Artful Touch Massage & Wellness Center

Must A Guest Fully Disrobe?

The short answer is "no." However, it is highly recommended by most massage therapists. Here's why:

To be able to truly feel what is happening within your muscles and other connective tissues, assessing any muscle damage or ill health, a massage therapist needs clothing to be out of the way. Also, the addition of clothing between the therapist's hands and your skin can create extra friction. That friction can cause lesions. blisters, bruising, and just general discomfort. The combination of friction and the therapist's resulting inability to gauge pressure and placement will generally lead to an uncomfortable and disappointing massage.

There are times when it is appropriate to leave clothing on, such as when getting a shorter chair massage in a public or crowded place--something like those 10-15 minute massages your company provided for employee appreciation. (Ok, if your boss hasn't done this, you should nudge him or her.) In such an instance, the therapist is using mostly gentle compression and little-to-no friction, and the duration of the treatment would not necessitate the removal of clothing.

Now, just because your therapist asks you to disrobe does not mean you will be lying on the table completely exposed. Your therapist will be using a drape, often sheets, blankets, and towels, to cover you. And your genitals and private areas will never be exposed. If you experience this type of exposure in the United States, please read some of the other posts in this blog and consult other authorities on the matter, such as NCBTMB, the state or local licensing board, or a massage insurance company. For more information about this see the heading "What should I expect from my first massage?" on this page.

The bottom line

Your massage therapist, his or her office's surroundings, and the atmosphere of the office should make you feel comfortable with removing your clothing and relaxing under the provided drape. If this is not the case, tell your massage therapist so that he or she may provide necessary comfort or instruction.