Massage Etiquette

by MassageJoy - March 17, 2019

If you have never had a massage before or are planning on getting your first massage, you might have several questions about massage etiquette rules that you should follow. In fact, some of your questions might make you feel embarrassed, however, I can assure you that most people have had similar questions regarding massage etiquette before their first massage.

So, what are the massage etiquette rules you should follow?

  • Shower before the massage
  • Know what type of massage you want
  • If you are getting a mobile massage, prepare the massage area
  • Answer the health questionnaire provided by the massage therapist
  • Dress down to your comfort level
  • Communicate with the massage therapist
  • Do not ask for sexual favours or “extras”

We often get people asking our support lines about the massage etiquette rules. In this article, I will go into further details and expand on the most important rules you should follow. If you are getting a massage with MassageJoy, I recommend you read this till the end. These rules apply when you are getting a massage at a massage parlour, spa or even getting a massage at home

Massage Etiquette Rules

The only time I hear our massage therapists complain is when a customer has clearly not followed the basic massage etiquette rules. The massage therapists will always inform a customer if they are breaking any of the unsaid rules and during the massage session you should consider that the massage therapist is the expert and listen to them.

We regularly get massage etiquette questions ranging from, “What should I wear during the massage?” to “Will my insurance cover the massage payment?”. Here are your questions answered and the massage etiquette rules you should follow

Shower Before The Massage

It is highly recommended that you shower and clean yourself before the massage. Depending on the type of massage, the massage therapist will do a lot of deep body work during the session. As a massage therapist nothing is more off putting then a customer with bad hygiene.

Your skin should be fresh and clean and not greasy and dirty. Grease and dirt will, in fact, be detrimental to your massage session as the essential oils and creams used will not have their full effect.

You can shower or bathe with non-perfumed gels or soap. Do not use perfume or fragrances before the massage. Some massage therapy modalities are designed to use special essential oil blends and it is helpful when your sense of smell has not been desensitized with strong fragrances.

Be Punctual

This goes without saying that be on time for your appointment or be at your hotel or home in time for your mobile massage. Your massage therapist will have other appointments during the day and by being late you have a knock on effect on their entire calendar.

The time or duration of the massage is from the time the therapist first begins the work on your body. So in the case of mobile massage account for the time it will take the therapist to set-up their table, prepare the sheets, music etc.

We generally advice that MassageJoy mobile massage therapists will be exactly on time and in case you are running late they will wait for 20 minutes for your arrival. If you are later than that your appointment will be cancelled, unless the massage therapist makes an exception

For Mobile Massage, Prepare The Massage Room

This rule applies when you are getting a mobile massage or home massage. Before the therapists arrival please identify the room where the massage session will take place. Identify the place where the massage therapist can set-up their table.

Ideally, we recommend the living room for the set-up. However, if you are getting a special massage to help you sleep or deal with insomnia then it is OK to have the mobile massage therapist set-up in the bedroom.

Prepare a set of clean towels the therapist can use to drape you during the massage. Also, provide the therapist with your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth details in case you want them to connect their relaxing music to your music speakers.

Answer The Health Questionnaire Honestly

Once you are at the Spa or massage parlour you will be given a customer in-take form. This form will ask you questions about your health and is aimed are understanding your suitability for massage therapy. For e.g. if you are on blood thinners to deal with blood clots then a Deep Tissue Massage or Sports Massage is definitely not for you as it can dislodge internal blood clots.

In the case of mobile massage when the massage therapist is at your door you can perhaps ask them if they need help with their equipment. Especially if you live several storeys above ground. The massage table weighs roughly 15 KG – 22 KG and the massage therapist will definitely appreciate your help if you offer it.

Once inside, the mobile massage therapist will set-up and then go through the health questionnaire with you. Please inform the therapist of any medical condition you might have.

Dress Down To Your Comfort Level

The most common question asked by someone who has not had a massage before is “What should I wear during the massage?”. The general answer you will receive is that you can dress down to your comfort level.

Some modalities like Reflexology or Tunia massage do not require you to disrobe at all. In fact, all chair massages are done fully clothed. However if you are getting a full body massage then it is important to disrobe.

Ideally, dress down to your underwear. You will have the opportunity to dress down and get on to the massage table and cover yourself with the towels/drapes provided. Once the massage therapist had done setting up the table he/she will leave the room and allow you to disrobe and get onto the table. Once on the massage table please cover your lower body with the towel/drape proivided.

Often times therapists recommend that it is best to be nude. However, we at MassageJoy do not recommend that. Our therapists prefer that you have your underwear on. Having underwear on does not hinder the work of the massage therapist in any way.

Have Open Communication With The Therapist

If you do not know the type of massage you want you should discuss it with the therapist. Although the general population is aware of massages such as Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports or Aromatherapy, there are several other massage therapy modalities which might offer better results for you.

Inform the therapist of your goals – is it to relax? Or remove painful knots? Or prepare for an upcoming race? Based on your requirements the therapist will be able to tailor the massage to your needs. Most of the therapists usually tailor the massage for individual sessions and your feedback is very important.

If you feel the pressure is too light or too strong, inform your therapist and they will adjust accordingly. If you need to sneeze or go to the toilet, inform the therapist and they will stop. Any pain or discomfort is not the side effect of massage as a massage is not meant to cause discomfort and is generally an enjoyable experience.

Do Not Ask For “Extras” Or Sexual Favours

This should be fairly obvious, but turns out it is not the case. In the UK, massage therapists working with MassageJoy have years of experience in massage therapy and have spent several years studying anatomy and massage therapy modalities to obtain their massage certifications and diplomas.

Consider these massage therapists equivalent to your doctor or nurse. Would you ask your doctor or nurse for extras? When you are getting the services of a professional massage therapist asking for sexual favors or behaving in an indecent manner can get you in a lot of trouble.

At MassageJoy, if there is even a tiny indication that a customer has been indecent the following steps are taken:

  • The session ends immediately and the customer is charged the full amount for the session
  • The customer gets blacklisted and can never use our service again
  • An inquiry is launched and we call/meet the customer to investigate
  • A police report is filed in some cases related to indecent exposure, solicitation or sexual harassment

If you plan on using MassageJoy services, please, just don’t do this. It will land you in a lot of trouble.

Learn To Receive

If you are an empathetic person or someone who has a “giving” nature, you might find it difficult to enjoy the massage. If you are among the few who do not enjoy massages then your main issue could be that you have not yet learnt to receive.

During the massage, understand that the therapist is there to serve you and it is OK for you to let go and receive the good feelings. Once you accept this fact and learn to receive, you will find the bliss that massage therapy can deliver.

Related Questions

How much do I tip a massage therapist? In the UK massage therapists in a massage parlour or spa make about £16-£22 per 1-hour massage. So you should ideally tip 15% to 20%. However, MassageJoy massage therapists make £50 per 1-hour massage and tipping is optional. In general, in the UK, tipping is completely optional and not the norm

What if I get an erection during the massage? Professional massage therapists are trained and will ignore your erection. This is nothing to be embarrassed about and does happen at times. However, the massage, the oils, the music, it’s all designed to help you relax and let go, so trust the process and let go