Massage Therapy – Questions answered!

Top 5 Common Questions or Concerns That Come up When Getting a Massage

You may have thought of it when you’ve gotten a massage but you were too afraid to ask.  You may be going for your first massage or still in the “getting to know you stage” with your current massage therapist and aren’t comfortable talking about these things just yet.  Well, here it is.  The top 5 question or concerns I get as an RMT when treating my patients.
To Talk or Not to Talk?
I get this one a lot!  I find out that this was a concern after I’ve been treating patients for a while and they finally confess that this was a concern of theirs when starting out with me.
Some people aren’t sure whether to chat with their RMT while getting a treatment.  Others definitely don’t want to talk but feel awkward about it and end up talking.  There are also individuals that apologise for talking too much.  Can you relate to any of these?
I always tell my patients when this topic comes up that this is their time, and they are fee to chat or remain silent.  It’s totally up to YOU!  If chatting during the whole massage relaxes you, great! If you need to completely zone out and fall asleep, awesome!  As a therapist, I try and read my patients.  If you’re chatty then I’m there to chat with you.  If you’re silent or don’t initiate conversation, then I’ll respect that and give you your space.
I will not be offended if you don’t talk to me. I repeat, if you don’t want to talk, I won’t take offence.  You do what you need to do, no judgement.
Underwear or No underwear?
This is definitely one that I get often when treating someone for the first time.  I generally tell my patients to undress to their level of comfort which can be a bit obtuse.  This was how we were trained as we technically can’t tell people to take all of their clothes off.  It was supposed to be a way to advise patients that it’s okay to leave clothes on or take them off based on their own comfort level. For a Swedish massage (what most people think of when getting a massage), we use oil and gliding strokes over the body, ideally directly over the skin.  But, if that’s not your comfort zone, then a massage can definitely be done over clothing.
When it comes to the underwear question, it’s another thing that is completely up to you.  Patients are always draped with sheets to ensure comfort and that nothing is exposed.  Only the area that is being treated will be undraped.  Whether you wear underwear or not during your treatment doesn’t affect the treatment, it’s more about your own comfort.
“I forgot to shave my legs!”
This one is a quick one.  No worries!!!  I don’t care!   if you haven’t shaved your legs or never shave your legs there is no judgement in the treatment room.
How do you know where all my “spots” are?
Magic!  I’m kidding.  Lots of training.  As a Registered Massage Therapist I went through 2 years of school with countless hands on hours to understand what to feel for.  Ultimately, it’s feeling for the irregularities in the muscles.  The “spots” or “problem areas” or “areas of tension” respond differently when you massage over them.  They can push back, don’t feel smooth, feel thicker, etc.
Can/Should I work out after my massage?
Personally, I usually advise to take it easy after a massage.  Your body was worked to reduce that tension and working out afterward could potentially undo everything we worked on.  You are also at risk of injury since you’re body may be looser than what it’s used to.  If you want to get a work out in, do it beforehand.  Your muscles will already be warmed up which can make it easier for me to access the deeper muscle fibers during the massage.
If there are any other massage related questions that you would like answered, feel free to email me or click here.
By Karen Kingsley
Registered Massage Therapist
Massage Therapist Karen Kingsley

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