Body Talk: Personal Space

When you consider receiving a massage for the first time, what goes through your mind? Will I have to undress? Will it hurt? Can I trust someone to touch me?

Massage therapists are trained to honor your personal space during a session. The massage license requires us to appropriately draped your body during a massage session. On my massage table a sheet and a blanket are provided for warmth and privacy.

The massage therapist touches your skin and muscles for therapeutic purposes only. Muscles respond to this touch by relaxing, joints soften, and breath quiets and deepens. Sometimes there is slight pain in a trigger point, joint, tendon or muscle. These tight or tender places are released in gentle ways with a combination of vibration, pressure to the constricted area, and gentle stretching of muscles and joints. If  pain arises there is always another way to treat the area with minimal discomfort. Let your massage therapist know you are experiencing discomfort and s/he will back off and try another technique.

When someone comes to my table, I let them know to leave their underwear on, bra off for women. It is fine to have underwear off, if you are comfortable with this. During the massage session the part of the body being worked on will be exposed, while the sheet is tucked under and around the body for warmth and protection.  Massage oil or lotion will be rubbed on the exposed leg, arm, shoulder, feet hands or back. Sheets are useful to keep these oils and lotion off the table and blanket.

If at any time you are uncomfortable with what is happening during your massage session, please let your massage therapist know right away.  This goes for either physical pain or an uncomfortable level of exposed skin. Occasionally a client has asked for only a towel drape over the body. I will explain that it is my practice to cover the body with a sheet as I work, exposing only the part of the body which needs the attention of massage hands. If a client acts inappropriately during a session, the massage therapist may choose to leave the room indicating the session is over. The expectation is for payment for a full session.

The role of the massage therapist is to act with integrity as they apply hands on techniques to your body. Your personal space, that is the The space created between massage therapist and client is one of trust and comfort. Feel free to ask questions of your massage therapist about what they are doing, what they are doing to assist your body in it’s healing process. When you are comfortable and aware of what is unfolding, your body will be more able to relax deeply into the moment.

Peace,

Sarah-Elizabeth, MA, LMT

Call for an appointment today: 603 365-0852

 

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