5 Main In-House Proper Massage Etiquette Rules

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When you get a massage, whether it is at a spa or in the comfort of your own home, there are specific etiquette rules that you should follow. These rules apply to both the masseuse and the person receiving the massage. Remember, a massage is supposed to be relaxing, so following these simple etiquette rules will help ensure that everyone has a good experience.

1. Arrive on Time

Book your massage treatment ahead to avoid disappointment with your massage therapists. This will mean you and your massage therapist set the exact time aside to meet. 

It would be best if you always arrive on time for your massage appointment. This gives you time to complete any necessary paperwork and lets the masseuse know you are respectful of their time. 

2. Communicate with Your Masseuse

Before your massage starts, communicate with your masseuse about any areas you would like them to focus on or avoid. Also, let them know if you have any injuries or medical conditions. This will help them give you the best possible massage.

3. Be Prepared for Your Massage

You will want to ensure that you are prepared for your massage before it begins. This means you should use the restroom before your massage, so you are not interrupted during the session.

In addition, you should remove any jewelry and clothing that might get in the way. Most massages are done with the person completely naked, so it is important to be comfortable with this ahead of time. 

4. Relax and Enjoy Your Massage

Once your massage begins, it is important to relax and enjoy it. This means that you should not talk unless necessary.

If you need to say something, keep your voice low and avoid anything that might break the relaxing atmosphere. 

5. Tip Your Masseuse

At the end of a good body massage, it is always appreciated if you tip your masseuse. A standard tip is 20% of the cost of the service but feel free to give more or less depending on how satisfied you were with the experience. 

Questions Asked During Massage Treatment

What should I wear during the massage?

Massage etiquette rules can vary from place to place, but typically you will want to remove any clothing that might get in the way.

The general answer you will receive is that you can dress down to your comfort level. Some modalities like Reflexology or Tunia massage do not require you to disrobe. 

All chair massages are done and fully clothed. However, it is important to disrobe if you are getting a full-body massage. Ideally, dress down to your underwear. 

You will have the opportunity to dress down, get on to the massage table, and cover yourself with the towels/drapes provided. 

Once the massage therapist has set up the massage table, they will leave the massage room, allowing time to disrobe and get on the table.

After you are situated on the table, the therapist will knock before entering. 

How much should I tip massage therapists?

A standard tip is 20% of the service cost.

For example, if your 1-hour massage costs $100, a 20% tip would be $20.

You can give more or less depending on how satisfied you are with the experience.

Some places have a sign that reads “No Tipping Allowed, ” meaning that they pay their massage therapists a higher wage so that the therapist does not have to rely on tips.

Can I have a small talk during the massage?

No, you do not have to talk during the massage unless you want to. It is outstanding to ask questions during your massage. You should not feel embarrassed, especially if it is your first massage experience.

Your massage therapist will usually begin by asking how you feel and what areas need attention. After that, it is up to you whether or not you want to talk.

Do you choose a male or female therapist? 

This can be a hotly debated topic among men. Does having a guy massage therapist make you gay if you’re straight? Is having a woman akin to cheating? The answer to both is no. It just comes down to sexual favors. 

Anecdotally, most guys prefer women therapists, while most women prefer men. 

How do I know if the massage therapist is a good fit for me?

The best way to find out if the professional massage therapist is a good fit for you is to book a session and try it. If, after the first session, you don’t feel comfortable, you can try another therapist.

The following factors will indicate whether a licensed massage therapist will be a good fit for you: 

  • Listens to your needs
  • Asks questions about your health history
  • Explains the treatment process
  • Performs the massage with proper draping so that you are only exposed when and where the therapist is working
  • It makes you feel comfortable during the entire session
  •  Ask you after the massage to see how you are feeling

Can I use a massage mat during treatment?

Yes, massage mats are wonderful to use during treatment. Some massage therapists even prefer them as they provide more consistent pressure and can help reduce the fatigue that the therapist experiences.

What should I do if I am uncomfortable with applying pressure during the massage?

If you are uncomfortable with the pressure, it is important to speak up. The therapist will usually ask if the pressure is okay, but if they do not, you should feel free to speak up for some reason.

Deep tissue massages can be particularly uncomfortable as they are designed to work out knots and tension in the muscles. If the pressure is too much, you can ask the therapist to go lighter. 

Use your words, whether your therapist is applying too much pressure or not enough, and voice your concerns if the message isn’t going as you hoped.

“You should always say when something doesn’t feel right, at any point during the massage; and a professional and experienced therapist should ask how comfortable you are during the session.


These are just a few of the main massage etiquette rules you should follow when getting an in-house massage. Following these simple rules will help ensure that everyone involved has a positive.

So, next time you book an in-house massage, remember to arrive on time, communicate with your masseuse, be prepared for your session, relax and enjoy, and don’t forget to tip!

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Chenie Taton