Massage? But I don’t want to take my clothes off

Then don’t.  I won’t argue with you, try to convince you what to do, or judge you.  I won’t be disappointed or feel like you don’t trust me.  I will simply accept your choice.

Some people have wondered about getting a massage but are reluctant.  One stumbling block is that they don’t want to take off their clothes.  There are several valid reasons for that hesitancy.  Before getting involved with massage I needed to do some research to understand the situation.

Let’s try to gain some understanding.

But I’m a modest person

Great!  I am too.  No matter what you wear, you will be covered by a colored sheet the whole time.  The only part uncovered will be what is being worked on at the moment.

Why do people take clothes off for a massage?

Massage is working on your muscles and other soft tissue.  It’s easier to evaluate their condition and then work to make them better without anything between my hands and them.   Easier, but not essential.

Do I  have to take off anything?

Nope.   Well, your shoes, and your necklace, because I’m sure to get my hands tangled in it.

And you won’t be angry?

I will not be angry.  Oops, sorry, having a Young Frankenstein moment there…  Now where was I?  Abby someone…

What can you do through my clothes?

I have some techniques that work well with clothes on.  I do Bamboo massage, and it is effective through clothes.  Positional release can be done with clothes on. It is not the same as a typical massage, but you will feel looser when we are done.

If you do want to keep your clothes on, you can wear something that is comfortable that allows some movement.  Thicker material, like jeans, make the work less effective.  Some clothes that people wear are pajama type or loose yoga type clothes, shorts, tank tops, and sports bras.  You can bring them and change into them if you want.

Will you be in the room as I’m undressing?

No.  First we will talk about what you need that day.  I’ll take you to the room, let you know whether to start face up or face down, and leave.  In a couple of minutes, after I’ve washed my hands and have everything I need, I’ll knock on the door.  When you are ready, I’ll come in and get started.

But I have body issues

Almost everybody who comes in has something they have an issue with.  This is an involved topic that I’ll discuss in more detail in other posts.  It all boils down to this: Massage Therapists make observations concerning your body, but not judgments.  Massage has helped me learn how to deal with my own body issues.

Any suggestions on what not to wear?

Here’s a slightly offbeat approach with some suggestions on what not to wear.

What should I wear then?

It’s completely up to you.  Keep everything on, take everything off, or somewhere in between.  You can’t be relaxed if you are thinking about what you are or are not wearing.

I want you to experience and enjoy the benefits of massage.  If clothing has been an obstacle for you, let’s find a way to work around it.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at

A better vision for you

My oldest son got married at the beginning of summer.  The photographer was really good.  He has a talent for looking at the surroundings and knowing what would make a good picture.  On some of the shots I wasn’t in, I was observing.  I occasionally wondered why he positioned people the way he did.  When I saw the nice results, I understood.  He saw what I couldn’t at the time.

As a massage therapist, I observe people all the time now, whether they are clients or not.  I look at how people walk, how they sit and try to get comfortable, their posture, and how much they carry around.  I see the wince of pain from their neck or back, how they favor one leg, the stretches they do, and how they rub an area that is bothering them.

For many, I can tell they have an issue that is causing pain or discomfort.  I can also see that what they are doing will eventually cause an issue (like carrying a heavy bag).

Like a good photographer, I have to see what isn’t visible.  I can’t see your muscles, but I know where they should be, how they should be acting, and what they should feel like.

My vision for you is one that doesn’t involve the pain you are living with now.  I can see you walking out after an appointment with a smile.  Your pain is better and you are relaxed and happy.

If somebody has been suggesting that you could benefit from a massage, they likely have the same vision.  They have experienced the results of massage and want you to do the same.  Ask them or me whatever questions you may have and get comfortable with the idea.  It’s just a way to help you feel good and enjoy your life.

Here I am with my two awesome sons.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at

How often should I get a massage?

People ask me how often they should get a massage.  The answer depends on what you wish to accomplish.

If you have a specific physical problem, we will discuss it before starting to work on it so you know what to expect.  Following the initial massage, we will discuss how things feel and how best to follow up.  It may be wise to observe how you feel the next day or two before any further work.  In most situations, it will be fine to return for additional massage within a day or two.  I’ve been able to improve the situation for my clients in one visit, but some issues require multiple appointments to solve the real problem.  The problems I’ve seen have developed over time, and it will take some time to return to normal.

