One of the things that may hinder would-be clients from getting a massage is that they don’t want to take their clothes off. Most people believe the only way to get a massage is by being completely undressed, but this is not true; there are a number of massages that you can get while still keeping your clothes on.
It is very normal to have issues with being unclothed in front of a stranger, even if it is a licensed massage therapist. A lot of people have body image issues, or they may have other conditions like rashes or burns which makes them self-conscious. People may also find the idea immodest. It is not the place of a massage therapist to pass judgments on their decisions, but to make them as comfortable as possible so they can enjoy the healing nature of your touch directly on their skin or through their clothing.
Is it as effective?
It may be hard to believe that keeping clothes on can work when massaging, but the fact is that massage therapists work muscles through pressure applied by their hands, and for this, it is not necessary to directly touch the skin. The pressure can still be applied with your clothes on. It may not be exactly the same, and the use of lotions and oils will not be possible, but the massage will achieve its purpose, and the client will feel much more relaxed and loose afterward. The important thing is that the client is completely relaxed and not self-conscious as this can be counterproductive to your therapy.
Since not every type of massage can be done over clothes, so you can pick the kind of massage that will work with the client’s particular condition while they are still clothed.
Types of massages done with clothing on
There are many types of massages that can be done with clothing on. There is a bamboo massage and a positional release massage, both of which can be done with clothing on.
Another type of massage, known as Shiatsu, is a Japanese massage that can be done with clothing on. It involves finger pressure and uses the techniques of brushing compression, kneading, rocking, shaking, stretching, and thumb pressure to stimulate the meridians. It is usually given on the floor on a mat and also involves passive stretching.
Tuina and Thai massage can also be given over the clothes. The techniques used for these two Asian massages are similar to those used in Shiatsu. Tuina is more gentle while Thai massage is a vigorous form of massage given on the floor.
Acupressure also employs a meridian system used in acupuncture, but instead of needles, you use your fingers for the stimulation of the various points. Reflexology is another massage where your clients can keep their clothes on, as here you only stimulate the hands and feet to affect the entire body.
Other kinds of massages that you can give with your clients clothed include sports and deep-tissue massages, Craniosacral Therapy, Energy Modalities, Movement Re-education Techniques, and Rolfing Structural Integration.
What kind of clothes to wear
When doing clothed massage, it’s important to remember that not all clothes work. Thicker fabrics, such as denim, are harder to work with, so thin, form-fitting clothing works better. If your clients don’t want to be completely naked, you may ask them to wear a sleeveless t-shirt, a tank top, a sports bra, and shorts.
The most important thing is your client’s comfort, so ask them to wear what they feel most comfortable in and try to work with and around that. You are there to provide them with the best care possible in a comfortable, healing environment.