Today I wanted to share some things that people may or may not know about massage therapy and what they should expect when getting a massage.
So, first of all, Massage Therapists do not care about how your body looks. In all reality, we don’t judge a persons’ body unless they have abnormal moles, warts, rashes, or something truly wrong. If we see something that may be contraindicated for massage we will notify you immediately, and refer you to your doctor. If we see something that your doctor should have a look at (example: moles) then we will notify you as well.
Let’s say you’re going to get your first massage with a professional. You may be a little anxious, nervous, or really excited. These are all normal feelings and are wonderful. I love it when I get the opportunity to work with a first timer. It gives me an opportunity to really show the person what massage therapy is all about! Some questions people commonly ask for their first massage:
Do I have to take off my underwear?
Generally I, as a massage therapist, say, “undress to your comfort level” with this being said, I’m not telling you to completely undress or keep any particles of clothing on, so there can still be some confusion. So, in a typical massage, it is best to undress fully just so there’s no worry about working around clothing, and also no risk of staining your clothing with the products we use in your massages. This being said, a client will be appropriately draped during their massage, meaning, there will be no exposing of intimate body parts.
Do you have to go to school for this?
Yes, I graduated from the Omaha School of Massage and Healthcare. The massage therapy program was a year long, and consisted of 1,000 clock hours, as well as clinic hours. This will vary from state-to-state as not all states require the same education and training in order to become a Licensed Massage Therapist. There is also continuing education that we are required to complete every 2 years in order to renew our licenses.
What’s the proper name for massage therapists?
Yes, we like to be called “massage therapists”, not “masseuses or masseurs”. The terms “masseuse/masseur” are considered derogatory terms for licensed massage therapists, and yes we can get offended by these words as they associate our profession with prostitution. Bringing up my next point.
Do you ever get asked, you know, for happy endings?
This answer is different for every massage therapist. For me, yes I have. Thankfully, it wasn’t in person, because I didn’t have a plan set in my mind about how I would handle such an encounter. Now I do, and I suggest that any person have a plan set in their mind in the case something bad were to happen to them.
How frequently should I get a massage?
This depends on the person and what they have going with their body. A good time frame for anyone is that monthly maintenance session to keep a person feeling good. Sometimes I suggest a massage every week, or two weeks. This is usually if a person has a lot of chronic pain and severe headaches.
Now, I will continue with some of the scarier things that can happen to any massage therapist or client in the massage industry. I’m not doing this to scare you away from massage therapy, but to inform and educate you on what should be done. Some “massage therapists” are not professional at all, some may try to grope, slide their hand a little too low or high, some may say inappropriate things to you as a client. Now as a client receiving massage, please know and understand that you have the right to stop your session. If any of these things happen to you during a massage, please speak about it, report this “massage therapist” to the local police, the states Department of Health and Human Services, and the owner or manager of the business where it occurred. On the other side of the coin, we as massage therapists can also be harassed during our massage sessions with clients. We also have the right to stop the session if we feel threatened or uncomfortable. We take precautions, and again I’m going to mention the importance of having some plans set in your mind if anything makes you uncomfortable. Do this so your brain automatically knows its options and has paths to take to get you out of any risky situation, so you don’t just “freeze up”.
I hope this is informative and beneficial for anyone thinking about getting a massage.