This is a blog post in response to Sarah Carrillo’s article on www.TotalBeauty.com about “8 Things
Your Masseuse Doesn’t Want You to Know”.
As a Massage Therapist,
and not a Masseuse, I think I may have some feedback on this article.
On Secret #1 – “We think you’re a prude if you wear undies” – I have NO opinion if you wear your underwear or not. If you feel that you need to wear your underwear for whatever reason, it is up to YOU, the client. I need you to feel comfortable enough in your surroundings that you are able to relax. If that means that you have to wear your underwear, it’s all good with me. Now, if you are wearing scuba gear as underwear, we’ll have to work that out.
On Secret #2 – “We have dirty thoughts” – I’m not going to lie, I’ve
had some very handsome clients in my career, some downright gorgeous. If I am going to give you a good massage, the thoughts cannot even begin to enter into the session; it’s a breach of trust. You, as the client are on my table to get stress relief, knots worked on, etc. If I am really going to have a problem with this, you would be referred to a therapist that I know and trust to do good work. I like my job too much to get my license yanked over foolishness.
On Secret #3 – “We get scared if you start snoring” Here is my
belief on sleep and massage – You falling asleep on my table or chair
constitutes one of two things:
A) You are allowing yourself to let me take care of your sore, stressed and tired self that you fall asleep.
B) You are too tired to care.
I have had clients fall asleep and drool on my table. It doesn’t bother me at all. What bothers me is if you STOP breathing, not if you snore.
On Secret #4 – “We give you a crappy massage if you show up wasted” – If you show up wasted, I WILL NOT EVEN GIVE YOU A MASSAGE. First of all, Client Intoxication is CONTRAINDICATED, meaning it should NOT be performed. Massage contributes to an increase of the absorption of the toxins in the alcohol, making you a little more intoxicated than if you hadn’t had the massage. Inhibitions are lowered, and inappropriate behavior can occur. If you, as my client are tipsy, I’m not working on you, period – I’m kinda a stickler for that. I don’t need to have inebriated clients on the table being more intoxicated after a massage than before we started. Second of all, I could still charge you for the session. It’s never a good idea to have ‘a few drinks’ before a massage, before you get behind the wheel, etc.
On Secret #5 – “We want to throw your phone in a vat of massage oil”- Distractions will detract from your overall massage session and yes, your ringtone may be loud and annoying, but throwing your phone in a vat of oil? Not necessarily. I will ask you to either turn it off, or put it on ‘Vibrate’, and will remind you to put it back on after the session is over. If it’s still on, and it rings, it detracts from your overall massage session.
On Secret #6 – “We think you smell” – I have had some rather odiferous clients. You’re coming in from running, work, or the sweltering Atlanta heat. Most clients that feel that they smell tend to want to take a shower on their own, or shower before they show to the session, no cues from me. If worse comes to worst, there are things that we can do to alleviate the issue, and not bring attention to a rather awkward situation. Again, it’s helping the client be comfortable in the environment that is the most important thing, as far as I am concerned.
On Secret #7 – “Our licenses mean jack” – I agree, in many cases, having a license does NOT equal getting a great massage. I take having my license seriously, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone to school, and been doing massage for as long as I have. States have varying levels of licensure, and some don’t have any regulations at all. If you want to get a great massage, ask YOUR
friends who get massages. If you don’t have any friends who get massages, you
can go to many of the Massage Regulating bodies, ABMP, AMTA, ISPA, etc. You can also go to your local massage school, during clinic hours, to get a regulatedand supervised massage session. These students are looking for a few good people that want to be worked on!
On Secret #8 – “We make fun of you after you leave” – There have
been some FUNNY incidences that have happened during a massage session, I can’t lie about that. Can I say that I haven’t shared a story or two? Nope. But what I can say is this – to be just plain catty about a client because the service didn’t live up to expectations (or just to contribute to the level of gossip in a conversation) is wrong, and in some cases, they are still in the building – THE CLIENTS CAN HEAR YOU. It’s just not good practice, and if I do have to share, I don’t do so by name – that’s against HIPAA rules of privacy.
Now I am sure that you will have feedback on this, and I look forward to
hearing them all. I am not speaking on behalf all Massage Therapists; I just
felt that this article needed more than this skewed and salacious point of
Hey Sonia, you know… reading this list that someone else wrote says a LOT more about them than it does about massage therapy. I definitely would NEVER get a massage from such a jerk. The truth is… massage clients are not stupid, and we can tell if someone is a genuinely kind person. Not to sound all hokey, but there is a sort of “energy exchange” in a massage and unless we are just 100% out of touch with our body and our feelings we KNOW if someone’s energy is oogy. So we may not know EXACTLY what nasty thing the massage therapist is thinking or going to say later, but we DO know that there is something not right about them. Such a person should not be in this profession because it’s supposed to be a healing profession and healers require empathy.
I appreciate you making your own post to rebut the nastier of these points. i find it offensive when what I would absolutely consider a “bad massage therapist” takes it upon themselves to define what “really goes on” and “what they really think” as if this is a standard rule for massage therapy. All it does is scare people off massage and ruin the profession. Nobody wants to be judged, and perhaps that snarky jerkoff should think about that the next time he/she puts his/her hands on someone on their table.
And honestly, it sounds like that person needs to be in a massage parlor giving “happy endings”. He/she doesn’t have the required class to call themselves a massage THERAPIST.
As a therapist that used to work in a spa, I had to speak on this article, to give a balanced view on what goes on behind the scenes.
Thank you for your comments, they are GREATLY appreciated.
sure thing! I commented on the main article also and was happy to see a lot of comments like mine.
AMEN! Thank you!!
Sonia, I think I love you!! 🙂
It’s a mutual admiration society, Heather! 🙂
Love this list. Each Time I visit your site it brings me closer to being comfortable enough to experience a massage.
Well, I hope that you feel that you can ask any question to help you feel better. I’ll help in any way I can.