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My Massage Therapist

Updated on January 12, 2018

Who is in Control?

Who is in control of my massage?


Never let ANYONE tell you otherwise!

Comfort Zone: To Bare or not to Bare?

In North America, we have laws regarding draping. Your body is to be covered by sheets, blankets, or full sized towels with only the area being treated exposed.

As for going bare or clothed (partially or fully), this should be your choice. As a Professional, most Massage Therapists can work with just about anything. If you wish to leave your underwear on, by all means, please do. Should you wish to take them off… no worries there either. If you are completely uncomfortable with getting undressed, at all, tell your therapist. We can work through your clothing. (Some people are uncomfortable with being ‘naked’ on the table with a stranger. That’s okay. Trust is not always easy).

With this in mind, there are Therapists that will ask you to leave your undergarments on. Please respect this. No matter how long we have been doing this, there is a comfort level involved on both sides of the table.

Your Pain Threshold

Often, clients feel as if they are ‘patients’ when in a Massage Treatment. This is not the case. Whether you are in a session for relaxation, or injury, it is ALWAYS your session. You have the right to tell your Therapist if they are hurting you by working to deeply, or if they are not ‘getting at that knot’ (I am using the term ‘knot’ loosely) by not working deep enough.

Deep Tissue is subjective. This means that each client (you) feels ‘pain’ differently than someone else. I always tell my clients that with deep work, there’s a ‘hurt good, hurt bad’ component. If that line is crossed, it can be exceptionally unpleasant, and you’ll NEVER want to have a treatment again. It is YOUR right to tell the therapist that they are working to deep, and to ask them to lighten up on the pressure. It is also your right to ask a therapist to ‘deepen’ the work. Keep in mind though, the therapist you are seeing may not be able to get deep enough for you. Here’s how I define the difference to my clients:

Hurt Good: this is where you’re really feeling the pressure and it’s working. Can be mildly uncomfortable, and yet relief can also be felt as tissues release.

Hurt Bad: this is pain so intense that you want to run screaming from the room. It can literally take your breath away.

A therapist should never tell you to ‘suck it up’. In Massage there is no such thing as ‘no pain, no gain’. If you hear these words from your therapist, run for the hills. Some people do like a DEEP massage. It is YOUR pain threshold, no one else can judge your tolerance.

Similar can be said for massage that is to light… but with a catch. You may enjoy the deeper work, but if dealing with an injury, deeper work can be damaging to start with. Your therapist should be able to explain this to you, have a treatment plan, and goals for recovery. Sometimes lighter is better.

If the therapist is unable to go deeper due to their physical restrictions, they should be able to refer you to someone else.


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© 2016 Shaunna Jones Leclair


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