Massages are supposed to be relaxing, but for those of us not used to getting treatments like this they can be a source of stress. It can be hard to unwind when all you’re thinking is – do I have to get naked? Should I tip? Do I need to make small talk?
But worry no more, below we list some massage therapy etiquette pointers so you can feel at ease during your next appointment.
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to tipping
In terms of tipping for your massage, it is never expected so don’t feel pressured. Having said this, if you felt particularly looked after and thoroughly enjoyed your massage – a token of your appreciation will be warmly received.
Talk as much (or as little) as you want
Remember that your massage is your time to spend how you want. Most chatting takes place before the treatment, so don’t feel as if you need to discuss holiday plans with your therapist while you’re trying to unwind.
Don’t be self-conscious about your body
Massage therapists see all different shapes and sizes in their job and they do so without judgement. Try not to worry what you look like to the therapist (and don’t worry if you have hairy legs, we’re all human).
It’s OK to fall asleep
In fact, massage therapists view it as a compliment. Massage aims to relax you and when you’re asleep your body works to heal itself, so don’t worry if you start to nod off.
Make sure you know what your massage will entail
Speak to your therapist before your massage and ask them for what you want, whether that’s a relaxing massage, an invigorating massage or even a sports massage. Tell your therapist if there are any areas you want left alone and remember to speak up when the therapist asks you how the pressure is – there is nothing worse than an unnecessarily painful massage.
You don’t have to get naked
If you feel more comfortable naked, go right ahead, but your modesty will be covered at all times anyway. If you are offered paper pants, don’t feel pressured to wear them – you can keep your own on.
If you want to find a massage therapist near you, take a look at our massage page.
View and comment on the original Women’s Health article.