In the process of learning about Swedish Massage, I also learned a lot of things about proper massage etiquette that I hadn’t known prior to my training; things I never considered until I was on the other side of the table, like how to tip, how much to talk, what to communicate, how many questions to ask, how much to “help”, how early I should arrive and knowing what to expect. So now, I’m sharing what I’ve learned with you to make sure your massage experience is as worry free as possible.
I’m sure you’ve been lying on the table, wondering whether to speak up about a tender spot or the lack or pressure, or even the occasional excessive amount of pressure. It is important to remember that your massage therapist doesn’t feel what you feel. Every body has a different kind of sensitivity to pain. Sometime those painful points can be bruised or they can be trigger points. Explaining the feelings to your therapist can help him or her serve you better. Before you speak up about light pressure, keep in mind that at the beginning of the session, the pressure should be light to warm up the more superficial layers of muscle before going into deeper work. If you ever experience pain that no longer “hurts good” it is important that you inform your therapist.
During some massage sessions, you may experience some guided stretching. The most helpful thing you can do is to allow your limbs to remain limp. The more you try to help by moving your arms, legs or head, the more your tense up and the more counter-productive the bodywork is. If you find yourself doing that without even trying (which we’re all guilty of), I’ve found its easiest to relax by focusing on your breathing and allowing your body to fall into a deep state of relaxation.
From my experience, I have come across some clients that won’t say a word during their sessions, while others de-stress and unwind while talking about their day. Every therapist is different, so respect their rules. I allow my clients to create their own environment, however no cell phones are allowed!
If you really enjoyed your massage, it is important to tip your therapist! The average tip is about $10 for an hour massage. If you can’t afford to tip or to tip well, make sure that you send a friend in! Spreading the word is the most helpful thing when trying to build a business. Make sure you let your therapist know if you referred someone, you might just get a discount or some extra time on table!
If you still feel unsure of what you should expect during your session, don’t hesitate to ask any questions! The more you know, the more you will get from your session.