Receiving massage services can be quite confusing if you don’t know the proper etiquette for it. Are you supposed to give your massage therapist a tip? Just how much clothing are you supposed to remove? These are two of the many questions that you may have. Thankfully, this article answers those questions.
Are you supposed to tip the massage therapist?
Tipping is not a requirement. However, if you receive a massage at a hotel or spa in North America and you’re pleased with the service, the standard tip is 20 percent unless it’s an all-inclusive spa that operates under a strict no-tip policy. If you purchased a deal for the massage through a discount site or you received a gift certificate for the massage, it’s customary to give a tip based on the original price.
If the clinic or spa provides its clients with envelops for tipping, avoid confusion by writing the name of the massage therapist on the envelope in which you place the money. If an envelope is not provided, you can either include the tip when you’re paying for the service or give the tip to the massage therapist.
If you’re receiving the massage for men at a clinical or medical establishment, it is likely that tips are neither expected nor accepted. To be sure, find out from the massage therapist or receptionist whether it’s customary to give a tip. You can call ahead and ask if you don’t want to ask in person.
Just how much clothing are you expected to remove?
A massage therapist will usually ask you to disrobe to your level of comfort. While some prefer to be nude for the massage, many people would rather leave on their underwear. The choice is yours. Women typically take off their bras so that the massage therapist can work on the shoulder and back areas without getting massage lotion or oil on the bra.
Note that large or tight-fitting underwear can hinder the massage work if your problem area is your groin, buttocks, hips and lower back. Let the massage therapist know any concerns you may have before changing.
Licensed massaged therapists in North America are required to ensure that you’re properly covered with a towel or sheet in case you completely undress.
Before the massage procedure begins, the massage therapist will leave the room to allow you time to undress and lie on the massage table. Typically, you lie face down under the top sheet. In most establishments, you need not worry about the therapist walking in on you because they usually knock and ask you if you’re ready before they enter the room.
How much clothing you should remove is also determined by the type of massage that you will be receiving. If you’re not comfortable being undressed at all, you can go for massage styles such as Thai massage or shiatsu massage, which are typically done while you’re fully clothed.
In the end, having open communication with your massage therapist is the best ways of making sure that your needs are met.