The Dos And Donts at a Massage Parlor

Submitted by Kevin Pederson on August 13, 2012

As a massage client you are somewhere between being a patient and a customer. This is due to the nature of massage and it being a more involved therapy than say a pedicure or a haircut. This can be a source of confusion and anxiety especially if you are a first time client. Here are some tips on proper massage etiquette that will help sort out any confusion or anxiety that you may experience.


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The intimacy associated with a massage makes it important for both the client and the therapist to establish certain boundaries. This is true for men and for women. Any forms of sexual contact, language or actions are totally inappropriate.

Differentiating between a therapist’s touch and a sexual contact can be difficult and as a client you are liable to attribute false motives to his or her touch. Mentally you should prepare yourself and regard the therapist as a professional and not as a friend. Gestures such as hugging and kissing and asking personal questions are to be avoided. A handshake and a polite thank you is all that is necessary.

While some talking during the massage session is okay, avoid disclosing too much personal information during the session. Avoid joking and any kind of sexual innuendo. Keep the conversation light and do not ask for advice or indulge in gossip. This will help to keep the relationship on a professional footing.


Tipping is not compulsory but is often the custom. Most therapists working in spas take home only a fraction of the amount you pay. Use standard tipping guidelines to calculate your tip. Anything between 10% and 20% should be fine.


Since massage calls for at least partial exposure of your body, you may be uncomfortable initially. A good therapist will only seek the bare minimum amount of physical exposure for the purpose of the massage. Ask your therapist how much physical exposure is required. If you are not comfortable then say so. Therapists are used to varying degrees of modesty and should be able to accommodate you. The opposite is also true. Do not try to bare more than what is required. At the end of the session, wait till the therapist has left the room before you get dressed.


You must be clean before you arrive for the massage. If you have been indulging in any strenuous activity or are sweaty and dirty then you should shower before you arrive. Do not apply deodorant, powder, glitter or make up before your session.

Massages could be really relaxing and good as long as proper etiquettes are followed and kept to. This will help you as also the masseur to remain comfortable through the entire session.

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