For a significant proportion of my clients, the first time I see them is the first time they have come for massage. Some of these clients have done some research and have few if any questions others need to find out some information in order to feel safe.
Top of the list is, “What do I wear during the massage?” This question probably comes up for me more as a man than it does for female practitioners as most seeking aromatherapy rather than sports massage seem to be women. Most clients strip to knickers/underpants. A few prefer to be totally naked but in my experience none of these have been first time clients.
Next is, “Will I be covered during the massage?” Here the answer is, “Yes, apart from the part of the body being massaged and the head of course!” (I don’t actually say that last bit.
“Will it hurt?” This often goes with the misconception that massage has to hurt to do any good. Sometimes, especially if working on a sports injury massage can be painful. As a rule however it does not need to hurt in order to be helpful. Remember it is always OK to tell me or any other massage therapist if you would like more or less pressure.
“How do I know a therapist is properly trained?” This often goes along with worries that a clinic may be a front for sexual activities. A genuine massage practitioner will have the details of their professional association on all their publicity. I am a member of IFPA and the website has a, “find a therapist section” where it is possible to find my details or a therapist in your area.
Tipping? This is listed on at least two websites I looked at however I work for myself so my prices are what I think my services are worth. If a practitioner works in a spa, they may be paid a lot less than I charge, however they don’t have to wash all their own towels after every treatment! If in doubt, check with the venue.
Talking? Most of my clients close their eyes and relax. I get the occasional client who talks throughout a session. Which you choose is up to you. I do not initiate conversation during a session unless I need to know something about an injury for example or I think I need to remind a client that they can tell me if I need to use more or less pressure.
Does it matter if I am menstruating at the time? Here the answer is only if you are not comfortable with it. Many clients find massage, especially using essential oils eases menstrual discomfort.