At my office in the MIST (Methow Institute of Sports Traumatology) building in Winthrop, WA.
No. Actually, most of the modalities I draw from are practiced with clothes on. For that reason, I ask people to wear comfortable clothing. I ask that you remove your belt, and necklace. Often women prefer to take their bra off. Just so long as you are comfortable in your clothes, that is my preferance.
You won't be disrobing. I work through clothing. I may step away to wash my hands while you get comfortable on the table, and bra removal, or other uncomfortable clothing may be removed during that time. If for some reason, the client disrobes, I will be out of the room, and the patient is under a sheet, before I return. The sheet is then used to keep the patient well draped.
Yes, you will be fully clothed, and if you get cold, I will cover you with a sheet or a blanket.
Pertaining to what the patients needs are that day, any body parts excluding the genitals may get touched, moved, or massaged. The patient is always encouraged to ask the massage therapist not to touch an area, or to change what she is doing to benefit personal comfort.
To address some of the body areas of common concern:
Manipulation to the tail bone may feel near the anus, however this is not ever the intention.
Work around lymph nodes, or utilizing circulation pulses found in the inguenal area, at the crease of the leg, rarely requires the therapist to ask a man to move his personal parts aside, and of course patients are encouraged to adjust themselves aside if he deems fit. I do utilize both lymph nodes and the pulse points in the inguenal groove often when addressing the lower body, especially knees injuries, or swollen ankles. I only work on one side at a time, so there is plenty of space for male parts to be, other than where I am working.
Also, when utilizing Lymph Drainage Therapy for breast health care, for maintainance of lymphedema due to lymph node removal/radiation during cancer treatment, direct work may be done on and around the breast. Massage work to the breasts is ussually doctor referred for a specific health condition, including lymphedema, lymphedema prevention, genetic markers for breast cancer, or as indicated from imaging. Though this is one of my specializations, it has a specific use, and is not part of the regular care I will be providing for most people.
Most of the modalities I utilize use a very light handed touch in nature, as being able to feel the rythms and movements of fluids and specific structures is obliterated with a heavier touch. I do some pressure points throughout the work, or hold static pressure between two areas or structures, either to test for changes, or as a last measure, or often enough simply because I know a little pressure feels good, and can be energizing when used in moderation. In general, the massage should be very relaxing. Often, I will ove joints around, mostly to compare, and look for changes throughout the work. Sometimes, I may ask the patient to get up and walk around, or go through some movement. This is to let the body accomodate changes.
There are many different kinds of massage and bodywork. Many different styles. Something for everyone. I tend to practice massage modalities that require a lighter amount of pressure. Many people respond very well to this kind of work, both for maintainance of posture and health, and also for acute injuries, or chronic illness. People who feel they only respond well to deep tissue type therapies may get referred to another provider to accomodate that need. I specialize in therapies that require very little pressure in order to be effective, and I have studied extensively in anatomy and physiology to help me excel in this field of massage therapy, which may also be called 'Manual Therapy'.
Use the bathroom first. Take off your belt and necklace. Lay down on the table. Breathe, relax, share pertinent information regarding health and comfort before, during, and after.
Hopefully you will have less pain and more range of motion. You may feel light in places that felt heavy before. You may feel very relaxed. If you feel at all uncomfortable, sore, tired, etc, you should drink more water. Always drink more water after massage therapy.
Pain relief. Increased range of motion. Increase in blood circulation to joints, muscles, organs, skin. Increase lymph circulation. Enhance immune system function. Decrease swelling. Expeditide healing of injury. Expedite removal of toxins. Postural improvements. Enhance a sense of well being. Nurture yourself with massage therapy.
Massage is contraindicated directly on broken bones or open wounds, however can benefit healing by working with other parts of the body, keeping lymph moving, and addressing postural issues during healing.
With cancer, some oncologists may deem massage to be contraindicated for certain types of cancers or during treatments. Other oncologists refer for massage during treatment. Please consult with your physician for these types of conditions.
In general, the rule of thumb is, "If it's red don't touch it.", which pertains to rashes, pimples, cuts, burns, etc. I work through the clothes, so if these conditions exist, please notify me, so I can be discerning in my work.
There are many conditions that "massage" is contraindicated for, for which Lymph Drainage Therapy is prescribed, including lymphedema, and severe bruising.
If you have such a condition, Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT) might help. Please talk with your doctor, if you have a condition which may be contraindicated for massage. If you think LDT might benefit, there's a good chance your doctor might agree.
Here is a link to applications for Lymph Drainage Therapy: http://chiklyinstitute.org/ldt/applications.htm