If stress is the major concern in your life, there are no issues with getting as many massages as you need.  You can come in as often as you like.  Stress is very damaging to both your mind and body.  Massage is a great tool to help you manage stress.  How much better would you feel, and how much more could you accomplish, without a constant headache?

If you don’t have a specific problem and generally feel good, monthly (or more often) massages will keep you feeling great.  It prevents small problems from developing into serious issues.  You don’t need a glaring problem to get a massage.

I get a massage at least monthly and more often when I can.  If it is longer than a month between massages, I can definitely notice that I don’t feel as well as I would like.

Due to stress, repetitive actions, travel, and other daily activities, I don’t recommend that you go more than two months, and three at the most, between massages.

If finances are a concern, I have packages available to help you fit it in your budget.  Most of my clients prefer at least a 60 minute massage, but regular 30 minute appointments can address a problem area and provide stress relief also.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at

Massage – can it help me?

If you are not familiar with massage you may be wondering if it is for you.  I believe it can be if you fit in one of these categories.

* People who use their bodies for work.  Are you on your feet a lot?  Do you do much lifting?  Do you do repetitive motions?  Doing the same thing daily for many months or years will have an effect on your body.  Some muscles will get overused and others will be underused, leading to muscle imbalance.  Massage can relieve those pains to help you feel better.

* People who are active.  Do you exercise a lot?  It doesn’t have to be a sport – it can be yard work or keeping up with your kids.  Massage can help your body to recover and keep you from slowing down.

* People who are not active.  Are you stuck at your desk, in meetings, or traveling a lot?  Muscles can get stiff and tight from not using them.  Massage can help you get those muscles loose and limber again.

* People with stress.  Everybody has some stress, but an excessive amount is bad for your body and mind.  I can massage the stress out, capture it in the sheets, and not let it follow you out the door.

* People who need to take care of themselves.  Do you have your hands full taking care of family, work, or other responsibilities?  Massage can provide a brief peace to remind yourself that you can handle what needs done.  It’s a time when you allow somebody else to take care of you for a while.

If one of these describes you, then massage can help.  I hear so often from individuals after their first massage that they are convinced and will be back.  They usually regret not having tried it before.  If you have questions, do some research and talk to some friends who have had massages, ask me whatever you are wondering about, and then give it a try.  I’ve never had anybody leave regretting they came in.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at

Speak up

Before starting your massage, I’ll tell you that I’ll ask how the pressure feels and that you are free to comment any time about it even if I haven’t asked.  My simple request is for you to tell me the truth.

I try to use the right amount of pressure depending on what I am feeling, but it is your body, so you know how it feels.  You can let me know if something feels fabulous or if I have found just the right spot.

Some people have had unsatisfactory experiences with massage at other places.  Most commonly I hear that the pressure was too light and some say it was too much.  I want to use the pressure that feels right to you.  I know that you have been looking forward to this massage.  I don’t want you counting down the minutes until it is over.

I’ll pay attention to the clues you give about how things feel also.  If you are clenching your jaw or your fists, or are trying to strangle me, I’ll get a hint that something is not just right.

Related to pressure, there are some areas of your body and some situations that for your safety I may not use all of the pressure you would like.  I want to make things better, not worse for you.  Also, some areas of the body have layers of muscles.  To work on the deeper layers, the top ones must be warmed up and loosened first before I can get to the deeper muscles.

I have found that some people are hesitant to say anything about any changes.  A few apologetically ask if I can turn up the table warmer.  I start with it set in the middle so it can go up or down.  I doesn’t matter to me at all what it is set on; it’s for your comfort.

Speak up for what you want.  I want everything about your massage to be excellent.  I’ll make some notes so when you come again, I will be reminded what you prefer.  I won’t be insulted.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at

Because I get massages too

I get massages.  I look forward to them and really enjoy them.  I know how great I feel afterwards.  I’m thankful for the pain relief and stress relief it brings, how I feel more like myself, and how I can think more clearly afterwards.

