Today’s topic is difficult. It is about safety during massage. Please take care when reading or choose to skip this one if the topic might be triggering to you.
Let’s face it. Being on a massage table puts us in a vulnerable position. We aren’t wearing much and are lying on massage tables. We are relaxed and off guard.
I have a true story for you. A friend of mine told about a massage therapist who groped her as she was sleeping during a massage. Ugh! How awful! She woke up to him doing that. It made me so sad for her. This wasn’t at some shady place, either. It was a well-known big box store kind of place. She reported the therapist to his employer. I hope she also reported him to the state so that the state agency could investigate, but I’m not sure and didn’t want to grill her with questions.
I, myself, also experienced something questionable by a female massage therapist. I’ll just say her topic of conversation was 100% inappropriate. Gross. This was many years ago and I wish I had reported her but I did not. I was very uncomfortable.
All this to say physical and emotional safety is extremely important during massage.
In my opinion, the most important consideration when getting a massage is safety.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the massage place well lit?
- Are the windows covered up as if they are trying to hide something?
- Are they open late at night? (If yes, this is a red flag.)
- Do they require an intake form? (If not, this is a red flag.)
- Do you feel safe in the room with the massage therapist?
- Did you read the client reviews ahead of time?
- Is the place clean and professional looking?
- Are the therapists licensed?
As I’ve spelled out in my story above, you can be harmed in even one of those large massage chains. But, in case you didn’t know, there are a lot of massage places that do “other things”. Certainly, I wouldn’t want to go to a massage place that does this stuff, even if the massage itself is great and above board. One reason is because the massage therapists may be unlicensed. Or they may be trafficked to work there to pay off a debt. You really just never know.
But, first and foremost, listen to your gut. Don’t ignore those red flags. Not worth it!
Massage License Is One Layer of Safety
Did you know that in Texas, every licensed massage therapist must submit fingerprints? It is so that TDLR, which is the licensing agency, can use them to obtain an applicant’s criminal conviction history. A massage therapist who doesn’t carry a license may have a criminal history. Furthermore, they may not be qualified at all to work on you. Indeed, massage therapists can do harm. Totally not worth it to go to an unlicensed massage therapist!
Your Rights Concerning Safety During Massage
You have every right to ask to see a massage license for a therapist who works on you. Do not hesitate to ask to see it. If they don’t provide one, go elsewhere and consider reporting them to the licensing agency (TDLR if you live in Texas).
You have every right to end a massage if you feel unsafe, too. Keep reading to find out what to do/say.
What To Do If You Feel Unsafe
Finally, if you don’t feel safe with your massage therapist, I recommend asking to end the session immediately. That is your absolutely your right. For instance, tell the therapist right then that you are uncomfortable and you want to end the session right now. You don’t even owe them an explanation. Alternatively, you can say, “This massage is over. Please exit the room.”
Furthermore, even if you are questioning your safety and trying to talk yourself out of leaving, you won’t relax if you do not feel safe.
In summary, please always consider your safety when getting a massage. My wish is that these tips help keep you safe.
I am proud of my massage therapy license and I keep it current. I have posted it by the door in my massage office. If you are female and want a massage, please text me at 972.813.9083 to schedule. Current clients, click here to book online.