• Ray

If it is your first time having a massage...

Men are often uncertain what to expect before their first visit to a massage therapist. However, learning typical massage protocol and expected behavior in advance puts those concerns to rest, avoids unnecessary embarrassment and paves the way for a relaxing, beneficial massage. For the most part, typical rules of etiquette apply.

Do You Tip a Massage Therapist?

A tip is never required. It is entirely up to the customer to tip the massage therapist if he wants.

Should You Feel Soreness or Pain During a Massage?

It's a myth that any form of massage therapy (even deep tissue massage) must be painful to be effective. Pain during a massage isn't a sure sign that the massage is helping. In fact, pain can cause muscles to seize up, making it harder for the massage therapist to ease tense areas. If you feel pain or soreness, tell the masseur right away.

How Much Clothing Should You Remove for a Massage?

Typically, a massage therapist will ask you to undress to your level of comfort. Mosyt of my clients strip off completely and lie naked on the massage table. This is the best way to receive a massage, but some prefer to be covered with a towel. Some prefer to keep their underwear on. I will ask your preference before the massage. The choice is yours.

What If You Feel Self-Conscious About Your Body?

Being self-conscious shouldn't keep you from seeking health care, whether it's visiting your doctor or seeing a massage therapist. A professional massage therapist will be non-judgmental and focused on your muscles (and other soft tissue).

Still, some common concerns clients have are:

Having back acne

Other skin conditions such as psoriasis

Believing they are overweight

Thinking they have ugly feet

Being self-conscious about scars

You can request that the massage therapist avoid certain areas. Or, you can look for a licensed massage therapist who uses a style of massage that can be done through clothing. No massage oil or lotion is used, so you remain fully clothed during the treatment. In my case, however, I ask all my clients to never be embarrassed. I have seen it all before!

Should You Make Conversation 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; you're not at a social gathering! Many people close their eyes and try to relax. Your massage therapist should take the cue from you. If you are a chatty client, feel free to chat! Chatting makes me feel like the time is passing quicker.

Be sure to speak up during a massage if you:

Feel too hot or cold

Are in pain

Have any questions about the massage

Forgot to mention a health issue during the consultation

What If You Fall Asleep and Snore or Drool?

Falling asleep during a massage is very common. Many people go into a massage stressed and sleep-deprived and feel so relaxed that they fall asleep on the massage table. Your therapist won't judge you if you snore during the massage.

When you wake up, you may notice a little drool on your face or on the massage table. It's common and has to do with your positioning on the massage table. You don't have to do anything about it, but you should feel free to ask for a tissue.

What If You Have to Go to the Bathroom During Your Massage?

Going to the bathroom before the massage begins is ideal, but if you need to urinate during the massage, be sure to let the massage therapist know. Holding it for the duration of the massage isn't comfortable or conducive to relaxing.

What If You Get an Erection During Your Massage?

It's normal for men to sometimes get an erection during a non-sexual, therapeutic massage. There's no reason to be embarrassed if it happens to you. Gentle touch anywhere on the body can activate the body's parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in an erection. A professional massage therapist will understand that and simply ignore it.

What If You Are Ticklish?

Let your massage therapist know if you're ticklish before your massage begins. Usually, firm, slow pressure (and avoiding certain spots) can keep you from feeling ticklish during a massage.

What If You Need to Pass Gas?

From a massage therapist's perspective, it is far better to pass gas during the massage (often a sign that you're relaxed) than to clench your gluteal muscles during the massage to hold it in. Passing gas during a massage is normal and nothing to feel embarrassed about. If you're really uncomfortable doing it, you can always excuse yourself to go to the bathroom.

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