Educating Massage Clients and Patients on the Correct Dress Code

One of the biggest concerns for any massage therapist could be customers who do not follow the correct dress code. There are certain massage types that require the client to remove certain clothing items.

In some cases, clients may not know how to use the drapes correctly. These situations can make you uncomfortable and nervous. Moreover, if the situation is not handled correctly, it can make the client uncomfortable as well.

If the client becomes stressed, you may not be able to make them relax, which is the point of massage therapy in many cases. This is why you have to learn how to deal with clients who make dress code mistakes, usually unknowingly.

What is the Appropriate Clothing When Getting a Massage?

One of the most common misconceptions amongst clients is that there is a specific dress code for massage therapy. The truth is that massage therapy has no specific dress code and in fact, the type of massage that you are providing to the client decides the dress that should be worn.

There are certain types of massages that do not have a particular dress code at all. The clients can be dressed as they please in such cases. The part about the dress code that makes most clients uncomfortable is being in the nude.

While this may be a requirement for some types of massages, not all massages have this prerequisite. Even so, if clients are uncomfortable removing all of their clothes, there are ways to work around it.

A massage session is supposed to be relaxing. There is no point to a massage if the client is not relaxed. Even though certain types of massages may have a specific dress code, it all ultimately comes down to the customers comfort.

Communicating Appropriately With Clients

Most clients are simply not aware of the type of dress that a massage requires. It may be their first time getting a massage, or they may simply not be aware of the dress code.

This is why it is a good idea to guide the client accordingly. If you see a client who is fully clothed for a full body massage, you can tell them about the requirements of the massage and give them their options. Many places have hand outs when clients check in which explain the code. This can make things more comfortable and easier for all.

Communication can be extremely easy with clients who simply do not know about the procedure because they are new to it. However, with clients who are shy or uncomfortable this can be a bit challenging. It’s important to ensure right off the bat that you make clients realize that they will be covered the entire time with drapes.

A great technique you can use is to show the client around the office and massage room prior to beginning the massage. You can start with the massage room and the table, and work your way around accordingly. Make sure the client knows what the drapes are there for.

In addition to this, you should guide the client regarding to how to undress and cover themselves with the drapes. Once you guide the client about everything they need to know, you should ask them if they have any questions. If not, simply exit the room and ask them to let you know once they are ready or that you would knock on the door and await their response.

How to Respectfully Correct Dress Code Mistakes Made by Clients?

Even if you guide clients about the dress code effectively, there are certain clients who may not understand it fully. You may come across clients who may not cover themselves properly with the drapes, or may still be clothed when you walk in. This is where your soft skills in dealing with your clients come in. You have to correct the dress code mistake without making the client uncomfortable.

One of the most common mistakes that therapists come across is incorrect use of drapes since some clients may not fully understand their use. They may be lying on top of the sheet instead of being covered by it. In this case, the worst thing a therapist can do is seem startled. You have to make sure that you are calm and approach the client as if everything is fine.

Then you should gently address them and guide them about how the drapes should be used. In this case, the best technique is to get another drape and cover the client with it. This way the client may seem to think that everything is normal and continue to relax. Of course, when the client comes again, you should work on explaining the dress code to them in a better manner.

Body Language Speaks to All

Incorrect dress codes can make you nervous as well. Even if you manage to keep the tone of your voice calm, the nervousness may show through in your body language. This is because your body emits signs regarding your emotions. You may not realize this, but an equally nervous client may catch those signs.

This is why you have to ensure that you are calm. Always remember that your energy will affect the client’s energy because you are their therapist. You can even consult experienced massage therapists as to what they do to in such situations and use any tips they may provide.

Master Your Draping Techniques

Draping techniques are taught to every therapist in massage school. When a client comes in for a massage for the first time, you should tell them how you will perform the massage. The technique here is to firstly walk them through the massage procedure. While you are explaining this to the customer, you should inform them regarding how they are to be clothed with drapes.

This technique could prove beneficial for clients who are shy or uncomfortable in removing all their clothes. A great idea would be to have diagrams showing how the drapes are to be used.

Making Clients Comfortable at All Times

Clients who are uncomfortable with removing their clothing for a massage need to be dealt with tactfully. The key as we have repeated several times is to make them comfortable.

Get them acquainted with the surroundings of the facility and leave them in the therapy room for some time. This may make them comfortable with their surroundings.

Moreover, as a therapist, you should also talk to them and ask about what they hope to achieve from the massage. Conversation distracts attention and can further put them to ease.

By using the above mentioned techniques, you should be able to correct most dress code mistakes if you so encounter them. However, if you come across a customer who is still not comfortable undressing, you should learn to work your way around it. After all, a massage is only effective if the client is completely relaxed.

Neal Lyons is a founding member and volunteer contributor at the MTSI Institute, an information based portal dedicated to guiding and assisting aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. Neal is a published author and has collaborated on several mobile applications that serve the massage profession. You can view his published work on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony and Kobo. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and on Google+

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