Nearly every day, one of my female clients will apologize for not shaving their legs. To this ludicrous comment, I usually chuckle and say, “No need to apologize. I massage men. They usually have hairy legs. You’re good.”
But, these comments got me thinking. What are the things I care or don’t care about when massaging clients? The image below is what I came up with.
- Clean Body – Maybe don’t come get a massage right after spending hours working in the garden or sweating at the gym. But don’t feel like you have to be fresh out of the shower either.
- Infectious Diseases – JUST NO! The flu, a cold, chicken pox, MRSA whatever it is: if it’s infectious or has been infectious don’t share it with me.
- Recent Injuries – don’t come to me to receive a massage thinking it’s a cure all. It’s not. If you are bleeding, if you broke a bone, or if you believe something is strained or sprained, see a medical professional first. Once they give you the O.K., then you can come get a massage.
- Strong Odors – I don’t care what you smell like or why you smell, but when you are coming in for a massage, it is important to be considerate of others. Many individuals, myself included, are sensitive to strong odors and can become very sick from inhaling them especially for long periods of time. FUN FACT: the body can release odors as a response to receiving massage therapy.
- Sweat – it’s a natural form of detoxification for the body. It’s also a form of protection to keep the body from overheating. Just try not to schedule a massage right after hitting the gym unless your massage therapist knows in advance and you are receiving sports massage.
- Scars – the result of a recovered injury. As long as the scar site isn’t painful it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s purely proof that you lived and experienced life.
- Makeup – Don’t worry about your makeup getting on the sheets. It’s cool. That’s what laundry soap is for. But, if you’re concerned about ruining your makeup, then try to schedule your massage at the end of the day before going home or early in the morning before work, events or parties.
- Dry Skin – My recommendation: Drink More Water! Even I struggle with dry skin because I get dehydrated and I wash my hands and arms at least 10 times a day, and that’s just while I’m at work and doing massages. If your skin is dry, your massage therapist will know to use more lotion or oil.
- Acne or Moles – Another part of life not to be ashamed of. As long as they’re not painful or infected, it’s of no concern to me.
- Hair Up or Down – It’s more convenient to have your hair in a ponytail, bun, or braid, but it’s not necessary. As long as you don’t mind the possibility of getting a little oil or lotion in your hair when your massage therapist is working your neck, then it’s all good.
- Cold Feet or Hands – Typically your extremities are the first things to become cold and it’s due to an absence of movement. The body is all about conservation, so if it’s not in use or needed at the time, it won’t waste the energy keeping it at peak performance. You see this a lot with injuries and illnesses that keep people bed ridden. Their muscles atrophy because they’re not being used. So if your hands and feet are cold, it’s probably just because your body is resting and enjoying a massage.
- Stomach Noises – are you hungry or just relaxing? Did you know that your digestive system will make weird noises that can occur during a massage? It’s called Borborygmus. And it’s a natural side effect of massage therapy.
- Passing Gas – Along with strange stomach gurgles, your body may relax enough that gas passes freely. Don’t be embarrassed. It’s a natural and healthy body function.
- Tattoos – As long as the tattoo isn’t in the healing stages, most massage therapists don’t care about body art. Don’t be ashamed to wear your tattoos proudly. I think most tattoos are beautiful, and I would love to know the stories behind each piece.
- Shaved and Unshaved Body Hair – You are a mammal. You have body hair. Society thinks you shouldn’t have body hair. So whatever you choose to do with that knowledge is up to you. If you shave or don’t shave, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.