In honor of National Relaxation Day, our day spa team wants to answer your top massage questions (even the embarrassing ones!). But first, an important piece of advice:
Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Up!
Why is speaking up so important? This is YOUR session—and the experience is all yours. Your therapist wants you to enjoy every minute and benefit from your time with them as much as possible. If you would like anything changed—the pressure, areas worked, position, temperature, music, etc.—speak up! You will not hurt your therapists’ feelings by asking for something that will make you feel more comfortable.
What Are the Benefits of Massage Therapy?
The health experts at National University of Health Sciences present the top 5 health benefits of adding regular massage therapy to your health and wellness strategy. Massage therapy from a licensed practitioner can:
- Lower stress
The long-term effects of stress can take emotional and physical tolls. Massage therapy may relieve stress and some of its associated conditions, such as tension headaches.
- Increased Immune Function
Medical research indicates that massage therapy can help boost immune system strength by increasing the activity level of the body’s natural “killer T cells,” which fight off viruses.
- Boost Mental Health and Wellness
Research suggests that symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression (all associated with mental health) may be directly affected by massage therapy.
- Pain Management and Improved Range of Motion
Pain can negatively affect a person’s quality of life and impede recovery from illness or injury. Recent findings highlight the role of massage in pain management.
- Improved Physical Fitness
Elite and recreational athletes alike can benefit from massage therapy—massage can reduce muscle tension, improve exercise performance, and prevent injuries.
Check out our related blog post to learn more about the healing benefits of massage therapy for anxiety, insomnia, and more.
When Should I Avoid Getting a Massage?
In general, a few conditions would prevent you from getting a massage. Of course, do not schedule an appointment if you feel unwell or have a fever, cold, or contagious skin condition. The first trimester of pregnancy is generally considered off-limits for massage, as are active chemotherapy or other intensive medical treatments. If you have a serious medical condition and are unsure if a massage would be safe for you, we recommend you speak with your primary care provider to get approval first.
What Should I Expect During My First Massage Visit?
Your massage therapist should require you to fill out a health history form. They may also ask more in-depth questions to establish which areas you would like to focus on or if any specific conditions need to be addressed. It is important to list all health concerns and medication so your therapist can adapt your session to your specific needs without causing any harm. It is also important to specify any allergies so that your therapist can adjust the oil or cream used during your visit.
Do I Have To Be Completely Undressed? What Do You Wear for a Massage?
You may undress to your level of comfort. Many people prefer to keep their underwear on during a massage, while others choose to be nude. Your massage therapist will leave the room so you can undress and lie on the massage table under a top sheet.
If you prefer to remain dressed, form-fitting clothes in light, breathable fabrics will be your best option; however, this may limit the therapeutic benefits as your massage therapist will not have direct contact with your skin and muscles.
Regardless of whether you choose to maintain some clothing or not, your massage therapist will always ensure that you are properly covered.
Will the Massage Hurt?
In general, massages should not hurt. In fact, if you are in pain during a massage, this may cause your muscles to seize up, making the relaxing effects more difficult to achieve. If the pressure is too intense, speak up immediately so your therapist can adjust. Certain techniques may result in soreness during the days following a massage, similar to that of a great workout. In general, however, you should not have pain during or after your massage.
Do You Talk During a Massage?
Some people enjoy having a conversation during their massage but keep in mind that the treatment is all about you releasing your tensions and enjoying the experience. Regardless of your choice, be sure to speak up during the massage if there is anything you’d like adjusted (temperature, pressure, music, etc.).
What If I Fall Asleep and Snore or Drool?
It is very common for guests to fall asleep during their massages. If you snore or drool, don’t worry. Your massage therapist has definitely seen this before and will not judge. We love seeing you so relaxed!
What If I Have Body Acne or Skin Conditions or Forgot To Shave?
Rest assured, massage therapists have seen and felt it all! Please do not feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Your massage therapist is focused on creating a relaxing and therapeutic experience for you, and you cannot relax if you are anxious about your body’s appearance. If anything, your therapist may be able to make product or technique recommendations to help alleviate any conditions that may be bothersome to you.
What If I Get an Erection During My Massage?
Many men avoid massage for fear that this will happen to them or are unable to completely relax in the treatment room. However, there is no reason to be embarrassed, as touch administered to any part of the body can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can result in a partial or complete erection.
An educated, professional massage therapist understands this, and it should not be an issue for them. If you are still concerned, consider wearing more fitted underwear, which provides more support and coverage than traditional boxer shorts.
NOTE: If the therapist feels the session has turned sexual for any guest, they may stop the session to clarify the client’s intent and may decide to stop the session immediately. In no circumstance will sexual advances be tolerated in the treatment room.
Can You Get a Massage While Pregnant?
Massage is generally considered safe for expecting mothers in their second and third trimesters. Please let your massage therapist know that you are pregnant (especially if you haven’t started showing) so they can customize the techniques used, the areas treated, and how you are positioned on the massage table.
Our “Naturally Nurtured Pre-Natal Massage” or “Mom-To-Be Escape package” is the perfect way for moms-to-be to get some pampering before the baby arrives. This massage reduces swelling, relieves aching muscles, and soothes joint pain.
The American Pregnancy Association attests to the powerful benefits of massage therapy during pregnancy, including improved hormone regulation, reduced nerve pain, and fewer complications during birth.
How Often Should I Get a Massage?
Individual preference varies, so for most, it depends on your pain, physical needs, emotional needs, and of course, budget. Receiving a massage regularly has the most benefit; this can be as often as weekly or monthly. With our Essentials Membership, you not only can treat yourself monthly but also enjoy other perks and benefits within the spa.
How Much Do You Tip for a Massage?
Many clients are unsure if and/or how much to tip at a massage session. We recommend you think of your massage therapist as you would a server in a restaurant. Our Spa therapists love what they do, and your tip may reflect your appreciation for their service. We recommend that tipping percentages be based on the full price of a regular massage rather than the discounted price. For most people, this ranges from 15 to 25%, depending on their level of satisfaction with their treatment.
We Customize Your Massage Experience
Remember, your massage experience is about YOU. We offer a full range of massage therapy options, including massage ritual therapies and enhancements, so we can customize your experience to suit your individual needs.
Our team is passionate about providing the ultimate spa experience each and every time you make a reservation with us we welcome your questions and feedback. If you have a question that wasn’t addressed in this blog post, please feel free to reach out to one of our friendly spa coordinators at (772) 231-1133 or you may contact us online to request an appointment!