Confessions of a Massage Therapist:
Top 5 Industry Secrets to Know Before Your Next Massage
Skip the Razor and the Mascara
Don’t worry about not shaving your legs, armpits, face, whatever. I truly don’t care about hairy legs. I didn’t shave for you either, so don’t stress if you leave the razor on the bathroom shelf the day of your massage. Shaving right before a massage can actually clog pores with oil and cause ingrown hairs, so come in as hairy as you want to be! What we don’t tell you, is please don’t wear mascara to your massage, if you can help it. It’s really for your own good, you will have what I call “massage face” for awhile and adding black raccoon eyes is not a good look on anyone.
2. We Love Butts and Feet
Don’t let that scare you! Your glutei muscles (there are three of them) do a lot of work for you every day. They are working when you sit, stand, walk, lunge, bend forwards, etc. they do a ton of work and are a neglected part of the body when it comes to bodywork. Even as a modest client, you can still get some good glute work in without feeling vulnerable our exposed. As far as feet go, I love massaging feet. They are our foundation, our roots. They support us all day, every day. Even if you are going in for back discomfort, have the massage therapist spend some time on your feet and glutes!
3. You May Feel Drunk Afterwards
It’s true. I have had many clients stumble out of the room and into the waiting room. The main reason for this is increased circulation. An hour massage increases your circulation as much as a 3 mile hike! This is all happening while you are laying still for an hour. Once you get up, you can feel a little light headed. Drink water before and after your massage to help with this detached, floaty feeling. Massage gets everything moving in your body and you want to keep it moving.
4. We Appreciate Tips
As with any service based job, tips are very much appreciated. Massage therapists that work in spas make a small commission for the amount of work they do. There are some days they could do 8 massages and that is a lot of work! Sometimes they even have to split their tips with a front desk person. Even self employed massage therapists still have overhead. Cash tips help us take care of our families and do the work that we love. Industry standard is similar to restaurants. Of course, location, quality of services and financial means come into play, but 10-20% is fairly common.
5. You Are Truly Cared About
When you are on the massage table, you are family. Your needs are considered and you are looked after. Massage is a sacred energy exchange between client and therapist to help facilitate in a healing, both physically and emotionally. There is no judgement, no shame, no need to hide who you are. Having a sacred space for you to heal is something we should all take advantage of.