Dress for aesthetics and practicality
Clothing is determined by local customs, but massage is hot physical work, so some thought needs to go into your attire. You generally need to have bare arms and wear clothing that does not restrict your movements and this article is about what you wear when massaging. To keep the person you're massaging comfortable, see the page on draping.
What is important here is comfort for both you and the people that you are massaging.
Should one wear a bra while massaging? Obviously not if you are a guy, but women need to find their own level of comfort as well as freedom of movement. While a bra may contain your breasts, all the evidence shows that they do nothing for your health. Any bra that is too tight will restrict your breathing and there are times when underwire bras especially interfere with the massage (For instance when you're standing above the head and massaging down over the chest).
For recreational massage, connoisseurs and experts agree that in general terms the best massage is when both giver and receiver are totally naked as being naked is the most human and wholesome we can be as in any healing work self acceptance is key. Humans only began wearing clothes out of necessity for warmth and then fashion took over, and now fashion and an abstract morality which dominates our lives and many people are so fearful they wouldn't be seen dead naked.
One aspect of massage is about returning to our human origins as it is about relaxing and experiencing enjoyment of the body. Most people once they get over that initial shyness find that being naked actually does away with the mind games and pacifies wayward desires.
But if you're shy and not ready to become a naturist, that's okay, but remember All traditional massage is done barefoot with minimal dress and the ideal clothing is cotton.
The other extreme is the professional therapist who works in a medical centre or doctors office, they will be expected to dress to conform to the other staff in the facility. Such medical attire as illustrated right may make you over heat, but it will help maintain a clinical atmosphere and boundaries. Here laundry will not be a problem as the centre will have good facilities or a hired service, this is good as you change at work before and after your work day.
Synthetic clothing interferes with energy flow, cotton is best.
In your own massage business
Typically you dress to please your clients and to simplify life and reduce the laundry work and bills, the ever popular the sarong is one of the worlds most practical garments for men and women and in the videos below you can learn how to tie and wear them. Most home therapists will dress comfortably with less starch than the commercial clinician to find a balance that's comfortable to wear and reassuring for clients. If you are comfortable, you can work without a bra which will help the general balance of your own body.
So essential for the beach and much easier to launder than towels.
Handy to wear around the home, sarongs are great for lounging around in nothing could be more appropriate and they can also be very sexy. As you don't have to get in and out of them like shorts, skirts, or sundresses, they can be tied in many ways or opened as a sheet for that afternoon nap or if you're a naturist, kept handy to answer the door.The sarong can be tied many ways and worn simply as a skirt with your choice of top. The mini sarong (approximately 66" x 22" inches) is the versatile and not too short a skirt for massage work or any social occasion and unlike shorts or tight skirts, they allow free movement and aren't going to hobble you if you have to move quickly.
Typically the large sarong is a large (6x4 foot) length of colourful fabric that can wrapped around the waist as a skirt, tied above the bust or behind the neck. They come in a myriad of fabrics with beautiful colours. By learning the different way of tying sarongs, the one sarong becomes many garments.
We have both long and short sarongs and a variety of colours and are known by other names in other parts of the world, including Kangas in Africa, Pareos in South Pacific region, A Sri, or sari in India, Wraps in USA.
What ever you wear, cotton is best and
most therapy work is best done barefoot