It’s always a little awkward, the first time you work with a new massage therapist. Here are some things to consider before going in:
1. Conversation comes first. Expect to sit down with your therapist to talk over your specific pain and tension issues, your comfort and pressure preferences, and your health history. Skipping this step can lead to unaddressed problems, discomfort, and even unintentional harm.
2. Your preferences matter! Never allow a therapist to insist on pushing your boundaries, whether it be level of disrobing, unwanted conversation during treatment, areas of treatment, or pressure used. Communicate what you are comfortable with and be firm. You know your body best.
3. Privacy is key. The therapist should leave the treatment room and allow plenty of time for you to disrobe and get settled. Ask for extra time or assistance if you need it. When the session concludes, the therapist should again leave the room and allow as much time as you need to get dressed and ready to face the world.
4. Once on the table, you still have a voice! If a therapist ever urges you to allow a move or level of pressure that makes you uncomfortable, that’s not a healthy therapist. If you ever feel that your therapist is being disrespectful or trespassing on a boundary, it is your right to end the session immediately. Also, if you feel like your needs are not being properly addressed, speak up and ask!
6. Tipping can be tricky. When paying for the session, some studios rely on tipping to pay staff, for some it is optional, and others do not allow tipping at all. It’s always ok to ask about tipping protocol for the establishment, and you should never be pressured into paying extra for your services.
7. Rebooking is optional. Never allow a therapist or receptionist to pressure you into scheduled treatments or subscription services that you do not want or can’t afford.
8. Feedback is important. If something happened during your session that needs to be addressed, make sure to bring it to the attention of management. Positive reviews via Google, Facebook, or other online portals are extremely valuable, so if you received exceptional service, let others know!