Don't be nervous! 10 things to know about your first massage
Bodyhair. Whether you have a "chest sweater," forgot to shave, missed a spot, etc don't be self conscious about it! Body hair (or lack of) is totally normal and I promise, you are more worried about it than we even notice it. Also, massage therapists will use cream for more plentiful body hair so it doesn't get pulled.
What do I wear?? Most therapists will advise you - some therapists work with you fully clothed, others fully in the buff. In my experience, it is common to leave bottoms on, but the important part is that YOU are comfortable! You will ALWAYS be underneath the sheets unless you are fully clothed for the entire session. Regardless of what you choose to wear or not wear, you can rest assured that any licensed massage therapist is trained and required to keep your private areas covered at all times. Everyone has different levels of comfort and modesty, so if at ANY point you feel uncomfortable, please do not hesitate to speak up.
Hair. You may wish to tie up long hair to keep it out of the way. A thoughtful therapist will not use oil near your scalp - if you know you don't want to take the chance of oil/cream/lotion getting in your hair, ask for a towel or discuss this with your therapist before the massage.
What if I fall asleep? That is totally normal!! Personally, I view this as a sign that your body needs rest. If you snore, grunt, twitch, whatever...it is ok. As long as your noises don't sound like an adult movie is playing, you are not being disrespectful.
Skin conditions. If there is an area of your body that has a contagious skin condition such as impetigo, recent exposure to poison ivy/oak/sumac, tinea versicolor, ringworm, or athlete's foot, the affected areas will not receive massage. Massaging these areas can spread and/or intensify the condition, as well as pose a risk of transmission to the therapist.
Am I supposed to be silent the whole time? That is completely up to you! Everyone relaxes differently! Don't be afraid to tell the therapist they found a spot you want more work in. If you have a question about why something is so tight, what you are feeling, what technique are they using, etc, just ask!
Please do not come to a massage with poor hygiene. If you worked out or did yard work before your massage, please plan accordingly and rinse off before your appointment. Take advantage of the breath mints in the treatment room :) It's a good idea to use the bathroom before your session as well. Massage may "speed up" your normal routine.
If you are a male, and you find yourself getting aroused during the massage...it can be a normal reaction to massage. Please don't be embarrassed, but know that any inappropriate behavior or commentary is grounds for terminating the session.
If you don't like having your feet touched, don't enjoy scalp massage or having your ears touched, or any other preferences, that is ok! Just let your therapist know.
Remember that each massage is custom to your needs, preferences, and comfort level. As massage therapists, our goal is to help you feel rejuvenated, balanced, and promote the body's natural healing processes. Regular massage will do wonders for your mental, spiritual, and physical health!