undraped massage therapy

A closer look at undraped massage therapy

Many people will agree with this statement:

Getting a massage or massage therapy is a great way to relax, feel better or treat pain.

It may sound cliché, but classic massage is the best way to relieve stress, relax muscles, align the body, forget about your fears, and start fresh. There are different massages a person can receive, deep tissue massage, Swedish message, sports massage, Rolfing and even shiatsu, and amongst these an infinite number of variations.

When it comes to some therapist’s point of view, the less clothes the patient wears, the better. Some feel that a massage therapist can do more with an undraped patient and other therapists disagree.

Undraped massage therapy is thought of as the king of its class. This is a massage in which the patient wears no clothes, except that most people are turned off by the initial line, “please remove all your clothes”.massage therapy

It makes people uncomfortable, and rightfully so.

Consequently, you will hear most therapists say “please remove as much clothing as you are comfortable with”.

It is a lot more acceptable to hear this phraseology. However, some therapists will tell you, they would rather work on their patient with no clothes on.

An Argument Against Draped

A draped patient is harder to navigate for a therapist.

The therapist must spend additional time removing and adding sheets/clothing/drapes, to make sure to maintain the modesty of the patient, all the while continuing around the body in massage.

Doctors and nurses don’t let body covering get in the way of their work -Anonymous

Unfortunately, this disrupts the flow of the massage, disallowing the therapist to flow naturally across the body and run across the tense muscles like a stream, finding the path of least resistance and nursing the body back to better health.

The drapes are seen as a barrier between the harmony of therapist and patient. Some would argue, with absolute validity, that the undraped massage is the purist possible massage that exists.

An Argument Against Un-draped

The 400 lb. gorilla in the room, it can be uncomfortable to be naked in front of someone else, some might even say it’s inappropriate.

Some people fear a massage may become too sexual when nudity is involved. Nudity can sometimes involve less sanitary conditions for the area in which the patients are receiving there massage.
For some people, the idea of someone seeing “all of their glory” is quite intrusive.

The feeling of nakedness can perpetuate a feeling of oversensitivity and angst, two things that every therapist wants to prevent and unwind.
Occasionally state law has statutes that forbid undraped massage.

The order of jurisdiction is state law, patient-therapist agreement, and then comfortability.
All of these arguments have validity and a person could easily be on either side of it.

Patient Preference

Draped and undraped massages have good qualities and both have their appropriate place and appropriate time (there’s give and take in everything right?), but the debate and discussion between therapists goes on.

A therapist should never pressure a client to go one way or the other,

but simply explain to them the possible pros and cons of each, after all, the experience is for the enjoyment, enlightenment, and stress relief.

It should also be noted that state rules and regulations can also dictate whether or not a massage therapist is allowed to use un-draped massage.

Not much thought should be given to someone who says that “massages must be given a certain way”, after all, there is more than one way to get from here to there.

It should be encouraged that anyone who wants to get a massage, get one in the conditions that make them fill the most comfortable and safe.


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