There is plenty of misconception about massage and the folks who administer them. The practice of massage therapy is reputable, popular, and hugely beneficial for the healthy and ill alike, but sometimes it is portrayed as a not-so-subtle cover for sexual services. In addition to this misplaced perception are fears of how massage therapists will view their clients. Below are some of those fears and why they shouldn’t concern you if this is your first time getting a massage.
Most Common Fears and Why They Shouldn’t Concern You if This is Your First Time Getting a Massage
Touch This, Not That
Communication is the key to any successful relationship, and the one between massage therapist and client is no exception.
A true massage professional will ask their client to specify any areas that need extra attention and conversely, any areas that should be avoided. If there are areas the client does not want touched, the therapist will not pry as to why, so don’t worry about explaining that your shin is bruised from walking into the coffee table or the fact that your hips are so ticklish you go into convulsions.
Do share your medical history if it is relevant, and be aware of the fact that a more informed therapist will be able to deliver a more therapeutic and beneficial service.
This Bed Is Too Soft
Like Goldilocks seeking the perfect mattress, a first time pairing of masseuse and client will involve a lot of “feeling out” in order to determine the ideal level of pressure.
One crucial thing to remember about massage is the more strained your body is, the more your massage is going to hurt. If this is your first time getting a massage, start by requesting light to medium pressure until you get accustomed to the sensation of sore muscles being tenderized.
Eventually you’ll be able to handle firm pressure and even deep tissue application, which works on the second layer of muscles and is greatly beneficial for sports injuries.
In truth, every session with a massage therapist will involve some back and forth about the level of pressure, so don’t be shy and don’t worry about impressing the therapist with your exceptional pain tolerance.
Most first timers are too anxious to fall asleep during a session, but oddly the fear of drifting to slumber land plagues many who regularly seek massage. The majority of people simply worry that they’ll offend the therapist, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. A relaxed body and mind will fall asleep, meaning the therapist has performed his/her duty.
The truly paranoid might think that if they fall asleep, inappropriate touching or behavior will occur. The likelihood of this happening is very slim, and if it does happen, how would you know anyway? If you’re still concerned, make sure your therapist attended a legitimate massage therapy school and is state licensed.
Restless sleepers worry they’ll do something embarrassing in their sleep, like snore, mumble, or pass gas. To this I say, if you’re so concerned about the potential judgments of a stranger applying pressure to your muscles, how will you ever share a bed with a partner? Just go with the flow and you’ll get a lot more out of your massage.
The Naked Truth
Here’s the bottom line: if you are asked to undress in front of the massage therapist, you are asleep and experiencing a nightmare.
When asked to disrobe for a table massage, the therapist will leave you alone in a private room or some other concealed space, instruct you on what garments you can remove and what can stay on (usually underwear), and ask you to lie down on the table underneath the sheets. It is safe to say that a licensed massage therapist will never expect or instruct you to undress in their presence or to wait half-naked in the room for their return.
The goal of massage is to relieve muscle fatigue as well as provide the most comfortable environment possible for the client. It is true that your muscles will be more effectively treated without the hindrance of clothing, but you also won’t be able to relax if you’re uncomfortable.
Be sure to state your preference for a male or female therapist if that’s a factor in your comfort level. You can also opt for massage modalities that do not require undressing, like Thai, Shiatsu, or reflexology.
It’s A Massage, Not A Date
Massage therapists don’t care about your hairy legs, body odor, or overly enthusiastic sweat glands. You are viewed, quite simply, as a bag of muscles.
Yes, it is considerate to shower before seeking a massage, but leave the insecurities at home if you really want to enjoy the experience. The catch of massage is the more tense people are about their physical appearance, the more likely it is that a massage is needed for relaxation and overall wellness.
If you’re still tense after reading this article, then get on the phone and schedule a massage ASAP, because you need one!
Author Renee Floyd is a prolific Internet writer living in Long Beach, CA.