Frequently Asked Questions - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

If you get a massage, a 15% to 20% tip is standard if you were pleased with the services.

If you're not sure, don't be afraid to ask if tipping is customary. You can call ahead to ask if you don't want to do it face to face.

If tipping isn't the norm, you can always show your appreciation by referring friends, family and co-workers to the massage therapist.

Many people prefer to keep their panties or briefs on during a massage, while others prefer to be completely nude. It's up to you.
If your problem areas are your lower back, hips, buttocks, or groin, tight-fitting underwear can sometimes get in the way of massage work, but a thong for women or briefs for men should do the trick.
In North America, if you do remove your underwear, licensed massage therapists must ensure that you are always properly covered by a sheet or towel. Only the area being massaged will be uncovered.

Many people fall into a peaceful slumber during the massage but when they wake up, they notice a pool of drool on the pillow or massage table. This is very common. It often happens when people are being massaged while lying face down on the massage table.
Don't be afraid to ask the massage therapist for a tissue.

In North America, the massage therapist will leave the room so that you can remove your clothing and lie on the massage table (usually face down) under the top sheet.


Don't rush or worry that the massage therapist will walk in on you -- the massage therapist always knocks and asks if you are ready before entering the massage room.

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 cocktail party!

Feel free to close your eyes and relax, which is what most people do.
Deep tissue massage and sports massage are just some of the types of massage that require more feedback. The massage therapist often works on deeper layers of muscle and will want to ensure that the pressure is not uncomfortable.

Be sure to speak up if:

  • the room is too hot or too cold
  • you experience pain
  • you have any questions related to the massage
  • there's anything you forgot to mention during the consultation

Some men don't get massage therapy because they worry that they'll get an erection. Or they get the massage, but are unable to relax during the massage because of this fear.
But there is no reason to be embarrassed. It's perfectly normal for men to get an erection during a non-sexual, therapeutic massage.
Gentle touch administered to any area of the body can activate the parasympathetic nervous system and cause a partial or full erection. Your massage therapist (male or female) understands this and will generally ignore it.
If you are still worried, you may wish to wear a men's bikini bathing suit during the massage, which provides more support than boxers.

Although you might think massage parlors that offer sensual or erotic massage may look obviously seedy, it can be sometimes be difficult to spot these places.

If you're trying a new clinic or spa, it's a good idea to call first and ask these questions:

  • Do you offer therapeutic massage?
  • Is the massage therapist certified or licensed?
  • Do you require a health questionnaire of your clients?

A licensed massage therapist will not come into contact with your genitals or nipples during the massage.

Communicate openly with the massage therapist. Keep in mind however that it's a myth that massage therapy has to hurt to be effective.

Some of the most effective types of massage therapy are gentle and do not involve deep pressure or pain. In fact, too much pressure can cause muscles to seize up.

Here is a good rule of thumb -- on a scale of one to 10 where one is no pain and 10 is extremely painful, the pressure should always be less than seven.

People are self-conscious for various reasons. Some of the more common concerns are:

  • I'm overweight.
  • I have excessive hair growth on my body.
  • I've got acne on my face or back.
  • My feet are ugly.
  • I have scars.

Being self-conscious should never keep you from seeking health care, whether it's visiting your doctor or seeing a massage therapist.

If you're self-conscious about a certain part of your body, you can ask the massage therapist to avoid that area.

Or, you can opt for a therapy that is done through clothing, such as shiatsu or Thai massage. Because no massage oil or lotion is used, you remain fully clothed during the session.
You can even bring your own comfortable clothes to wear.

Just remember to provide complete and accurate information on your health history form, so that the massage therapist is aware of any precautions or contraindications.

