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Massage Therapy Etiquette

April 23, 2015

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Professional Etiquette Keeps Massage Therapy Clients Comfortable

When most people think of massage, they envision a relaxing experience in which one can let go of their troubles and physical pain, while also rejuvenating their mind and body. And because the experience is so personal and involves close contact with a massage therapist, the client naturally falls into a vulnerable position. As a massage professional, here are four ways you can help create a positive and comfortable experience for your massage therapy clients, and also retain them long-term to keep business flowing.

A close up of a man massaging a womans neck


Keep a clean environment

One of the easiest ways to create a professional image is to maintain a sanitary massage environment. Make sure to properly wash your massage table between every session, as well as the sheets or any chairs you may utilize. Your clients will appreciate a clean massage setting, which will make it easier to maintain your business relationship.

Understand that some people are self-conscious

Receiving a massage may be easier for some than it is for others. In many cases, nothing more than a small sheet is covering the client, and not everyone will be thrilled about exposing their bodies. A number of clients will struggle with their weight, while others may exhibit other insecurities, such as scarring or acne. As a massage therapist, you’ll work with people of all shapes and sizes, so sensitivity is imperative.

Practice good conversation etiquette

Not every client will know whether or not they’re supposed to talk to the massage therapist while being treated. So, you should let them know up front that there’s no obligation to carry on a conversation. Clients may prefer their massage session be a time to close their eyes, relax and forget about their stresses. On the other hand, if you’re performing deep-tissue or sports-related massage, talking may be necessary to ensure the correct treatment is administered and the client is not in pain.


As in most other industries, the tipping topic is rarely discussed openly because of the uneasiness it can create. But because not everyone partakes in massage therapy, many new clients don’t know the social and financial norms associated with the service. As a qualified massage therapist, work to inform new clients delicately about tipping policies, if one exists. While it may not be a fun conversation, tips usually make up a good portion of a massage therapist’s salary and it’ll be in your best interest to address it.

As you move through the Massage Therapy program at First Institute, take these tips into consideration. Along with having the ability to provide a great massage, a skilled massage therapist also knows how to make their clients feel safe and comfortable. It plays an important role in expanding their massage career and growing business for their employer.

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