Massage Archives

If you’ve never had a massage before there may be questions that you would like to know the answer to – but are afraid to ask.  In fact, many people never book their first massage for fear of some of the following fears.  We hope that the answers to these common questions and worries will put your mind at rest and give you the confidence to enjoy the many benefits of massage. Should I tip the therapist? If your massage is in a spa or at an hotel, it’s usual to tip 15 to 20% as long as you have been happy with the massage.  If you get your massage in a hospital or medical clinic, tipping isn’t expected and is inappropriate.

Do I have to take off my underwear for a massage?

This one is really personal choice.  Many people do like to keep panties or briefs on but some like to be totally naked.  If the area to be treated is in your lower back, around your hips, buttocks or groin, underwear may get in the way but you can get around this by wearing a thong (ladies) or snugly fitting briefs (gents).  Properly licensed therapists will always ensure that you are appropriately covered by a towel or sheet and will only uncover the area that is being massaged.

I’m scared I might drool or dribble during the massage!

Don’t worry!  This is extremely common and the therapist won’t judge you for it.  If anything, they will be pleased that you have reached such a level of relaxation and be happy that it was successful!  If it happens, just laugh and ask for a tissue!

Will the therapist stand there while I get undressed?

Licensed therapists leave the room so that you can take off your clothes and get comfortable on the massage table with a sheet or towel covering you.  The therapist will knock on the door and ask if you are ready before entering the room.

What about talking during massage?

This is entirely personal choice.  Some people do like to chat and others wish to stay quiet and enjoy the relaxation.  The therapist will take their lead from you and won’t expect a full on conversation unless that’s what you’re most comfortable with.  Most people just close their eyes, relax and enjoy!  An exception to this is if you are having a deep tissue massage which may cause some discomfort.  The therapist may ask you to tell them if it is too uncomfortable.

Alternatively, if any of the following occur, don’t be afraid to say…

  • The room is uncomfortably hot or cold
  • You are in pain (either before or during the massage)
  • You have any questions at all

I’m scared that I might get an erection during the massage…

Understandably, this is the main reason why most men don’t go for a massage.  Many that do go for one don’t enjoy it because they’re so worried that this might happen so they don’t relax.

Therapists are taught that gentle touch to any part of the body can trigger the parasympathetic nervous system and cause either a partial or full erection, which is pretty much out of the client’s control.  It is extremely common and something that they are totally used to.

Some men choose to wear a small, snugly fitting bathing suit to minimize the effects and if this will help you to relax and not be embarrassed, it’s a good idea.  But please be assured that for a therapist this is ‘all in a days’ work’!

How do I know that the massage will be therapeutic and not an erotic one?

Massage parlors that are a front for far more sexual activities don’t always look like seedy dives so how do you know that you’re just booking in for a therapeutic massage and not a whole lot more than you bargained for?  If it’s your first time either with a new masseuse or at a new venue, call first and ask the following –

  • What forms of therapeutic massage do you offer?
  • Does the therapist have certification or a license?
  • Do I need to fill out a health questionnaire prior to the massage?

The answers to these questions should ensure that you get what you want…either way!

I’d like the therapist to use more / less pressure but I don’t want to upset them…should I speak up?

Yes!  It’s not true that massage has to hurt to be doing you good.  A good therapist will want you to be comfortable and if you’re not – the massage will not be successful so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.

I’m really embarrassed about a part of my body and don’t want the therapist to see it…

This is a very common concern and therefore is one that the therapist will be used to.  Some of the things that people worry about most are –

  • Being overweight
  • Having (or believing they have) excessive hair on their body
  • Having acne or acne scars on their face or back
  • Having (or believing they have) ugly feet
  • Having a scar or scars somewhere on their body

There are various ways around this.  You can ask the therapist to avoid that area or choose a Shiatsu or Thai massage.  Neither of these involves the use of oil and so you don’t have to remove any clothing.

I’d prefer a female massage therapist.  Is it alright to request this?

Yes, of course and many people do.  A lot of men feel highly uncomfortable at the thought of having another male massaging them and many women also prefer a female.  Both of these have a sexual basis.

However, it is rather sad that many good, male massage therapists find it hard to find employment due to this completely understandable discrimination.

Go for it…

We do hope that this article will encourage you to go ahead and try a massage.  We hope that you enjoy both the massage and the health benefits that it will bring.  It could be the start of a whole new you!

And to help you get started why not check out our guide to the Ten Most Popular Types of Massage.

Your Guide to the Ten Most Popular Types of Massage

Massage has become very popular as a form of de-stressing.  It can get rid of accumulated tensions and leave you feeling revitalized and alive.  If you’ve never had a massage before but you’d like to have one, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the different types that are available.  Here’s a run down on what’s out there so that you can choose with confidence and get the most from the experience.

The Top Ten most popular types of massage.

