the five most common questions I get asked as a massage therapist. These questions range from removing clothing to modifications that your massage therapist can make during a massage. I hope you enjoy this article.
#1 Do I have to get naked for a massage?
You never need to get naked for a massage. While removing more articles of clothing will give the massage therapist greater direct access to your muscles, there’s never a need for you to remove any clothing.
Any massage therapist who tells you otherwise is a massage therapist who is simply uncomfortable working over the fabric. These massage therapists may be freshly out of school. In massage therapy school, we are focused on massage therapy applied directly to the body without any fabric or clothing in the way. We are taught to ask our clients to dress down to their comfort level.
I find that clients who ask this question are either people who are uncomfortable with being seen in any way without clothes on. Or these clients are new to massage and are nervous. Both reasons are understandable.
I would prefer that you be as comfortable as possible if that means you don’t take off a single article of clothing; that’s okay with me. I will work around that as needed.
If you feel comfortable removing everything, go right ahead. Just allow me to step out of the room first, please. I have clients who are so comfortable with me because I have seen them so often that they often start undressing before I even step out. I think this is funny, but I would much rather step out of the room for modesty’s sake before they get naked.
#2 What Should I Wear During My Massage Session?
Most traditional massages require getting on a table underneath a sheet and some other form of covering like a towel or blanket. However, some massages are done on the table or mat with you fully clothed.
Sports massage often uses a table and techniques over the clothing because it is usually performed on-site at athletic events. I have volunteered at several such events for runners and cyclists.
In these types of massages, we massage therapists often include stretches with the massage itself. You should wear clothing that can stretch with you.
It should also be clothing that will not reveal private areas of your body as your limbs are moved around. Therefore it is better that you wear form-fitting pants or shorts rather than loose-fitting shorts. For women, a sports bra to cover the breasts works perfectly; if you wish to wear more than this, feel free to do so.
You can also choose to wear a swimsuit or bikini if you feel this will give you enough coverage.
In many common vacation areas, a massage therapist will set up a table on the beach to provide full-body massages for vacationers in their swimwear without any additional coverage.
Wear whatever clothing is most comfortable for you, which still provides adequate coverage of any areas you would not want to be revealed.
#3 Do I need to lay down to benefit from a massage?
You do not need to lay down to benefit from massage. You also do not need to lay on your back or your stomach.
As massage therapists, we understand that many conditions might prevent a client from lying down.
For this reason, massage therapists are trained in methods that allow us to work on clients in a variety of positions. These positions may require that we use extra pillows or forms of bolsters to prop up our clients so they can be as comfortable as possible.
#4 Can I sit up for a massage?
Absolutely! If you need to be propped up, pillows, bolsters, or the back of a chair can be used. This is also beneficial for those who are wheelchair-bound, which will be discussed in the next section.
Here at Zen Is In The Name Mobile Massage Therapy we always have a massage chair available if you prefer to use that. However, a massage chair can be uncomfortable for some people because it requires that you sit in a kneeling position.
Often a dining room chair is adequate to provide massage for someone who needs to sit up.
#5 What kind of modifications can be made for those who are bed or wheelchair-bound?
As a massage therapist, I have worked with many clients who are either bed-bound or wheelchair-bound. Many of these clients are unable to move on their own.
A couple of examples are a client in the hospital after his third stroke and a regular client who had ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gherig’s Disease. This is the same condition that Stephen Hawking had.
In these cases, I often request assistance from either the client’s loved ones or medical staff. We will move the client into a position, either laying on their side or leaning forward in a sitting position propped up on one side with pillows and supported on the other side by the person assisting me. This allows me to work the client’s full-back and hip areas, which are often what the client needs most when in a permanent sitting or lying position.
Feel free to ask questions
Any time you are considering a massage or receiving one, feel free to ask your massage therapists any questions that come to mind. If you know someone who feels may benefit from massage, but you’re unsure whether they can get a massage, ask your massage therapist. Even if they don’t specialize in techniques that can help with a specific ailment or believe massage would not help that particular person, they may know of other specialists that can.
If you have any questions now leave them in the comments below!
To book a massage text 480-359-7452