Be Your Own Advocate on the Massage Table

A friend of mine, who travels extensively, recently reached out to me to ask a question. While visiting another country, she went in for a facial and massage. She was expecting a facial, and perhaps a neck and shoulder massage. What she received was a much more involved massage, that included a breast massage. She felt very strange about the entire encounter, and was not sure what she should do.

A massage is a very personal thing. You are entrusting your care, health, and naked body to another person. That is the very reason that licensed massage therapists undergo training and a background check before receiving their license. Sadly, our industry has been subjected to unscrupulous and inappropriate therapists and clients, who try to use the massage room as an excuse to indulge in illegal activity.





With that said, be aware that massage practices vary according to region and country. There are definitely cultural differences. Be sure to ask detailed questions of your prospective massage therapist to uncover any practices that you may not be interested in. Do be open to trying new techniques, though, as long as they are not sexual in nature. In FL, the rule is that any technique that causes sexual arousal in either the therapist or the client, is illegal. Breast massage is occasionally offered for lymphatic drainage and edema, as well as scar tissue repair from mastectomies and breast augmentation. A massage therapist may also massage the upper chest (pectoralis muscles) and down the breastbone (sternum) if you are unusually tight. As a usual matter of course, though, it is not. A therapist may also massage your gluteus muscles, because that is where a lot of low back pain originates. At no point, should massaging of the genitals ever occur.

If you EVER feel uncomfortable during a massage, please speak up. Trust your instincts. If the therapist does not mean any ill intent, he or she will quickly adjust to address any concerns you have. If they continue the behavior that makes you uncomfortable, stop the session, and report them to the police and/or massage therapy board. Predators have no place in this industry. To violate that trust is inexcusable.

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