• 5 Secrets Your Massage Therapist May Not Tell You (but I Will)

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    You didn’t know we had secrets, did you?? Well we do. And because it’s a holiday week, I’ve decided to write a fun and easy blog post this week. So I picked the top 5 secrets I sometimes share with my clients and today I share them with you as well.

    1. Don’t apologize for falling asleep during the massage. It means that you were comfortable and relaxed enough to drift off to sleep. We take it as a compliment when you fall asleep, whether you mean it as one or not. Please don’t burst our bubble by telling us you only fell asleep because you were completely exhausted.

    2. Don’t apologize If you forgot to shave your legs today. I will personally guarantee that far more women than you’d suspect don’t shave their legs every day either. If they did, I wouldn’t massage nearly the amount of stubble that I do. I massage so much stubble, in fact, that I barely register it anymore.

    3. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, but you can take it too far. Please don’t shower right before walking out your door and come in with wet hair. You see, the moisture gets pulled out of your hair, into the sheet, AND into whatever additional padding that we’ve added beneath the sheet to increase your comfort (often this a lambswool-type padding). This padding stays wet for a long time. We probably only have 1 spare pad. If it gets wet we have to change it. And because many of us don’t have laundry facilities in the spaces that we rent, if two people come in with wet hair in the same day, the remaining clients may not get the additional padding at all if the first pad hasn’t dried yet.

    4.  It’s possible to smell too good. Believe me. Please refrain from applying perfume or cologne until after your session. Most massage rooms are small and with the door shut for 60-90 minutes, the smell concentrates until we can taste it. We really don’t like the taste of perfume. If we’re trying to ignore the taste of your perfume, you won’t get the best massage out of us no matter how hard we try to do so.

    5. Timeliness is next to Godliness. It’s obviously not cool to be late; we operate a time-based business. People sign up for a timed session and we’re not going to be late for the next client, who showed up on time, just because you were late. Most therapists will still end the session at the original time and require you to pay the full fee. It’s also not cool to be more than 5-10 minutes early. Again, this is because we operate on a time basis. After each client, we have things that we must do to “finish” the previous session and get ready for the next. These include: Charting on the session we just finished (a massage isn’t finished until it’s charted), changing the table linens, resetting the room so it’s ready for us to begin a new session, drink some water, use the bathroom, have a bite to eat, and return voicemails/emails received while we were in with the last client.

    So there you have it. 5 of our most important secrets.

    Do you have a question that you’d like answered, but can’t quite bring yourself to ask your therapist face-to-face? Leave it in the comments and I’ll either answer it in the comments or in a blog post of its own.

    Are you a massage therapist who has another secret you’d like to share? Please leave it in the comments.

    And of course, don’t forget to like, share, pin, retweet, etc. You all know the drill. The handy buttons below ↓↓↓ make is super easy to do so.

17 Responses so far.

  1. KO says:

    In my experience, wet hair is fairly insignificant compared to the clients who have not cleaned up that day. I had one client with four different smells wafting from various body parts and her own dedicated set of sheets that she had stained.

    • KO, Eeewww, I don’t envy you that hour. Of course you’re right about wet hair being fairly insignificant vs being dirty, but I didn’t think it was much of a “secret” to not come in stinky, sweaty, and smelly. I don’t know about you, but I see a LOT of people who must have some OCD regarding cleanliness because I get way more wet hair on my massage table than I ever expected to.

      • KO says:

        Good point…shouldn’t really be a secret. Would you believe this client is even in the service industry? She’s a hair stylist…and a last-minute canceler. Wasn’t sure if the stains were self tanner or just inability to get all the nooks and crannies clean. To make matters worse, it’s all elbows and forearms with her, so I’m that much closer to the source.

  2. taekiface says:

    The LMT/Client Bible has begun! This is the same creedo I live by and often convey to my own clients.

  3. This is great! Love what you have included here! I have some extra towels handy for people that come in with wet hair. I also explain to people that if they are early it is great, but to please understand I’ve got a few things to do before the ‘official’ start time. Everyone has been very understanding about this and I am grateful to have a practice full of clients that are great about this. LOL about the stinky one…I still do not know how to approach that. Perhaps by telling them that a nice hot shower before massage helps prepare and enhance the massage?

  4. Love it! I usually tell my femaile clients that worry about not shaving: Funny my guy clients never apologize for it, and no woman has ever out hairied a male client., so don’t worry about it. Wet hair not an issue with me. I don’t have all that cushy stuff under my table because it can’t be sterilized between uses. My Comfort Craft isn’t a standard size,which is all Massage Warehouse and others sell, so I have custom linens and table cover for it. And yes I have made a male client/friend go wash off his cologne!
    Another “Secret?” No need to put on fresh eye makeup before your session…

  5. Cynde says:

    I get the “I’m sorry I didn’t shave” alot. Hairy legs are far less a problem than filthy feet. Living in the south, most women (and some men) walk around in sandals and flip flops year round. I don’t think they realize their feet are black from wearing these all day. I used to just skip the feet, but now have warm towels to clean them first. They think its just a nice touch : )

  6. tlbradley says:

    I wrote a similar post on my blog. I titled it “Confessions.” I always tell the ladies who talk about their leg stubble that the men who shave their legs have way more stubble than them. That usually quiets them down 😉

  7. CaCMT says:

    I like having my clients arrive 10-15 minutes early. I ask all new clients to come early to fill out new client paperwork and after that they usually come early on their own. Early gives them time to relax in our beautiful, relaxing lobby for a bit, time for a trip to the restroom, and time to talk and change and get settled on the table and start right on time.

    • At the holistic wellness center where I contract, they do the same thing, and it works well. However, the space I have to see my own clients outside of the center is small and I don’t have a receptionist or any real kind of lobby. I email all my new clients the paperwork so they don’t have to come in super early and be in the way.

  8. Please clients: Don’t touch me –or anyone– without permission, even if you consider it a friendly/helpful touch. This is one of the first things we are taught as students in massage therapy. I set up my chair at a concert venue. I’ve had clients and strangers alike come up behind me and start massaging me — sometimes WHiLE I’m doing my work.