Massage: Do I have to take off my clothes?
Updated: Jun 25
Clients most often come to me with acute or chronic pain. Depending on your massage goals, you'll remain clothed for some or all of your first appointment. For this reason, I recommend wearing comfortable clothing.
The goal is to "graduate" you to maintenance massage which usually includes a combination of deep tissue, trigger point therapy and relaxation massage. I’ve found many massage therapists say, “Undress to your level of comfort.” I think that’s way too vague. And people new to massage have no idea what that means. (Heck, I’m not even sure what that means.)
Here’s what you need to know about clothing during a session:
No matter what, you’ll always be covered (draped) with a sheet and a blanket. You’ll never be left feeling exposed or chilly. When I work on an arm, I fold the sheet back and tuck it under your arm so it’s secure. (No drafts, my friends.) I follow the same protocol for the leg.
When I work on the full back, I fold the drape down at the hips. If you’re wearing underwear I’ll tuck the sheet around the waistband, to protect your clothes from massage lotion. If you’re wearing a bra, I’ll work around it. If you’re wearing a tank top or shorts or long johns, I’ll work through it. I know plenty of effective massage techniques that can be administered over clothing. If I feel I can’t effectively treat your issue through the clothing you’ve chosen to wear, I’ll tell you, and we’ll figure out another approach.
Please know that I don’t care, and I’m not judging you. This massage is about you and it’s important you feel comfortable. For some people that means leaving some clothing on. For others, it means taking it all off. There is no right or wrong, this is your massage.