Do I wear underwear for a massage?

The number one question that we find people are too embarrassed to ask is “do I wear underwear during a massage or not?” Many new clients are unsure what the “protocol” is regarding wearing underwear during a massage. The simplistic answer is: wear whatever you are comfortable with! There is no judgement, no stigma, and no strings attached.

Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) are regulated health care practitioners and view the body in its anatomical complexity. Therefore, they don’t compare, judge, or criticize, what they are doing is assessing the soft tissue of each individual client in order to provide the safest and most effective treatment. Underwear is a preference to the client alone and is based on whatever your comfort levels are. 

THE BENEFITS OF WEARING UNDERWEAR

The benefits to wearing underwear during your massage include:

  • Your massage therapist can tuck the sheets into the elastic to provide a snug barrier.
  • Additionally, it provides a barrier between some more sensitive areas, and it may add an extra layer of comfort to the client, allowing for optimal relaxation efforts.
  • The gluteal region is often recommended for treatment, especially in clients with low back pain. Even when a client is wearing underwear, the glutes are still accessible and can be treated accordingly. 

WHY DISROBE TO YOUR BIRTHDAY SUIT

The benefits to disrobing completely are:

  • Gaining more efficient access to gluteal and groin release.
  • Allowing the massage therapist to have smooth transition from hamstrings to glutes.
  • Additionally, proper draping with the sheet prevents exposure with underwear or without!

SENSITIVE AREA CONSENT

The undergarment regions are two areas of the body (glutes and upper inner thigh) that require written consent to be treated. All of the benefits and risks need to be discussed prior to treatment, and no RMT should assume that a client is comfortable without receiving this consent. RMTs believe in autonomy, it is up to you to decide if you are comfortable with the treatment plan based on all of the benefits and risks the RMT provides. If at any time throughout a treatment you become uncomfortable, you have all the power to stop the treatment to discuss your concerns, and move forward with a plan better suited to your individual comfort level. 

RMTs are people and understand everyone’s needs are different. Please ask questions, voice your concerns, and be honest. When guarded, stress hormones are released, and tissue becomes tense. Relaxed tissue releases the best, reduces the amount of post-massage kickback pain, and allows the nervous system to access those parasympathetic vibes.

You may be been too embarrassed to ask “do I wear underwear for a massage?” so we hope we have saved you the trouble.


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