Massage Etiquette

Ever wondered about massage etiquette or what type of massage to get? Diana Carolin is here to help with her third and final massage inspired article.

How does one behave when you go for a massage?

Do your best to arrive at least 10 minutes early if you are a new client in order to fill out any forms or to have time to discuss what you are wanting from the therapist. Otherwise arrive 5 minutes before. If you are going to be late send a message or if you can’t make it at all give as much notice as possible, at least 12hours.

Once you arrive you will be greeted and shown to the treatment room where you will be shown to undress and lie down. Please keep your underwear on, unless told otherwise by your therapist. It could save unnecessary embarrassment.

Check that you are lying the correct way round on the plinth. Then cover yourself with the towel provided.

Please give the therapist feedback, i.e. if it is too sore or the pressure is too soft. Don’t lie and suffer in silence please. And afterwards it is good to have a glass of water to flush out any toxins and rehydrate yourself. If you were happy with the massage and your experience then a small tip is always appreciated.

Always be polite in conversation and above board and don’t make any lewd remarks as it is embarrassing for the therapist. There you have it. It’s pretty simple really.

Here are a few other things to consider

Don’t go for a massage if you have any of the following:

  • Any contagious diseases (including colds or the flu) – don’t spread your germs.
  • Recently had an operation or an acute injury
  • Neuritis
  • Skin diseases
  • Fever
  • Or are under the influence of drugs (including prescription pain meds) or alcohol.

Please tell your therapist before your massage. He/she can massage but not over any areas affected by:

  • Varicose veins
  • Undiagnosed lumps or bumps
  • Bruising
  • Cuts
  • Sunburn
  • Undiagnosed pain
  • Inflammation, including arthritis

If you suffer from any of the following conditions, please make sure that massage is approved before your session, in writing, by your physician.

  • Any condition already being treated by a medical practitioner
  • Oedema
  • Psoriasis or eczema
  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer
  • Nervous or psychotic conditions
  • Heart problems, angina, those with pacemakers
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Bell’s palsy, trapped or pinched nerves
  • Gynaecological infections

Also please mention any cardio-vascular conditions (thrombosis, phlebitis, hypertension, heart conditions) to the therapist.

Do any of these conditions mean that a treatment may not take place?

In many cases not! In fact, massage can be very therapeutic for many medical conditions. However, in the above cases it is best to have advice from your physician. Massage therapists, unless they are also qualified doctors, may not attempt to diagnose a condition and they must refer you to a doctor.

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