How Far Should You Undress?
Category: Massage Posted: 11 Dec 2018
Posted: 11 Dec 2018
Whether you are the sort who rejoices running around naked or feel more at home with a stranger covered from head to toe, getting a massage often requires a moment or two of consideration about shedding ones clothes and if so, to what degree. We lay bare the rules on how far to undress and help you navigate through to a more comfortable experience for both you and your therapist.
Whilst some massage providers have notices on 'massage etiquette', we think displaying a set of rules preaching adults on how to behave during a massage is perhaps a little condescending or even offensive. The large majority of customers are mature, polite and have a good grasp of common sense. So you probably do not need to be taught basic manners but you may be wondering what is appropriate (and necessary) in terms of undressing for your therapeutic massage treatment at home.
What Should I (Not) Wear During My Massage Treatment?
Many customers enquire about what exactly they should and should not wear during a massage. In fact it is one of the most common embarrassing questions about massage. This is understandable, especially if it is your first time having a massage. Simply put, you have three options regarding your clothing when receiving a massage: you can remain fully clothed, you can remove some of your clothes or you can undress completely down to your birthday suit! Now, let’s look at each of those in a little more detail.
Staying Fully Clothed
If you prefer to remain fully clothed, then the best type of massage to book is a stretching or acupressure style treatment. The most popular of these types are Thai Massage and Reflexology, which is an acupressure based treatment. You can read about each of these styles in more detail in our Treatments section, but the essential factor in all of these styles is that they can be applied without any need for oil or creams and therefore it does not matter if you are clothed during the treatment. These massage styles are also referred to as ‘dry massages’. Other popular styles for which there is no need to undress include office based chair massages and the super relaxing Indian Head massage (which is incorporated in our Jet Lag treatment).
When receiving a treatment fully clothed, it is highly recommended that you wear loose fitting clothes made of natural fibres. This allows air to flow more freely through and helps you feel more comfortable and relaxed throughout your treatment.
You may decide that you would feel more comfortable taking off some clothes before receiving your massage. For example, most people receiving Foot Reflexology prefer to have the pressure applied direct to bare skin, so they take off their shoes and socks but keep the rest of their clothes on. Yes, your therapist will probably try to stop herself laughing if you walk in for a foot reflexology session with your shirt off!
Or, you may be one of many who hate taking their socks off. It's not unusual for customers to book a full body oil massage (excluding feet) and so they take off all their clothes except their socks. To include or exclude specific body parts from being massaged, select your preferred massage focus areas using Focus Man during the online booking process.
The most popular semi-clothed option when receiving a full body oil massage is to undress down to underwear. Note, thongs are probably a better choice than granny panties.
Many customers who want an oil based massage are comfortable undressing completely, including underwear. Being nude during your massage allows your therapist to more easily deliver a free-flowing style of therapy without hindrance. This is especially helpful when performing long effleurage strokes along large stretches of the body. Such strokes form a key part of relaxation focused treatments such as the ubiquitous Swedish massage as well as in more intensive therapies that combine graceful flowing techniques with deeper tissue penetration such as the increasingly popular Lomi Lomi massage.
It's worth bearing in mind, that many massage oils can stain certain types of material permanently. So taking off your clothes can also help ensure that you do not end up with spoiled garments.
It's probably true to say that most professional therapists prefer to perform their treatment on a fully undressed client but before you raise cheeky eyebrows, read on ...
What About Towels?
If you choose to be either semi-clothed or naked, your massage therapist will use one or two large towels to ensure that both your modesty and their dignity is respected at all times. Some therapists also use towels whilst carrying out dry massage styles, as having a towel draped over your body can help with friction and allow a deeper pressure to be applied without the risk of hands slipping due to oil.
We asked Monika, one of our most experienced masseuses, to give her opinion on customer nudity during massage treatments:
"If a client is completely naked it does allow me to do my most flowing movements with more ease and to apply a better rhythm overall.
But, of course, I cover my customer appropriately with a towel, moving it to massage the body parts that I am focusing on and keeping other areas warm.
There's no such thing as skinny dipping during a professional massage!"
As a mobile massage service operating throughout London, your therapist will travel to your home or hotel room. For the purposes ensuring continuing hygiene in between customer appointments, your therapist will ask you to provide your own towels for the treatment. If you are receiving your massage whilst staying in a hotel, a good idea is to request two additional large towels to be delivered to your room ahead of your therapist's arrival. That way you can keep the towels you use for taking a shower separate from those that will be used for your massage.