I have been a Sydney massage therapist for a long time in and to use a cliché, ‘I’ve seen it all’. However, just because I don’t worry about most things related massage, it does not mean that I don’t understand that there are things that may concern you.
If you are on my table, you will not be judged about any aspects of your body. When you take off your clothes and lie on a massage table then you have the right to be safe and not judged. Yes, massage therapists will look at your skin, palpate your muscles and maybe assess your joints’ range of motion, for example, but will do so in a clinical and non-threatening manner. Being self-conscious about your body is only natural but please don’t make it a reason not to get a massage.
Also, we are very used to seeing people in various states of undress and, as long as you respect our boundaries, then we will massage your body however it is most comfortable for you.
“Oh my god, I forgot to shave my legs”
Therapists simply do not care one way or the other. For me personally, the only time I will ever notice is if the client mentions it. Massage therapists are concerned with muscles, not leg hair.
The only slight exception to this is if you have shaved just before your massage when you may have small cuts and nicks. This is a local contraindication for massage so unless it really bothers you to have hairy legs for your massage then I would prefer that you hold off shaving until after the massage.
Snores, snorts, farts, tummy gurgles and drooling. They just happen. I suspect that most clients might get a little embarrassed but really that should be absolute limit of your reaction. If you say nothing then we’ll say nothing. If you choose to give a slightly embarrassed chuckle and/or apology then we will simply shrug it off.
My professional association guidelines on this issue is along the lines of “The massage therapist should request that underwear is worn”. I am bound by these guidelines. But as the guidelines only request that underwear is worn then the reality is that the decision is yours. Short of not proceeding with the massage then I cannot force you to wear undies. My personal guideline is that you make a decision that you are comfortable with…if in doubt then wear underwear…if you don’t give a hoot then neither do I.
Generally, massage therapists tend to dismiss erections and other responses and just being a normal reaction to the parasympathetic nervous system being activated through touch. I’m probably just a little out on a limb here because to me there is almost always a sexual component to an erection. As one therapist put it on a Facebook discussion “My Dad doesn’t get an erection when I massage him”. I have to be honest and say that I am just a tad wary and uncomfortable in these situations because, in my experience the client will often draw attention to the elephant in the room in an attempt to challenge my boundaries.
I know that some clients are not looking for anything more than a massage and a stiffy is an unwanted distraction. But if this is you then please do not draw attention to your erection by touching it, exposing it, moaning, wriggling around, etc nor complain if I use extra draping or choose to spend more time massaging your neck rather than your adductors.
Do I have to talk?
Simple question with a simple answer…no. It’s your massage, if you want silence then I will respect that (other than asking questions that are pertinent to your massage). Similarly if you prefer to talk then I’m happy to chat.
And just because you talked during your last massage in Sydney does not mean that I’ll assume you want to talk today.
However there are a couple of aspects that may bother us
- Poor hygiene
- Skin conditions that are (local) contraindications
- Cracked feet (if your feet on not in good shape then please don’t ask us to spend 20 minutes massaging them).
- Your phone. It is your massage and if you are expecting an important call then by all means say something along the lines of “hey do you mind if I keep my phone close….” But if you are not expecting a call or are on call then please just turn your phone off for the duration of the session. You will benefit so much more.
- Going ahead with an appointment when you are unwell or contagious. We don’t want to catch what you have + often getting a massage when sick is not the best for you.
Please do not hesitate to contact Richard if you have any questions to any information presented on this blog. Any information, advice, recommendations, statements or otherwise contained herein, or in any other communication made by or attributed to Richard Lane, whether oral or in writing, is not intended to replace or to be a substitute for medical advice trained by a trained physician or healthcare practitioner.