5 Things To Ask Your Massage Therapist

First massage appointment? Get the most out of your massage treatment by asking these five questions.

By Debra K |
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Think back to your very first massage. What was going through your mind? When you have your very first massage appointment, it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions: uncertainty, self-consciousness, maybe even some nerves. As the co-owner of imassage, Inc., a massage education and consulting company, I’ve become familiar with the concerns my massage clients commonly experience. Bottom line? Speak up. Whether you want the therapist to apply more pressure or don’t want a certain body part being touched, it’s important to voice these concerns with your massage therapist.

What are the top 5 things you need to communicate to your massage therapist? To find answers, I’ve reached out to my partner—imassage’s Director of Education, Eric Stephenson LMT. The following words come from hundreds of conversations with clients over the years and are especially beneficial to remember.

  1. “Being exposed is my biggest fear. Just the thought of certain parts of my body being seen in the massage room makes me extremely uncomfortable.” Research by the International Spa Association shows that fear of exposure is massage clients’ number one fear. Most therapists are adept at proper draping, but if you ever feel uncomfortable do not hesitate to move the sheet or ask for better draping.
  2. “I know you told me to let you know if the pressure is ever too much or not enough, but I would rather you check in with me periodically during the session to monitor this.” Because of the power differential that exists in the massage room, sometimes it is hard to ask for more or less pressure. If your therapist does not check in with you on pressure, ask if they can change their technique. For example, you might say, “Would you mind applying a little more pressure?” or “I’m ok if you use a little lighter pressure.”
  3. “I really value your professional opinion. I know a little about my muscles and anatomy but I would love to hear how often I should come see you, the benefits I might experience and anything I can do at home between sessions.” A professional recommendation is a crucial part of the massage experience and one that is often missed. If your therapist does not offer insight into your condition or recommend a time to return, ask during the end of the session what they noticed and what they would recommend.
  4. “I look forward to this massage all month. It allows me a period of time to focus on myself—no kids, spouse, job concerns… above all else, it feels so healing to have you present and attentive to my needs.” Your massage may be the only time during that month that you get to just relax. There is nothing worse than having a therapist chat through the whole treatment.  It might be hard, but communicate early if you would prefer a quiet session. 
  5. “When I request an extra 15 minutes of foot work, please ensure that you deliver it.” If you make a request at the beginning of the session and the therapist has not worked the area you requested, half-way through the session you can remind them to address the problem area.  The therapist’s job is to listen to your needs and deliver upon it.

Ensure you have a great massage session next time by confidently asking for the type of massage you wish and not hesitating to communicate during the session.

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