Burning Questions 5: Do I have to get undressed to get a massage?


This Burning Question comes courtesy of many of my massage clients over the years, plus people I meet socially who tell me that they could never get a massage because they don't want to be undressed around a stranger.

In fact, before I became a massage therapist, I was very uncomfortable with the idea of getting undressed to receive a massage, especially when I was getting medical massage at a doctor's office, where you were only given a bath towel for draping!

I think more people than many massage therapists realize avoid getting a massage strictly because they don't understand whether they have to get undressed or how much. So I'd like to clear this up, for my own practice at least!

When you are receiving a massage from me, you never have to get undressed to a degree that makes you uncomfortable.

The most common scenario is that my clients get either completely undressed or leave on their bottom undergarment only. But I also have clients who choose to leave their bra on for various reasons (in another post, I'll talk about getting a massage while lactating!), clients with very cold feet who leave their socks on, and a few clients who leave on some or all of their clothing. I've even worked with people whose religious beliefs require them to wear head coverings, and I've worked around, through or under those as requested.

During your massage, I only uncover one part of your body to work on at a time.

You will be covered by a generously sized flannel sheet (plus a blanket if it's chilly in the room). When I massage your arm or leg, only the one I'm working on will be undraped, and the sheet will be tucked under you. When I am massaging the full back, I will fold the sheet down to the top of your hips. If you are wearing underpants, I will tuck the edge of the fold into the waistband to keep the sheet in place and keep out any drafts. If I'm only working on the upper back, I fold the sheet back to the waist only.

For people with low back and/or hip pain, I will sometimes work on the glutes - those are your hip/butt muscles - with permission, but this work is done through the sheet and is the same no matter what you leave on (seriously, I've done this through jeans before!).

If you leave your bra on, I'll work around it. If you leave your socks or jeans or a tank top on, I'll work through them. If for some reason, I don't feel I can do effective work through something you leave on, I'll talk to you about it and we'll figure out a solution.

Whatever you leave on or take off, I promise you that I'm not judging you. I don't care what you choose to leave on, as long as you are making choices that feel good to you! This is your session; it's very important to me that you feel comfortable. Some people are more comfortable completely naked under the sheet; other people feel better with underpants or some clothing left on. There's no right choice for everyone, and you may make different choices from day to day. Your massage is for you!

Feeling better? I hope I'll see you for a massage soon! You can make an appointment online or call me at 918-732-9579 to find a time that works.