Honesty and your massage

By Tessa Brooks

Have you ever forgotten to tell your doctor something important? Or maybe thought it wasn’t important enough to say something about? Leaving out “unimportant” information during your interview whether with a doctor or your massage therapist can make a huge difference in your experience.
It all comes down to being honest with your therapist.

Honesty is important in any area of your life, and this holds true in massage therapy, or any therapy. You know your body better than anyone else. You are your own expert on how you feel and what hurts the most, however, your therapist can only do their job if they know about these aches and pains.

The interview process is when the therapist establishes with you what it is you are looking for out of the experience. This is why giving any information such as a recent fall, surgery, or accident can help the therapist decide if getting a massage is right for you. There are medical circumstances where receiving a massage can be very detrimental to your health.
We all get embarrassed with making mistakes that lead to odd injuries like tripping over our own feet or falling “up” the stairs. These are the times that make us human and leave nice bruises we like to show off to our friends, or laugh about to ourselves later. These are also the things your therapist needs to know. Not every injury is major, but all of them have some effect on your body. Because massage therapy manipulates the muscles, causes more blood flow, and flushes out toxins, massaging even small injuries can lead to pain or larger injuries later on.
This also goes for during your massage… If there is a technique you don’t like or the therapist is using too little/too much pressure letting them know will give you a better experience. Massage therapists are trained to be able to gauge pressure and tailor each massage to the client’s needs and likes. If you do not tell them, they do not know.

By being as honest and up front as possible, you and your therapist can decide the best course of action to take to take to avoid any recent injuries and let them heal.
Remember, the more honest and forthcoming you are with important and “unimportant” information before and during your massage, the better your massage experience will be!


Time for a tell all.  Give us an example of information you should have told someone and later regretted withholding!

16 thoughts on “Honesty and your massage”

  1. When I attempted massage school the first time around, I had just fractured my collarbone 3 weeks before the start date, and figured I would tough it out since it was still moving around rather than postpone starting school to heal properly. As new students, we got the first massages that day in class, and I hadn’t even thought about letting the senior class member know that I was injured. I regretted it afterwards though, and learned to mention it anytime it may be an issue. This also applies with a client I have now who just found out she has osteoporosis. I have been massaging her for a month or two without her having pain, but was very glad she mentioned getting positive test results back today. I was able to tell her to let me know if at any time it starts to affect her during the massage in order to prevent any future injury. I also researched online to make sure I didn’t need to take any other precautions.

  2. I know for a fact that being honest with your therapist. I have RA and by being honest with my therapist i avoided being hurt really badly during a flare up

  3. If I had a dime for every time I fell up the stairs haha. I’m usually honest with doctors. I haven’t had a painful massage yet, and hopefully never will.

  4. I had someone I worked on once not put on their intake form that they had a nerve relocation surgery. It had been 3 yrs since the surgery, but I noticed the scar, and asked questions. I could not believe that something that important didn’t make it onto the intake form. Honesty is vital, we can’t help as effectively if we don’t know what we are dealing with.

  5. It is true I haven’t told my doctor about most of my problems, but after reading this I am thinking I will need to do this very soon.

  6. Massage Therapy changed my world. I am unable to do it full time due to spine disease, BUT just recently my son had back surgery and he suffers with Cluster headaches. I did some lymphatic moves because of lymph swelling in the neck. He came to me and showed me how the lumps were going down. It never surprises me to hear how massage works in many ways. If you are young and healthy, get all the education you can, read read read, go to workshops, educate yourself CONTINUALLY and if you have a giving heart, YOU WILL BE A VERY WEALTHY (NOT JUST MONEY) PERSON!

  7. I agree, I think we all need to tell our therapists/doctors about what is going on with us and hopefully our clients will do the same. If they complain that we didn’t fix something or we hurt something and they didn’t warn us beforehand then that can be very unfortunate for them and us if we lose a client.

  8. I had received a massage a few years ago, before I started school at CCC, and I didn’t tell the therapist that it was a little bit painful or to change the pressure at all, and thought to myself that I’ll “tough it out” and sure regretted it later. I was a little tender for a few days. I have always been honest since and changed my way of thinking about “toughing it out”

  9. I have always told my doctor everything and i’m pretty truethful with them but sometimes i have forgot somethings that i told them about later or whenever i rememberd them.

  10. I was raised by an EMT and was married to a Combat Medic. I have always been honest with my Dr. because I know how important the little things are, however embarrassing it may seem.

  11. It is incredibly important to divulge all info to any type of health are provider. I was once in a severe sports accident that required tons of PT. I incorporated massage into that regime and had I not given the LMT all the details I could have been more severely and possibly permanently injured.

  12. I can’t really remember a time I did not tell someone something important about myself, if it is bad for my health I am going to say something. I know in lab my legs used to be sensitive to a lot of pressure, so I would say something to my fellow student, but I have noticed since receiving massages my legs have become less sensitive.

  13. If I remember it I will tell about it. It easy to forget a little thing sometimes. But everyone in my class knows I’m honest about why I’m sore, where that bruise came from, how I’m feeling that day ect. It is hard for me to be embarrassed about something stupid I may have done.