Massages: Know When to Walk Out


The holidays are here and that means many spa gift certificates will be given. And what happens at the spa? Massages.

If you’ve never had a massage before going for your first one can be scary. But, if all goes well, it can change your life for the better. Let something go wrong and you may end up hating the whole profession.

Ah, massage school, where you learn everything from proper draping techniques to what not to do during a session. Unfortunately, there are some massage therapists that don’t quite follow the rules. I have heard one too many times from friends about a massage session gone wrong. These rule breakers can give the massage industry a bad name and turn away already apprehensive people.

So, whether you’re a seasoned massage client or a newbie have no fear. Getting a massage is nothing to be scared about, however, you should educate yourself about what could go wrong during a massage session and learn how to always trust your instincts.

If any of the following happens to you, you have the right to kindly bring your session to an end – no questions asked.

You’re Being Too Exposed

With the exception of your arms, neck, and head, you should be completely covered with a sheet and/or blanket. Only the body part being massaged should be exposed. The massage therapist should take care in exposing any body part by carefully sliding the sheet in a way that keeps you covered. One very minor slip up of the sheet may be excusable, depending on your comfort level, however, constantly being exposed is no excuse.

Makes Contact with Your Private Areas

This guideline goes hand in hand with the technique the massage therapist should be practicing to carefully expose the area about to be massaged. If during that process you constantly feel like you’re being touched too closely the session should come to an end.

Not Avoiding the Areas You Requested to Avoid

You have the right to tell your therapist which areas you want to avoid having massaged, whether it be your face, feet or thighs, the choice is yours. Your therapist should make every effort to listen to you and avoid the specified areas. If they are continuously not abiding by your request then you have the right to end the session.

Pressure is Too Painful or Too Uncomfortable

Before the start of the session your therapist should have established pressure preference with you. Once the session begins you should communicate more pressure or less pressure to your therapist. If at any time your therapist is giving too much pressure to the point it is painful or very uncomfortable and they don’t seem to adjust it no matter how you state to do so, it’s best for you to end the session to avoid further injury.

Non-Stop Talking Therapist

It’s okay for the massage therapist to ask specific questions to you during your session, for example: ‘how is the pressure?’, or ‘what areas have you been having problems with?’ But when the therapist continues to talk, despite your requests to stop, this prevents you from relaxing and enjoying your session.

Not Assigning Your Preferred Gender Therapist

Normally, when you call and make your massage appointment the establishment should ask you if you prefer a male or a female therapist, if both are available. If for some reason when you get there and you see that you don’t have your preferred gender for a therapist you can (and should) inquire at the front desk. You also have the right to not even proceed with your session.

Tips to Help

If any of the above scenarios should arise at your session you should not be held responsible to pay for any service received, especially since it was unsatisfactory. Report the incident to the front desk and make sure to follow up with the outcome.

To perhaps avoid some of these issues, here are a few tips:

  • only go to places to which you have been referred
  • if not listed, ask from what schools the therapists have attended/graduated
  • inquire about license/certification numbers and years of experience
  • research the company for any complaints filed against it and for what
Serena Smith-Williams
Serena Smith-Williams is a wife, mother, certified personal trainer, nutritionist, licensed massaged therapist, entrepreneur, and believer of natural beauty and non-toxic living. She is the owner of Personal Lifestyle Wellness where she teaches women and moms how to live a healthy life for themselves and their families using a simple holistic approach. She shares simple ways of living as well as stories of her own health journey on her blog: Simple Holistic Girl.