As the owner of Body Well one of the more interesting parts of my job is meeting with and personally evaluating each and every massage therapist. Besides the obvious skills I’m looking at including of course their hands-on techniques, I am also looking at other things such as the way they use their equipment and also their draping methods.
Massage Draping refers to the way in which a massage therapists covers the body with a sheet or drape. Ideally this will be done in a way that allows the therapist access to the various parts of the body while protecting the client’s modesty completely. There are many different philosophies about massage draping. Some drape very conservatively while others pay it barely any mind at all.
Interestingly I’ve noticed that some geographic regions and the massage schools that are putting out new therapists there will favor one extreme or another. For example in Miami they are quite liberal in general when it comes to draping whereas in Orlando they’re very conservative if not even prude in my opinion.
I believe some of this comes from the disconnect you often find not only in the field of massage but perhaps most fields where those who are actually teaching things in schools are not really connected to what is going on in the real world. For example you may have teachers in the massage school who are looking at things from an idealistic perspective and completely from the perspective of the therapist whereas in the real world you have to think about things in terms of what customers want and are willing to pay for if you’re going to make a living in this field. I don’t believe that looking at every client as a potential pervert or someone who is going to misinterpret your doing some work on the bare skin of their gluteal muscles is a great way to build a clientele.
A perfect example of this is when you look at most massage therapists who have been in the field for a long long time and they have been able to do so because they’re good at what they do and not obsessed with all of this fancy time-consuming and laborious draping with all the tucking and pulling and shifting around of the sheets (Which can actually be rather uncomfortable as a client on the table). As a matter of fact, in many other countries in different parts of the world massage draping is often not used at all. This includes Europe and Asia as well as perhaps other continents. I am not saying I would advocate no draping at all, however I think there needs to be some reasonable middle ground so that a person’s privacy is protected while at the same time the therapist has complete access to the body so they can do the best work possible.
That’s how I see it. What do you think?