Remedial Massage Therapists (RMTs) see all kinds of people, conditions and concerns. Over the years I’ve noticed that most clients ask me the same kind of questions during treatments, so I’ve created a list of some common concerns and what your RMTs are really thinking.
1. Hairy legs. Honestly, we don’t even notice until you mention it. It doesn’t matter if you have some stubble or haven’t waxed for weeks-months, even! It has no effect on our treatment, if it does, that’s what the oil is for. I mean it.
2. Your body is beautiful. RMTs treat hundreds of clients. That means seeing and touching their naked bodies. Guess what? They are all different. Out of all of them, not even one looks like what you see, airbrushed in the media. Male or female. Whatever your body looks like is just fine. More than fine.
I’ve seen it all – stretch marks, scars, deformities, muscles, moles, dry skin or cellulite. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ body – short, tall, extra kilos, not enough kilos… that is not what we are looking at when massaging your body. We don’t care about how you look, we care about how you feel.
3. When you re-make the massage table, I smile inside. It is such an endearing sight to see towels neatly folded on the table once you have hopped off and gotten dressed. Sure, we put those towels into the laundry hamper anyway but it really warms my heart when clients do this.
4. A massage every now and then isn’t going to do much. When it comes to massage, “less is more” definitely does not apply. While one massage can certainly help, it packs the greatest benefits over time. Massage therapy should be considered part of a long-term wellness routine. It’s best to get a massage as frequently as possible, even if it’s once a month or once every six weeks. All your muscle tightness and pains can never be totally worked out, as you’re constantly living, breathing, and moving your body, but getting your muscles loosened as a tune up seriously helps diminish injury. Plus, with the focused massage work, sometimes one treatment can cover only the lower body, for example, and every time you come in there’s another specific area that needs focus.
5. To chat or not to chat. You have no obligation to talk to us during a massage. If talking helps you relax, by all means go ahead. Otherwise, go to your happy place.
6. Bodily functions are normal. Most massage therapy treatments have some component of relaxation. Your parasympathetic nervous system starts to shine, meaning the rest-and-digest functions are in gear. And yes, that means stomach grumbling and growling, snoring, even farting is normal. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, that’s a good sign you are relaxed. As healthcare professionals, it doesn’t faze us. We don’t judge you, we’re here to help you.
7. Don’t be shy about your butt. To us, your butt is not cute, big, small, or sexy. It’s a big muscle, actually it’s three, and we like muscles. We call your bum gluteals or glutes. We observe your bodies in a clinical sense, and if you have pain associated with your lower back, legs, hips or glutes, don’t be shy. We can work your glutes with a towel covering if that makes you more comfortable, but it seems kind of crazy not to work on some of the biggest muscles in the body.
8. Draping and undressing. As RMTs we are legally required to follow draping protocols to protect you and ourselves. We only undrape the area being treated at that time, then redrape fully, before undraping any other areas. There is no need to help us adjusting your towel or sheet, we’ve been doing this job for a while and have our own way of draping. That doesn’t mean that you can’t tell your massage therapist if you’re uncomfortable about it. We’re happy to discuss your needs and work together to find a solution.
9. Don’t worry about hurting our feelings. If there is too much pressure happening (or not enough!) or you want to focus on a certain area more than another, just let us know. This appointment is for you, so don’t be afraid to speak up!
10. We care about you and your body. Inside the massage room you are safe. Need to have a rant about how crappy your day/week/month has been? Go ahead. Everything too much and you want to cry? Go ahead. There is no judgement in the massage room. If you’d prefer a silent treatment or the music turned off/up, let your massage therapist know. We hope we can make you feel better, that’s the goal, that’s why we do what we do. That’s also why RMTs refer you to other practitioners, because we truly think they could help and their tools could be of use to your recovery. Because your recovery is our priority and you matter to us. And most importantly, because we really care about you and your health.
Know that we love what we do, helping people is the best job in the world. We truly feel just as good as you do after a treatment! We are genuinely grateful when you consider trusting us with your health, and we consider it a privilege to share that time with you!
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