Some men don’t feel comfortable having a massage by a male massage therapist. It may be due to outdated social and media stereotypes of the profession or the fear of getting an erection during the massage.
Erection is a common physiological response that happens when the parasympathetic nervous system is activated by touch anywhere on the body.)
Some women also prefer a female massage therapist because they say they feel more comfortable.
This doesn't just apply to massage therapy. A University of Michigan study found that 43 percent of women preferred a female doctor for a colonoscopy. Of these women, 87 percent said they would be willing to wait more than 30 days to get an appointment with a female colonoscopist, and 14 percent would be willing to pay more for one.
Unfortunately, men who choose to become massage therapists are often unprepared for the discrimination they face. When clients request female over male therapists, spas stop hiring them, however skilled they are.
That's why I believe it's important to challenge your preconceptions. Here are some tips to help you:

  • If you see other practitioners in the clinic or spa, ask if you could meet the massage therapist before you book the appointment.
  • Try booking a massage at a health club or a clinic, where there's usually a higher percentage of male clientele and staff.
  • You may wish to start with an active form of massage, such as deep tissue or sports massage or a type of massage that is done fully clothed, such as shiatsu or Thai massage.

Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, you may decide what amount of clothing you prefer to wear for your own comfort. You will be properly draped during the session. Finally, if you are uncomfortable being fully undressed, you can discuss alternative options with your masseuse. A good massage therapist will be accommodating to your needs, if they're not, you can always find a masseuse who will.

Because massage is so personal taking the time to find a good match between client and masseuse will greatly improve your experience.

Ask a friend. If you have a friend who sees a masseuse don't be shy and ask them for a reference.
Speak with the massage therapist to making an appointment.
A good massage therapist will be willing to discuss your expectations and what style of massage will work best to relieve your symptoms.
Inquire about their fees.
Typically a massage will last one hour but it is a good idea to ask how long the massage will last and whether they allow extra time at the end of your session for rebooking and discussion, if necessary.
Inquire about their facilities -- you may prefer to be seen an office setting rather than in the home of the massage therapist.
Credentials are important
-- making sure the masseuse is licensed! Ask about how long they've been practicing, where they were schooled, how many hours of training did they complete and if they've had any advanced training in specific massage techniques.

Yes. That's why it's imperative that before you begin your session, the practitioner ask general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Many practitioners may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.

Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being. Here are some more benefits.

Make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax. Others like to talk during their session. Feel free to ask me questions about massage and bodywork in general or about the particular technique you are receiving.

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage.

The average full-body massage or bodywork session lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session. Hot tubs, steam baths and saunas can assist in the relaxation process.

There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more.

It depends on the techniques used. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes which will help to calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.

A light oil or lotion may be used to permit your muscles to be worked on without causing excessive friction to the skin. A cold-pressed vegetable oil will be used that is easily absorbed by the skin.  Please let me know if you have any allergies I should be aware of.

You and I will discuss the desired outcome of your session. This will determine which parts of your body require massage. A typical full body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. You will not be touched on or near your genitals (male or female) or breasts (female).

You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.

The Massage Therapist will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet or towel.

Your session will be conducted by a trained professional who has received proper training, in a variety of techniques. Although no two massages are exactly alike, you may request a certain technique or modality.

Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a comfortable room of your choice. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.

Bone spurs (osteophytes) are bony projections that form along joint surfaces. It’s the body’s way of increasing the surface area of the joint to better distribute weight when it has been damaged by arthritis or other conditions. Bone spurs can become restrictive and painful. Since this is an actual bone modification, massage therapy can’t change it; however, massage can soothe pain and help reduce swelling that may accompany bone spurs. Massage and gentle stretching can help maintain the knee joint’s range of motion. It can also relax the surrounding muscles; increase circulation to the joint and local area to bring in fresh oxygen and nutrients; and remove waste products from the cells.

Patient information gives the massage therapist insight into a patient's primary complaint, current health, lifestyle and medical history. Asking a patient about their physical condition allows the therapist to focus the direction of treatment. If, for example, a patient has a past surgical history such as lumbar fusion, laminectomy, or a medical device (inserted under the skin) that dispenses pain medication, etc., the massage therapist will know what techniques may be contraindicated. Knowledge about lifestyle -- whether a patient is athletic, a weekend warrior, or spends long hours typing on a computer -- gives clues about possible muscular imbalances and stress patterns, and pain caused by stress is addressed differently than pain caused by injury. Some massage techniques are more responsive than others in patients with high stress levels. So, you can see how these questions might help a massage therapist in his/her approach to treatment.