These are the questions that sometimes are uncomfortable to ask anyone. If you have questions beyond what is listed here? PLEASE do not hesitate to ask! You know the saying, “… the only stupid question is the one that is not asked…”.
How much do you tip a massage therapist?
In the United States and parts of Canada, most people leave a tip of up to 20 percent. However, you wouldn’t tip if your massage is at an all-inclusive spa where they automatically include a tip for their services on the total bill.
If you’re in doubt about the tipping practices at your location, then you can always call ahead and ask the receptionist if they include a tip automatically in the bill, or if it’s not expected.
Should you feel pain or any soreness during a massage?
Some massages such as a deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, Rolfing soft-tissue manipulation, or acupressure can leave you feeling slightly sore afterward. These massages rely on the therapist working deeper into the tissues, which helps release toxins that can lead to minor soreness for one to two days. However, the pain should be minimal and go away within about three days.
If you have prolonged pain for up to a week — especially if the pain increases rather than decreasing over time — then that’s a sign that this therapist may have created a misalignment in your body. Please notify your therapist so he/she can direct you to a professional that can help you.
How much clothing should you take off for a massage?
The only types of massage where you need to be nude or wearing only underwear are typically those that include oils or lotion. In the United States, national regulations state that if you receive a massage while nude, then the therapist must keep your private parts adequately covered with a sheet at all times. Plus, they have to leave the room while you’re changing and while you get dressed afterward, always knocking before they walk in to ensure your privacy. Certain types of massage do not require you to remove any clothing, such as shiatsu, chair massage, or Thai massage.
Should you make conversation during the massage?
The only things you need to tell your bodyworker are:
- If their technique is hurting you.
- If you have any medical conditions or old injuries that give you chronic pain.
- If you need them to spend more time on any extra sore muscles.
Any conversation beyond that is entirely optional and up to you. Do whatever helps you relax and feel comfortable.
What if you fall asleep or drool during a massage?
It’s common to go to sleep without even realizing it during a massage, so the therapist won’t mind. In most cases, it can be a good sign that the bodywork is helping you release a lot of pent-up tension. If you tend to fall asleep during a massage, then scheduling a massage closer to the end of your day is often better since it will help you sleep better when you get home.
What if you have to go to the bathroom during your massage?
It’s best to tell your therapist rather than holding it in and waiting until after the massage to go. Massage therapists won’t mind. Spas often provide a bathrobe that you can quickly slip on to go to the restroom.
What if you get ticklish during a massage?
Let your bodywork specialist know that you are ticklish before the massage begins. Otherwise, you can mention it during the massage. They will appreciate it more if you speak up and ask for a stronger touch or more pressure, which will help relieve the tickling sensation.
What if you need to pass gas during a massage?
Since one of a massage therapist’s goals is to improve your circulation, they won’t be surprised or offended if you pass gas during the massage. If you have excessive gas or feel uncomfortable about it, then you can always tell them that you need to go the restroom for a little break.
What if you get an erection during a massage?
To most bodyworkers, a client who gets an erection is not a big deal. They view the client through the eyes of their training, as if seeing a collection of organs and muscles on the table through an X-ray machine. Therefore, a licensed massage therapist or esthetician will ignore an erection and let it go away on its own. Their policy is not to come into any contact with genitals or nipples, and the law requires them not to cater to any clients requesting sexual contact either.
Are massages tax deductible?
In some instances, you can itemize your massages as tax deductions. Generally, your total medical expenses need to be at least 7.5 percent of your income to qualify as a tax deduction, though some exceptions may apply. Your doctor should also prescribe massages for your condition as part of a physical therapy program.
Questions To Ask A Massage Therapist
How long have you been a massage therapist?
For a lot of massage therapists, they don’t start to develop their personal massage style until they have at least one year of experience. After two years of doing bodywork, they become more confident in their technique and still have lots of enthusiasm for their profession. It’s rare to find a bodyworker with 10 years or more of experience. If you do, then you should expect to pay more for their extra knowledge and ability to give you a very high-quality massage.
What kind of massage training have you had?
You’ll experience a big difference between a massage from a student at the local community college versus a student who went to one of the nation’s top institutions of healing arts. The longer they went to school and the more varieties of massage they’ve studied, the more you can expect a higher-quality treatment from them.
Are you certified or licensed massage therapist?
Ask the therapist or esthetician if they’ve received a state license. Most states in America require massage therapists to acquire between 500 to 600 hours of training before they get their license. You’re always better off booking a licensed therapist because they will have a thorough understanding of the right precautions and procedures to help you relax and detox rather than accidentally hurting you on the massage table.
For example, The massage therapist at Effective Massage in Providence, RI, is board certified in both medical massage and manual lymph drainage, and is currently working on oncology patients at the Cancer Institute of Rhode Island. Her prices start at $55/hour.
What type of massage do you specialize in?
Before you tell the therapist what your favorite massage style is, ask them what kinds of massage they specialize in. If they don’t automatically mention the type of massage you want, then you’d be better off booking a different therapist who can cater better to your preferences. There is a tremendous difference between specific modalities such as deep tissue and basic reflexology, for example, so don’t trust that any therapist is excellent at every type of modality because that’s generally not the case.
Where else have you worked?
It’s good to hire or work with a massage specialist who has worked in different locations because they often have a greater understanding of different massage types. However, a massage therapist who works for more than two years even at one place can still offer you an excellent treatment.
Do you require a health questionnaire from your clients?
In many states, the law requires therapists to ask clients to fill out a health questionnaire at the same time they also sign a waiver confirming that they understand the terms and conditions of the massage service. If you aren’t asked for any of this, then you should question if they are a licensed therapist.
Do you have experience working with my health condition?
You should always discuss any chronic health conditions you have with your therapist before the massage begins. If you have any alignment issues or spinal injuries or conditions such as scoliosis for example, then you definitely want to work with a massage therapist who has experience working with these conditions in their past clients.