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Massage therapy, a cornerstone of holistic health and wellness, offers a multitude of benefits, from pain relief to stress reduction. If you’re new to this practice, it’s natural to have questions or concerns before your first appointment. This comprehensive FAQ addresses the most common queries, providing you with the information and reassurance you need to feel prepared and at ease.

What Should I Expect at My First Massage?

Your first experience should be both relaxing and customized to your needs. Rest assured, your Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) is a professional who will begin with a brief consultation to discuss your health history, current issues, and goals for the session. This personalized approach helps tailor the treatment to your specific needs. Expect a serene environment with soft lighting and calming music to help you unwind

man undressing for a massage.

What Should I Wear to a Massage? Do I Need to Take All My Clothes Off?

Wear whatever makes you comfortable. Most people undress to their comfort level, whether wearing underwear or fully undressing. Some people remain fully clothed and others wear shorts. Please know that our professional RMTs use draping techniques that ensure your privacy and comfort by only exposing the area they are working on at any given time.

What If I Fall Asleep or Drool?

Falling asleep or drooling during a massage is common and natural. It indicates deep relaxation and effective stress reduction. RMTs understand this and see it as a positive sign that you are benefiting from the session.

What If I Get Aroused?

Involuntary arousal, though rare, can occur due to relaxation and increased blood flow. It’s a natural physiological response. Professional therapists receive ample training to handle such situations discreetly and will continue the massage without drawing attention to it. Your comfort is paramount, so open communication with your therapist can help alleviate any concerns.

prenatal massage

Can I Get a Massage If I Am Pregnant?

Prenatal massage is a specialized form of massage therapy designed for pregnant women. In BC, all RMTs receive specific training in prenatal massage. It can help alleviate common pregnancy-related discomforts such as back pain, swollen ankles, and stress. Be sure to inform your RMT about your pregnancy so they can take appropriate precautions and modify techniques to ensure both your safety and comfort. Getting a massage while pregnant is typically very safe. Even so, it is important to discuss your plans with your doctor prior to booking an appointment.

Do I Tip My RMT?

Tipping practices in the massage industry can vary. While it’s generally appreciated, it’s not expected. Tipping is more common in a spa environment than in a clinic setting. To avoid any uncertainty, it’s best to check with the clinic or your RMT about their specific tipping policies.

What Is the Difference Between a Relaxation Massage and a Therapeutic Massage?

A relaxation massage focuses on reducing stress and promoting general well-being through gentle, flowing strokes designed to relax muscles and improve circulation. RMT students, recent graduates (bodyworkers), and spa professionals often provide these. Most insurance plans do not cover student, bodyworker, or spa massages. On the other hand, a therapeutic massage targets specific areas of tension or pain with deeper pressure and techniques aimed at addressing musculoskeletal issues, improving function, and promoting healing. Registered Massage Therapists deliver therapeutic massages covered by insurance plans.

woman paying cash for a massage

What If I Don’t Have Insurance?

Many people pay out-of-pocket for massage therapy due to its numerous health benefits. Some clinics offer packages or membership programs that make regular massages more affordable. RMT students or recent graduates may also provide excellent massages at lower rates. You might also consider shorter-duration massages scheduled further apart to fit your budget. If you were injured at work or in a car accident, WorkSafe BC or ICBC may help pay for your treatments.

How Do I Talk to My Therapist About Pressure? Sometimes, It Hurts, and Sometimes, it isn’t Enough.

Communication is not just encouraged, it’s vital to a successful experience. Don’t hesitate to speak up if the pressure is too much or too little. Your RMT aims to make you comfortable and provide the most effective treatment possible. They can adjust their techniques and pressure levels based on your feedback. Your comfort and satisfaction are our top priorities. If you have an injury or require deep tissue massage, the treatment may be uncomfortable at times, but it should never hurt. You may be more sensitive to therapeutic touch if you are close to your menstrual cycle or if you’ve recently experienced a traumatic event. It is crucial to openly share information with your RMT so they can adjust their technique and, if necessary, your treatment plan.


Massage therapy can be an incredibly beneficial addition to your health and wellness routine. By addressing these common questions and concerns, we hope to make your first—or next—massage experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. At Newleaf Total Wellness Centre, we prioritize patient care and work together as a team to help you achieve your wellness goals. For further questions or to book an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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