Not knowing the proper etiquette when having a massage can cause moments of confusion. Do you tip a massage therapist? How much clothing should you remove? Whether you’re a massage newbie or have a specific question, here are the top questions you may be reluctant to ask.

1.    Arrive Early

Depending on the facility, you should arrive 10-15 minute early to your appointment. If it’s your first visit to that massage clinic, we recommend arriving 20-30 minutes early.

Many spas have relaxing sitting areas where you can enjoy a glass of water and listen to soft music before it’s time for your massage.

2.    Should You Tip A Massage Therapist?

Knowing the timing and amount of tips can be difficult. If the massage is in a medical or clinical setting, you do not need to tip the massage therapists. If you’re unsure, ask whether or not the masseuse is accustomed to accepting tips, and if so, what is the standard range? You can talk to the clinic receptionist, or call in advance if you feel uncomfortable asking in person.

3.    Should You Feel Any Pain During Massage?

It’s a myth that any form of massage therapy (even deep tissue massage) must be painful to be effective. Pain during a massage isn’t a sure sign that the massage is helping. In fact, pain can cause muscles to seize up, making it harder for the massage therapist to ease tense areas.

4.    Should You Bare It All?

Typically, a massage therapist will ask you to undress to your level of comfort. Many people prefer to keep their underwear on during a massage, while others prefer to be nude. It’s up to you. Women usually remove their bras to allow the massage therapist to work on the back and shoulder area without getting massage oil or lotion on the bra.

If your problem area is your low back, hips, buttocks, or groin, tight-fitting or large underwear can sometimes get in the way of massage work. You can ask your massage therapist before getting changed.

Whether you’re a massage newbie or just have a specific question that you’ve been reluctant to ask, being observant can give you clues that may help answer certain questions. You can also ask the clinic or spa receptionist your question. He or she likely answers many questions on a regular basis and would be happy to answer yours so you can get the most out of your treatment. Schedule your massage at Joplin’s best massage spa today!