Since tips are standard protocol for massage therapists, you should assume a 20 percent tip in any massage or spa treatment situation (unless a self-employed therapist specifically tells you their rate is all-inclusive). Not sure? When in doubt, always ask, says Post, who says tipping is always appreciated.
One option is to say "thank you" and skip the gratuity. That's the advice of Elaine Swann, founder of the Swann School of Protocol, based in Carlsbad, California. "Tipping not only has to do with our experience, but it also has to do with what we're able to afford," she says.
Adding a tip puts us squarely in the service industry and encourages people to think of a massage as a special treat instead of as a wellness practice in the health care field, where it truly belongs.
In general, the 20% rule applies to tipping your massage therapist. So, if you're wondering how much to tip for a $100 massage, you'd want to tip $20. If you're considering how much to tip for a 60-minute massage (that costs $100) – you'd still tip $20. However, generosity is generally very appreciated.
“Most massage therapists prefer to be tipped in cash,” says Rose, adding that you can give the cash directly to the therapist at the end of your appointment. “Cash is immediate, so you don't have to wait for your paycheck, and they don't take taxes out.”
For a full-body massage, you can opt to keep your pants on or go completely in the buff. You'll find that most massage therapists are very skilled at protecting your modesty and making you feel comfortable; you'll never have to uncover anything you'd rather not.
Tipping gives the waiter an incentive to provide better service. Waiters are paid less than minimum wage and need the money. Refusing to tip is embarrassing: it makes you lose face in front of the waiter and your colleagues. Tipping is a strong social norm and violating it is extremely rude.
Studies have shown that tipping is not an effective incentive for performance in servers. It also creates an environment in which people of color, young people, old people, women, and foreigners tend to get worse service than white males.
Talking keeps the brain waves from moving into “theta”, which is the beginning state of when the parasympathetic response begins to do what it does. This is why we as therapists should always encourage as much silence during the massage as possible.
Take a warm shower
First, the warm water will begin allowing your mind and body to relax making it more open to receiving massage. By cleaning your body prior to a massage, you can also mitigate some personal hygiene insecurities, if you have any, plus it is greatly appreciated by your massage therapist.
You'll want to strip down to just your undies. Take off your bra—it'll get in the way of the back massage and who can relax with underwire poking you anyway? Also, if it's just an upper body massage, you can leave your socks on, otherwise, slip them off so the therapist can work on your soles.
Whether you receive an oil massage, aromatherapy, or reflexology, the answer is to not shower before a massage or after. Leave a few hour buffer period before doing so. When in the shower or a bath, the surface of the skin has increased blood circulation, which after a massage can lead to surface congestion.
Generally speaking, you may feel sore for a couple of days after the massage, which is normal. Beyond that, the benefits may last a couple of days to an entire week. There are some things you can do to help the relaxing, stress-relieving benefits last for as long as possible.
Massage therapists are trained to feel where knots occur by looking for tension in the back, neck and shoulders. They find this tension and release it by applying deep compression with their thumb, fingers or elbow, and holding for 20-30 seconds.
If you tend to get sleepy from a massage, you should have it as late in the day as possible so that you can just go home afterwards. If you don't want massage to take time out of your day, you can get one early in the morning. It will help you to feel rejuvenated.
First things first, it's ok to fall asleep during your massage! It's your body's way of getting into a deep relaxation, and a sign that you were due for some extra self-care time.
Reflexive erections, a normal physiological response to touch, relaxation, etc., can go away within minutes. Massage therapist know this and will often simply ignore an erection during a session, as long as the client is behaving appropriately.
To get maximum benefits from your massage, schedule your massage when you are less busy. For instance, you can go for your massage in the morning before reporting to work, during your lunch break or in the evening, whichever works for you.
First do no harm – to yourself!
Typically massage therapy should be at least 50 minutes to one hour for a general full body treatment to be effective. Some establishments offer forty-five and fifty minute sessions.