massage etiquette

Whether you're in it for pain reduction or to boost your sleep quality, a massage can really hit the spot. Kicking back and letting someone knead your worries away seems like the perfect way to relax until you consider certain pre-massage questions, that is. What kind of underwear should you wear? Which massage is right for you? How much to tip?! All that uncertainty can make you anxious enough to skip it entirely, which is pretty much the definition of being simply, counter-productive.

FIrst of all.....

Please be respectful and understand that your massage session is performed by a professional massage therapist and is not intended or suggested to be unprofessional in any manner. Any requests for unprofessional and unlawful technqiues or actions will result in the imediate conclusion of your session. Repeat offenders of this protocol will banned from future sessions.

What If I'm Late?

For you and your therapist, rules of common courtesy apply. The appointment should start, and end, on time. Arrive for your session a few minutes early, especially if you prefer to splash water on your face or sponge off tired feet. Promptness guarantees you'll receive your full appointment. If a traffic snare causes you to arrive late, expect the session to still end at the appointed time. Other clients are likely scheduled after you. If you must cancel an appointment, call 24 hours in advance. Check with your therapist about fees incurred for missed or cancelled appointments.

What Time of Day Is Best?

Some massage aficionados clamor for morning appointments that energize. Others discover an evening massage dissolves the day's stress. Massage can be a stimulating beginning, a midday respite, or a relaxing end to your day. Avoid massage after a heavy meal, and skip alcoholic beverages before, during, and after massage.

What Should I Do During The Massage?

Breathe. Therapists pace their strokes alongside your breath or breathe with you. "Massage helps clear the cobwebs in your head," say the therapists. "You're able to stop circular thinking and enjoy the peace of massage." If your therapist is performing deep-tissue work on a tight muscle, inhale deeply and exhale an audible sigh. Stay in the moment. Make massage a meditation.

What If I Become Sexually Aroused?

Some men avoid massage therapy because they worry that they'll get an erection. Or they get the massage, but are unable to relax during the massage because of this fear. But there is no reason to be embarrassed. It's perfectly normal for men to get an erection during a non-sexual, professional therapeutic massage. Gentle touch administered to any area of the body can activate the parasympathetic nervous system and cause a partial or full erection. Your massage therapist (male or female) understands this and will generally ignore it. If you are still worried, you may wish to keep your underwear on during the massage and of course, remain under the towel.

Should I Talk?

"It helps if clients are interactive at the beginning of the session, so I can learn their goals," say the therapists. "Then, my goal is to help them relax and let go." Freely voice your needs--on room temperature or the pressure exerted on that tender shoulder. But also get comfortable with silence. Stillness multiplies the restorative benefits of massage.

Should I Tip?

"I don't count on tips as part of my income," most therapists say. "We're grateful they're getting the bodywork. A tip is a gift, and it's appreciated. It's not a requirement." If you feel you've received excellent service and you'd like to tip, 15-20 percent is a good guideline.

What If I Laugh Or Cry?

Exhilaration, exhaustion, giddiness, and tears are all natural responses to massage. You may experience intensely creative thoughts; the solution to a long-unsolved problem may dawn. "Emotional outbursts are common," the therapistssays. "It's a high compliment, if I created the space for my client to let go."

How Can I Compliment My Therapist?

Fall asleep during massage, refer friends to your therapist, or tell your therapist the session passed too quickly. "It's rewarding when a client leaves the massage saying, 'When is your next open appointment?'" say the therapists. Returning regularly for massage or referring our services to a friend is the best compliment a client can give. And to show our appreciation for your referrals, please be sure to take advantage of our generous "REFERRAL DISCOUNT". Ask more about it now.