When you enter the domain of a qualified professional massage therapist, you can be sure that your privacy and integrity are highly regarded by the therapist. He or she is bound by a code of ethics--an honor code to professionalism within their scope of practice that spells out specific guidelines for which massage therapists are to adhere to. These guidelines are designed to protect not only the massage therapist and his or her business license, but are designed especially for the safety and well-being of the client seeking their service.
Once you enter your massage therapists working space, you will exchange conversation that your therapist will use to determine the course of massage therapy for your session. Upon completion of this discussion, your therapist will ask you to remove your clothing, explaining where you can undress and leave your personal belongings. He or she will then explain how to get on the table and cover yourself with a sheet or towel that is provided. At no point in time should you begin undressing while your massage therapist is in the room. Doing so can cause your massage therapist to be somewhat apprehensive. He or she will generally excuse themselves to allow you your privacy to undress. Once the therapist has closed the door to the room completely, you may begin undressing in private.
Nude or Not Nude
Many massage clients like to be nude when receiving massage. As a trained professional, a massage therapist generally won't mind if you are completely nude as long as your private areas are covered during the course of the massage. The decision is up to you. If you feel more comfortable leaving undergarments on, then feel free to do so. Regardless of whether you leave your undergarments on or not, your massage therapist will still require you to be draped.
You must be draped with either a towel or a sheet that is provided when you first entered the massage session. Draping during your massage protects you from the possibility of getting cold, causing muscle tension during your massage. Often a small towel or pillowcase is folded and placed over the genital area for men, and for women and additional cover is laid across the breast area while she is lying face up. Also a sheet can be used to cover the entire body, exposing only the parts of the body that are being massaged. This draping method is good for people who are self-conscious, cold or it is their first time getting a massage.
Refusal to Drape
Occasionally a massage therapist will have a client who insists upon remaining drape--free and is faced with a dilemma. Not wanting to disappoint a client, they are often tempted to abide by his or her wishes. It is important for the massage therapist to keep in mind his or her professional reputation and the value of their massage license. Even though some massage therapists are tempted and succumb to the will of their clients, this is not advisable and can result in warnings, fines and even revocation of the massage professionals' license. All it takes is the word of a client against you and the legal battle is on. Is that worth not draping?
It's common for draping to shift, accidentally exposing private areas during a massage. As a trained professional, massage therapist think very little of this and tactfully return the draping into its proper place. Some men have found themselves in the predicament of having an erection during a massage. This is not to be ashamed of and is normal during the massage therapy session. As long as all private parts are covered, the massage therapist will proceed with the massage as usual, paying little attention to what's underneath the covers.
At the end of the massage session a massage therapist will quietly bow out of the scene allowing a client time to regain their awareness of reality and acclimate themselves to the everyday world.Your massage therapist is giving you the time and opportunity to re-dress in private.Take this opportunity to re-dress at a comfortable pace and exit the room fully dressed. If your massage therapist has provided you a robe for use during your massage, you may use it as a covering while using the bathroom before you dress if necessary. If you have questions about the massage, don't be afraid to talk to your massage therapist. They are more than happy to answer all of your questions for you so that you feel comfortable during all aspects of your experience. His or her primary intention is on you to make sure your massage experience is all you could hope it to be.
- Lower body massage as part of a full body Thai massage. image by Deborah Benbrook from Fotolia.com