1.  Swedish Massage Therapy

This is the massage that is most people in the United States go for.  It can also be called simply ‘Swedish Massage’ or ‘Massage Therapy.  The therapist uses massage oil to help their hands make long, smooth strokes over the body.  It’s good for releasing the tension and start of ‘muscle knots’ in the uppermost layers of muscle.  The therapist does this with kneading and circular movements.  Fans say that it is extremely gentle and highly relaxing.

2.  Aromatherapy Massage

This is simple massage therapy but the oil that is used will be an aromatherapy one.  This can be one or more scented essential plant oils.  Depending on what the therapist feels you need from the massage, the appropriate oil for you could be relaxing, energizing or help to reduce your stress levels.  The one most often used is lavender, which can be quite soporiphic and help you to reach a deeper level of relaxation which will give you a more effective massage.  This form of massage is particularly good for people who are under stress or have emotional upset.

3.  Hot Stone Massage

This is gaining in popularity and is perfect if you have tension in your muscles but don’t like deep massage.  Smooth, heated stones are placed onto the areas of your body where the muscles have tightened up.  Some therapists place them on Chakra or energy points.  The therapist may also hold the stones and push gently onto them.  The warmth and gentle weight of the stone is comforting and relaxing and helps to unknot you gently!

4.  Deep Tissue Massage

This is helpful if you have tight muscles that havn’t released or any form of repetitive strain.  It’s also godd for problems with posture or if you are recovering from an injury.  The therapist uses slow strokes or friction across the muscles to reach and release knots in the deep layers of muscle.  This can be quite painful at times and you may feel sore for thenext couple of days but then the relief is wonderful.

5.  Shiatsu

This works on the points of the body that are used in acupuncture.  Finger pressure is applied to the acupuncture meridian and this is held for a few seconds.  The belief is that the pressure will open up the energy points and help the correct flow of energy to become re-established, restoring health.  Although the pressure is firm, Shiatsu is not painful and can be very relaxing.  No oil is used and you remain clothed for this massage.

6.  Thai Massage

This is like Shiatsu in that the therapist uses pressure on energy points to realign your body’s energy flows.  However, it also includes being stretched and placed into different postures.  This is more energizing than relaxing andis good for relieving stress, improving flexibility and giving you a greater range of motion.  As with the Shiatsu massage, no oil is used so you keep your clothes on!

7.  Pregnancy Massage

This is also known as prenatal massage.  It’s great for lowering stress levels, bringing down swelling, helping to relieve aches and reduce anxiety.  Be sure that you find a therapist who is properly certified in pregnancy massage as they have been trained in the correct ways to support a pregnant woman during the massage.  A good one should tailor the massage to your specific requirements.

8.  Reflexology

Although this is a foot massage, it is so much more than that!  It involves putting pressure on or massaging particular points of the foot.  Each point is associated with an organ or system of the body, so ailments or problems in other areas can be helped just by massaging the foot.  On a simpler level, it’s also wonderful if you have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day.

9.  Sports Massage

This isn’t just for professional athletes.  If you work out a lot or are just an active person, you can benefit from this.  Rather than focusing on relaxation, the aim is to prevent injuries before they occur and also to treat them once they have.  The massage strokes tend to be fast and the therapist helps you to stretch to loosen up your muscles and increase your levels of flexibility.

10.  Back Massage

Some clinics and therapists will perform a 30 minute back massage.  Alternatively, if a specific back massage is not advertised, you can request a plain massage and ask the therapist to concentrate on your back.

CB107730Paula and I have birthdays that are two days (and many years) apart on the 14th and 16th of May so today we went and had our customary treats, a back, neck and shoulder massage and facial.

Having a massage always reminds me of when we were in Thailand last year. We stayed in the absolutely gorgeous Novatel Hotel in Siam Square, and we booked into the day spa in the hotel, for a body massage.

I am on the cuddly side so not too fussed about exposing myself, however, Paula assured me the I wouldn’t have to strip. So feeling assured of this I entered the dimly lit room that smelled so beautiful with its aromatherapy candles.

The very nice lady, pointed to something on the bed and left me to get organised. I picked up the item on the bed and turned it over a few times and finally reached the conclusion – this was not to be worn on the head, it was a tiny pair of paper panties.

So after the full impact of what I was about to do, sunk in, I stripped and donned the ever so small pants and got under the covers on the massage table. Ha, who was I kidding.

All went well at the start as we began with the facial. Then in came a new masseuse and she proceeded to massage back, shoulders and arms. Hmmmmm, so relaxing and then off come the covers and I am on my back totally exposed except for the ever so tiny pants. I can really feel the glow from my face, however, the masseuse was very professional and finally nerves and embarrassment passed. I just kept thinking ‘I am sure this isn’t the worst she has ever seen’

Well when it was all over and I emerged feeling totally relaxed, I spotted Paula emerging from her cubicle. She looked very sheepish and we both burst out laughing.

Believe me ladies, if you haven’t ever had a massage because your a bit on the big side, do yourself a favour, get over it and go and have one, you will find that your masseuse will be professional and will do everything possible to put you at ease.

The feeling after is positively euphoric.