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First massage and I don't know what to expect? Do you tip? Are you supposed to be nude? Should you say anything if the pressure's too deep or not deep enough? What if you're self-conscious about your body?

Here are the answers to some massage questions you want to ask, but may be too embarrassed.

This is my first massage ever, what should I expect?

Your comfort level is critical to the massage therapy session.  Here are some basic expectations of your massage therapy session:

1.  The massage therapist must first determine if you have any existing conditions that would exclude you from getting massage.  Massage therapists do not diagnose conditions.  If you have a chronic condition or concern, we highly recommend you see your personal physician and get a prescription for massage.

2.  The therapist will show you to a treatment room and explain the massage process to you depending on the purpose of your session whether relaxation or to treat a specific area.

3.  Since you haven't had a massage before your therapist will communicate with you to determine the appropriate type of massage from basic relaxation to deep tissue.  You must communicate with the therapist so they can determine your tolerance to touch.

4.  If you have a chronic issue, your therapist will recommend a treatment schedule to help you get back to "normal".

5. Relax and enjoy the benefits of massage.

When in doubt....ask your therapist!

Should I tip my massage therapist?

If you get a massage 15% to 20% tip is standard, if you were pleased with the services.  On the other hand, if tipping is uncomfortable, you can always show your appreciation by referring friends, family and co-workers to the massage therapist.

Am I supposed to take off my underwear when I get a massage?

Many people prefer to keep their panties or briefs on during a massage, while others prefer to be completely nude. It's up to you.  If you are uncomfortable without your underwear, keep them on by all means.  Your comfort level directly impacts your body and the results you receive from your massage therapy treatment.

If your problem areas are your lower back, hips, buttocks, or groin, tight-fitting underwear can sometimes get in the way of massage work, but a thong for women or briefs for men should do the trick. 

In North America, if you choose to remove your underwear, certified massage therapists must ensure that you are always properly covered by a sheet or towel. Only the area being massaged will be uncovered.

What if I realize I've drooled during the massage?

Many people fall into a peaceful slumber during the massage but when they wake up, they notice a pool of drool on the pillow or massage table. This is very common. It often happens when people are being massaged while lying face down on the massage table. Don't be afraid to ask the massage therapist for a tissue.


Will the massage therapist be there when I undress?

In North America, the massage therapist will leave the room so that you can remove your clothing and lie on the massage table under the top sheet. Your therapist may suggest face up or face down depending on the areas you want to concentrate on. Don't rush or worry that the massage therapist will walk in on you -- the massage therapist always knocks and asks if you are ready before entering the massage room. 


Should I talk to the massage therapist during the massage?

Although some people prefer to talk throughout the massage, don't feel like you have to make 

conversation with the massage therapist. After all, you're having a treatment, this is your time.

Feel free to close your eyes and relax, which is what most people do. Deep tissue massage and sports massage are just some of the types of massage that require more feedback. The massage therapist often works on deeper layers of muscle and will want to ensure that the pressure is not uncomfortable.


Be sure to speak up if:

  • the room is too hot or too cold

  • you experience pain

  • you have any questions related to the massage

  • there's anything you forgot to mention during the consultation.


How do I know if it's a legitimate massage therapy clinic?

Know the lingo!  While the history of massage has some dark spots due to inappropriate behavior during the time of "massage parlors" offering sensual or erotic massage, the massage industry has made leaps and bounds legitimizing the sole purpose, healing. 


We at The Energy Field Massage and Bodywork may be offended by the use of the words "massage parlor" or "masseuse or masseur" for these things do not exist in our clinic.  The proper terms in modern day are massage therapy clinic and certified massage therapist.  We appreciate the use of the correct terms.  


Although you might think massage parlors may look obviously seedy, it can sometimes be difficult to spot these places.  If you suspect any spa or clinic to be of this type, please report it to your local authorities to help protect yourself and the therapists in the industry working to help you heal your ailments. If you're trying a new clinic or spa, it's a good idea to call first and ask these questions:


Do you offer therapeutic massage? 

Do you require a health questionnaire of your clients?


A medical massage therapist will not come into contact with your genitals or nipples during the massage.

The pressure isn't deep enough, but I don't want to insult the massage therapist's technique. What should I do?

Communicate openly with the massage therapist. Keep in mind however that it's a myth that massage therapy has to hurt to be effective. 

Some of the most effective types of massage therapy are gentle and do not involve deep pressure or pain. In fact, too much pressure can cause muscles to seize up. 

Here is a good rule of thumb -- on a scale of one to 10 where one is no pain and 10 is extremely painful, the pressure should always be less than seven.  

Open communication is most effective with the therapist to help them determine your tolerance to different techniques.

I'm self-conscious about a certain part of my body and don't want the massage therapist to see me. What can I do?

People are self-conscious for various reasons. Some of the more common concerns are:

  • I'm overweight. 

  • I have excessive hair growth on my body. 

  • I've got acne on my face or back. 

  • My feet are ugly. 

  • I have scars.


Being self-conscious should never keep you from seeking health care, whether it's visiting your doctor or seeing a massage therapist. If you're self-conscious about a certain part of your body, you can ask the massage therapist to avoid that area. Just remember to provide complete and accurate information on your health history form, so that the massage therapist is 

aware of any precautions or contraindications. 

What if I get an erection during the massage?

Some men don't get 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, 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 ignore it. If you are still worried, you may wish to wear a men's bikini bathing suit during the massage, which provides more support than boxers.


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If you have any additional questions regarding massage therapy, don't hesitate to contact our clinic at 405-830-7828.

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