If you’re going for a Swedish massage, you’re in for a treat!
Even if it’s your first massage, you have nothing to be anxious about – but it helps to know what to expect and do.
Here is everything you need to know about Swedish massage etiquette and what to expect:
Swedish Massage Etiquette
Always Be on Time
This should be a no-brainer, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Your massage therapist has other clients scheduled before and after you, so make sure to show up on time for your appointment.
If you’re running late, call ahead and let them know – they may be able to accommodate you, but it’s always best to plan ahead.
Just don’t ever be late, and try not to come in all sweaty and rushed from running to your appointment.
Related – More on Thai massage etiquette and good couples massage etiquette.
Be Prepared to Take Off Your Clothes
You will be asked to undress and remove all jewelry before your Swedish massage.
The therapist will give you a towel or sheet to cover up with and you won’t be fully exposed at any time.
It’s easier said than done sometimes, but try not to be anxious about being nude.
Your therapist is trained in draping techniques (the process of strategically placing a sheet over your body so that only the part being worked on is exposed) and will make you feel completely comfortable.
Ask Any Questions Beforehand
If you have any questions about the massage or what to expect, make sure to ask your therapist before getting started.
This is also a good time to mention any areas of discomfort or pain that you’d like them to focus on.
Your therapist wants you to feel relaxed and comfortable during your massage, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have.
It’s Normal to Tip 15%-20%
While tipping is not required, it is always appreciated by your therapist.
A standard tip for a massage is 15-20%, but you can tip more or less depending on how happy you were with the service.
If you’re unsure what to do, ask the front desk staff – they’ll be happy to help.
Don’t Try to ‘Help’ The Therapist
Your therapist is trained in how to give a massage, so just relax and let them do their job.
Don’t try to ‘help’ by moving around or arching your back or other body parts – this will only make it harder for them to work on you.
Just let go and enjoy the experience!
Never Proposition the Therapist or Make Lewd Comments
This should go without saying, but please don’t proposition your therapist or make any lewd comments during the massage.
Not only is it inappropriate, but it’s also just wrong and can make some therapists feel awful.
If you do anything that makes your therapist feel uncomfortable, they have the right to end the massage and ask you to leave.
Don’t even joke about it, it’s poor etiquette.
Turn Off Your Cell Phone
This is just common courtesy – no one wants to hear your phone going off during a massage.
Make sure to turn it off completely or at least put it on silent before getting on the table.
You may even want to leave it in the other room so you’re not tempted to check it.
Cell phones have become a huge nuisance, a massage table should be a sacred place where no mobile sounds are heard.
Don’t Wear Strong Fragrances
A lot of people are sensitive to strong fragrances, so it’s best to avoid wearing any during your massage.
This includes perfumes, colognes, body sprays, etc.
If you must wear something, make sure it’s very light and not too overpowering.
Your therapist will thank you for it! The last thing they want is to be distracted by any scents or leave a massage smelling like you.
Don’t Turn Up If You’re Sick
If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s best to reschedule your massage.
Not only is it rude to come in sick, but you also run the risk of passing whatever you have to your therapist.
They will appreciate your consideration and may even be able to accommodate you with a last-minute appointment if you do happen to get sick.
Related – Here is what to wear to a Swedish massage and how long it’ll take.
Take A Shower Before Your Massage
You should always take a shower before your massage.
Not only will it help you feel more relaxed, but it will also help your therapist work more efficiently.
The massage oil will absorb better into your skin if you’re clean, plus it’s just good manners and etiquette to be fresh.
Swedish massage etiquette is pretty simple – just be respectful of your therapist and the process and you’ll be fine.
Just remember to take a shower beforehand, turn off your cell phone, and avoid wearing strong fragrances and follow the other etiquette points and you’ll be fine!
Header Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.