7 Must Know Massage Etiquette Rules

If you have never had a massage before or are planning on getting your first massage, you might have several questions about massage etiquette rules that you should follow. In fact, some of your questions might make you feel embarrassed, however, I can assure you that most people have had similar questions regarding massage etiquette before their first massage.

So, what are the massage etiquette rules you should follow?

    • Shower before the massage
    • Know what type of massage you want
    • Answer the health questionnaire provided by the massage therapist
    • Dress down to your comfort level
    • Communicate with the massage therapist
    • Do not ask for sexual favours or “extras”

    Often it can be uncertain what the etiquette is, especially if this is your first massage, I will go into further details and expand on the most important rules you should follow. If you are getting a massage, I recommend you read this till the end.

    Massage Etiquette Rules

    I regularly get massage etiquette questions ranging from, “What should I wear during the massage?” to “Will my insurance cover the massage payment?”. Here are your questions answered and the massage etiquette rules you should follow

    Shower Before The Massage

    It is highly recommended that you shower and clean yourself before the massage. Depending on the type of massage, I will do a lot of deep body work during the session.

    Your skin should be fresh and clean and not greasy and dirty. Grease and dirt will, in fact, be detrimental to your massage session as the essential oils and creams used will not have their full effect.

    You can shower or bathe with non-perfumed gels or soap. Do not use perfume or fragrances before the massage. Some massage therapy modalities are designed to use special essential oil blends and it is helpful when your sense of smell has not been desensitized with strong fragrances.

    Be Punctual

    Be on time for your appointment. I will have other appointments during the day and by being late you have a knock on effect on the entire calendar.

    The time or duration of the massage is from the time the therapist first begins the work on your body. So I will account for the time it will take to set-up the paperwork, prepare the sheets, music etc which will not be taken out of your time.

    In case you are running late I will wait for 20 minutes for your arrival. If you are later than that your appointment will be cancelled, unless you have contacted me.

    Answer The Health Questionnaire Honestly

    During your first massage we will undergo a thorough consultation form. This form will ask you questions about your health and is aimed are understanding your suitability for massage therapy. For


    if you are on blood thinners to deal with blood clots then a Deep Tissue Massage or Sports Massage is definitely not for you as it can dislodge internal blood clots.

    Please inform the therapist of any medical condition you might have.

    Dress Down To Your Comfort Level

    The most common question asked by someone who has not had a massage before is “What should I wear during the massage?”. The general answer you will receive is that you can dress down to your comfort level.

    Some modalities like Reflexology do not require you to disrobe at all. However if you are getting a full body massage then it is important to disrobe.

    Dress down as much as you feel comfortable, but it is ideal to your underwear. You will have the opportunity to dress down and get on to the massage table and cover yourself with the towels/drapes provided. I will leave the room and allow you to disrobe and get onto the table. Once on the massage table please cover your lower body with the towel/drape provided.

    If you are booking a sports massage, be prepaired for me to work on areas outside of your initial pain zone - it is quite common for muscles to refer pain, so what you may be experiencing as back pain might well require treatment of the legs and gluteal muscles.

    Have Open Communication With The Therapist

    If you do not know the type of massage you want you should discuss it with me. Although the general population is aware of massages such as Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports or Aromatherapy, there are several other massage therapy modalities which might offer better results for you.

    Inform me of your goals – is it to relax? Or remove painful knots? Or prepare for an upcoming race? Based on your requirements I will be able to tailor the massage to your needs. I usually tailor the massage for individual sessions and your feedback is very important.

    If you feel the pressure is too light or too strong, informme and I will adjust accordingly. If you need to sneeze or go to the toilet, inform me and I will stop. Any pain or discomfort is not the side effect of massage as a massage is not meant to cause discomfort and is generally an enjoyable experience.

    Do Not Ask For “Extras” Or Sexual Favours

    This should be fairly obvious, but turns out it is not the case. In the UK, massage therapists working have years of experience in massage therapy and have spent several years studying anatomy and massage therapy modalities to obtain their massage certifications and diplomas.

    Consider these massage therapists equivalent to your doctor or nurse. Would you ask your doctor or nurse for extras? When you are getting the services of a professional massage therapist asking for sexual favors or behaving in an indecent manner can get you in a lot of trouble.

    Learn To Receive

    If you are an empathetic person or someone who has a “giving” nature, you might find it difficult to enjoy the massage. If you are among the few who do not enjoy massages then your main issue could be that you have not yet learnt to receive.

    During the massage, understand that the therapist is there to serve you and it is OK for you to let go and receive the good feelings. Once you accept this fact and learn to receive, you will find the bliss that massage therapy can deliver.