Here are 12 secrets your massage therapists want you to know.
They Do Not Like the Term ‘Masseuse’, ‘Masseur’ or ‘Massage Parlor’
Words change their meanings over time. While these terms originally referred to people who gave regular massages, it has since come to imply services of a sexual nature. Therefore, to be respectful and use the appropriate terminology, refer to them as massage therapists or whatever other terms they might use for themselves. Just like the term ‘masseuse’, ‘massage parlors’ have also changed their meaning to suggest places of questionable repute. Subsequently, the term ‘massage clinic’ is generally preferred these days.
Just Because They Touch You, Doesn’t Mean They Want to Be Touched Themselves
An all too common practice that massage therapists face is being groped by clients in the workplace. Again, this is probably due to certain people misinterpreting their services. Nevertheless, this can still be classed as harassment. In short, you are paying for a massage therapist to touch you – not the other way round. Therefore, please be respectful and keep your hands to yourself.
Your Appearance Doesn’t Make Much of a Difference to Them
Most people don’t look like actors in movies or on television when they remove their clothes (and this includes the actors themselves). This is something that we all know and accept. Strangely, people tend to forget this when it comes to getting a massage. They become self-conscious about body hair, spots on their body, their weight, or the fact that they have back acne. Massage therapists are very understanding of the fact that no one is perfect and none of these trivial matters bother them. Therefore, it shouldn’t bother you either. They see many bodies every day and it’s unlikely that yours will be seen or treated any differently.
Odor and Hygiene Are Problems with Some Customers
While massage therapists aren’t affected by the look of your body, its state is an entirely different issue altogether. Some people will come for massage sessions without taking a bath or after enduring strenuous gym workouts, which is often very unpleasant to work with. It’s very unlikely that you’re paying enough for them to have to endure your body odor or grimy skin. To avoid this, simply have a shower before you go for a massage session.
It’s Not as Easy as It Looks
Massage therapy is one of those jobs that people tend to assume is easy, because of how it’s performed and the lack of stress exerted by therapists during sessions. However, this is not the case at all. With the number of clients they see every day, massage therapy is often very difficult for therapists. If it looks easy, it’s because the therapists make it look easy. However, it stands to reason that you wouldn’t enjoy it if the therapist was struggling to give you a massage. Also, it would be nigh on impossible to relax if the therapist looked even more stressed than you.
They wish they could get massages more often
Massage therapy is difficult. Those conducting it will often suffer the same type of injuries and stress that you would initially visit them for. Worker discount on massages is one of the very few perks some of them receive. Staying upright for an hour or more each session – and doing so several times a day, whilst their hands and arms are thoroughly stressed as they perform the massages – can be physically exhausting. This affects their fingers, wrists, arms, lower back, and other body parts. Injuries are not uncommon either.
They are not getting rich off your backs
Very few people go into massage therapy in order to get rich. Rather, most go into this field as a way to help and heal people. The average massage therapist is not making much more than your average waiter; much like waiters, many massage therapists will have more than one job. So, try not to assume that your massage therapist is living a luxurious lifestyle off your patronage.
They are entirely open to feedback
Some people are understandably shy or feel it would be impolite to comment on their massage session. In this case, it is your body, and you have the right to say something if you feel it’s necessary. If you don’t like a particular technique, think an area requires more attention, or you’re feeling uncomfortable, speak up. All you have to do is be polite about it. The massage is for your body and a dialogue between you and your massage therapist will only help the session go smoother.
They go to great pains to be polite and wish you would do the same
If your massage therapist is ever outrightly rude to you for no discernible reason, then it’s probably best that you stop going there. However, most professionals try to be as polite and pleasant to their clients as possible. It would be nice if you could show them this same courtesy and be polite in return. None of your questions or comments need to be rude, while you don’t have to be perverse or annoying. More importantly, you certainly aren’t allowed to grope them. During your session, they are entrusted with your body, so it’s prudent to be nice to them.
Preparation is just as important as the massage
For a massage therapist, a session begins before you even arrive. They have to ensure the rooms and tables are clean; fresh towels are made available for each client; and the room has to have just the right ambience. The preparation does not end there, as they also have to make sure they are well groomed themselves. For instance, fingernails are regularly cut to ensure no client ever leaves having suffered scratch marks. All of this is to ensure the customer is able to relax during the actual massage session.
They would prefer it if you wouldn’t ‘help’ them
Many people like to believe that they understand the concept of massages well enough to assist their massage therapist. They lift their arms when they think it’s required, change positions to give the best angles, and so on. While their intentions are well meaning, this can be very frustrating. The massage therapists know what they need to do; more often than not, your ‘help’ is only getting in the way of that. Therefore, it’s best to lie still and they will give instructions if needed.
Your massage therapist is a person too, so try not to forget that.