What Should You Expect of Your Massage & Massage Therapist?

Massage therapy has become an important element in health and wellbeing, with a large body of research indicating its value for a wide variety of health issues, such as stress, low back pain, fibromyalgia, and more. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) wants people to know what to expect from both their massage and their massage therapist.

Massage therapy is and always should be about health and wellbeing in a safe environment. This includes a comfortable environment before, during and after the massage, as well as privacy while changing and the right to remove clothing only to their level of comfort for the massage. It’s important to understand the nature of therapeutic massage.

Here are some other important things to expect from your massage session

  • Mutual respect, courtesy, professionalism, confidentiality and dignity between you and the massage therapist
  • Being draped appropriately by a sheet, towel or blanket, with only the area being massaged exposed
  • A licensed/registered/certified professional massage therapist, working within their
    scope of practice and in an ethical manner. Expect them to be a member of a professional association with a code of ethics.
  • A health intake conversation about your medical conditions and your expectations for the massage
  • The right and option to ask questions of the massage therapist and receive professional responses
  • The right to determine if there will be conversation, music or quiet during the massage
  • An explanation of the nature of the massage and techniques to be used before the start of the massage
  • The right to consent to the massage techniques and approaches, including the level of manual pressure, used in the massage and the ability to request adjustments to pressure at any time during the massage
  • The right to stop a massage and report anything they feel is inappropriate during the massage. 

Seventy-two percent of individuals surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the previous 12 months was medical (43 percent) or stress (29 percent) related, according to a 2017 consumer survey sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association

Watch: What to Expect in Your Massage Session

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