Because I get massages too and know the benefits I receive, I want yours to be outstanding and have you feeling terrific.  I want you to be happy with everything about it.

Here are a few suggestions to help you get the most from your massage.

Show up a few minutes early (ten or so) so we can talk about what you need today.  I’ll spend more time on a problem area if you want.  I adjust what I do every visit for every client.

Let me know how the pressure feels.  I’ll try to use the right amount of pressure, but it’s your body and you know how it feels.  Speak up anytime, whether it feels great and I’ve found the right spot, or if it is too much or not enough pressure.  By the way, there is a misconception that massage has to hurt to be effective.  With the proper techniques, it does not have to hurt.

Don’t care for the music, or is it too loud or too quiet?  I can change it.  You are welcome to bring in your own music if you wish.

It’s more difficult to relax if you are too warm or cool.  I keep a blanket in the room if you are cool.  My table warmer  and heater are adjustable for your comfort.  If just your hands or feet are cold, I can help with that too.  I can turn on the ceiling fan or uncover your feet if you are warm.

If you have a ticklish spot or an area you prefer not to be worked on, let me know.  Relax in confidence that your wishes will be honored.  I want you to know what to expect, without any unpleasant surprises.

It’s your time and your massage.  I want it to be wonderful.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at


What not to wear

I am asked “What should I wear?” from people coming in for a massage.  You should wear what you will feel comfortable in.  For massage to be the most effective, you have to be relaxed, not thinking about clothes.  It really doesn’t matter to me. You will be draped the entire time except for the area I’m working on.  It also doesn’t matter what other people have on or take off, since I will be working on you during your time and not them.

There are, however, a few suggestions about what not to wear, including:
– Space suit
– Suit of armor
– Civil War era corset and hoop dress
– Full body cast
– Gorilla costume
– Star Wars imperial trooper uniform

These of course are just suggestions that might make your massage a little less effective.

There are no fashion police in the office.  I’ve worked on people wearing a variety of things (fortunately though none of the outfits on the list).

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at

The non-waiting room

Occasionally a client coming in for an appointment shows up with a book or something to do while they are waiting.  This usually happens with new clients since my regular clients know what to expect.

They are pleasantly surprised then that I’m ready for them and that they won’t be just waiting.

I get massages also.  I know how much I look forward to mine, and I know how much my clients are looking forward to theirs.  I have to slow down a few people who are ready to get started as soon as they walk in the door.

I schedule enough time between appointments to allow me to change the sheets, wash my hands, and do whatever else needs done to be ready for you.

So come in a few minutes before your appointment.  It will give me time to find out how you are feeling and what you need today.  If you are new, there will be a little paperwork and some conversation about what to expect so your needs are addressed.

Of course, if you show up really early, you might have to wait until I’m done with the client I’m working on.

It’s the way I would like to be treated.

I’ll be ready for you.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at

It’s all about you

Recently a client was giving me an update on how they were feeling before we began their massage.  This was a returning client, and I had reviewed my notes from their previous sessions.  I had a pretty good idea of what they needed, but I always check if there are changes or something different is needed this time.

So this client gave me an update on how they were feeling and how effective their massage has been for them (which I’m happy to say is very effective).  Then they stopped and said something like – “Well, enough about me; how are you?”

My response was – “It’s all about you”.

Your massage session is your time, to take care of your problems, to put yourself in my hands.  Life can be demanding.  Some people or jobs will take all they can from you and not give much back.

This client was simply being courteous and polite.  I’ve seen them a few times and gotten to know them a little.  I don’t mind sharing some of what’s going on in my life – there’s usually something funny or slightly odd going on.  I like to read a lot and learn new techniques for my practice.  Although I’m more quiet than outgoing, I like to talk to people.

But my point is that as a client, your appointment is all about you.  It’s why both of us are here.  You came in with a problem, whether it’s stress or a pain, and we both want it to be better.

This is your time to let somebody else take care of you.  Your assignment during this time will be:

* Lay on the table

* Let me know how things are feeling

* Turn over at some point

That’s about it.  I think you can handle that.  Even more importantly, I believe you will benefit from that.  I appreciate your interest in me, even if it’s just to laugh at my misadventures, but it really is all about you.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at