By Ian Chow, CerTIFIED Massage Therapist
This is my first part of the questions that I have encountered as a massage therapist and some questions that have crossed my mind as well as a receiver. Meanwhile, there is also Part 2 of this FAQ for your reading pleasure. And on another spectrum, another list of questions that you may have “Should I…….?” Or simply just click here to read about other massage related topics that I write about.
What if I need to go to the bathroom halfway?
Don’t be shy to just tell your therapist. Don’t hold it in cos as you know, it doesn’t do your body good. Plus, if your massage package include stomach area, that could get a bit uncomfortable too. Usually, I will ask for a toilet break when my position is change from prone to supine.
What if I fall asleep?
It is very common that you will tend to fall asleep during massage. This is the time when your body is fully relaxed, shut down and recharging. Hormonal function wise, massage stimulate serotonin (happy hormone) which also encourage the production of melatonin (sleep hormone). So, don’t feel apologetic and guilty for falling asleep during massage (I know I am not). Your body deserve that break.
What if the massage hurt?
I don’t believe in no pain, no gain. If the massage hurts, you surely will be tensing up your body and I don’t see how that can help your body to relax, promote fluid circulation and releases all the good hormones. Your nervous system may react negatively as well. Sure, you may get a bit uncomfortable on certain sore areas or if the therapist goes a bit deeper to release certain knot, but it shouldn’t be lasting pain throughout the session. If that happens, feel free to tell to your therapist. An experience therapist will be able to read your body signal or expression and in turn will ask you whether are you experiencing any pain (then adjust the treatment accordingly).
What if i have health condition or history?
I feel that as a receiver, I always have the responsibility to inform the therapist if I have any medical history, injuries / accidents or contagious disease. A massage may make it worse or if your therapist is aware of your conditions, perhaps the force or the technique used can be changed accordingly too.
But should you have contagious disease, you should consider postponing your appointment or take all the neccesary precautions (and your therapist must be informed). He or she will reserved the right too whether to accept you as a client; certainly wouldn’t want to start a chain or a cluster of the disease.
What if my therapist keep burping during the session?
After going through so many sessions, I certainly have come across some therapist (especially Indonesian therapist) who will keep on burping while they are conducting the session. Some say it is the client’s bad “wind” that transfer out through the therapist body and some say they can also determine which part of your body is problematic by the burp while touching you. But for me, I am not a believer of that. I don’t want to be smelling what my therapist has just eaten too. I don’t believe by burping, it can heal the client. If you happen to meet one and it gets to you annoyingly, you should communicate to your therapist. I am not sure whether he / she can do anything about it since it can be their habit for many years.
What if I get an erection or feel aroused?
A skin to skin contact especially at the right meridian point will have the potential to stimulate or arouse us sexually especially when we are at a very relaxed state. I have a friend who ejaculated during one of the session (mind you, it is not a happy ending massage and neither was there any direct contact on the private area).
But for a professional therapist, once they notice physical signs of stimulation, they will also then go to a more neutral area to continue with the massage to “cool” things down a bit. Failing which, you can always ask the therapist to stop for a moment or maybe ask for more drape on the hip area.
What if I am pregnant?
Many brands in Malaysia are not equipped or have trained therapist who can handle prenatal massage (or post natal massage). But I am aware that there are qualified individuals around town who can do so (they mostly do incall). Also, most will not recommend for you to get prenatal massage while you are still in your first tri-semester due to the increased risk of miscarriage within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Best to read about it so that you can make a more informed decision, on whether to even have a massage in the first place and if you choose yes, then you need to select the right therapist.