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Swedish Massage and buttocks!

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Deb379
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Hi there

When I did my training at college the tutor did mention that normally the buttocks are included in swedish massage. I think she may have done 1 demo right at the beginning of the course, but said we wouldn't be covering it on the course due to privacy of each student.

So i've tended to avoid that area when doing a massage, so I'm wondering whether I should be doing it, as I see quite a few of you seem to. If so, does that mean that clients should have no underwear on?

The tutor also said we should ask male clients to wear shorts and not go up too high on the thigh area. This would make buttock work quite difficult.

Another question related to this as well, do you ask the client if they want an abdominal massge at consultation, or do you automatically include it, or avoid it? Just curious on this one.

Regards
Deb

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Paul Crick
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Hi Deb

What a ridiculous thing to state on a course that you would not be covering the gluteals!

Around 35% of the people I treat have problems in the gluteals and everyone who has a back massage gets their gluteals massaged and checked for problems.

They are the largest muscles in the body and do the most work and are therefore more prone to accidents, IMO if you miss the gluteals then you might as well not do a back massage.

On my consultation sheet I have a diagram of the human body one for the males and the other for the females, I outline any procedures generally required for any particular treatment indicating the areas that will require treatment and ask them if they understand and would like to comment or ask any questions and that usually covers it for me.

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happyfingers
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

paul, i totally agree... maybe the issue was to do with the fact that it's a swedish massage course and not remedial or sports?

deb, there's a book called "Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment" by James H. Clay, David M. Pounds, which has a great section on draping. failing that, use their underwear as an anchor point for the towel, so you can approach from a superior or inferior direction. done properly and respectfully, neither you nor they will feel uncomfortable.

x
henry

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SallyH
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Paul I have to say I agree that a back massage should include the glutes. Though I did ITEC AP & M and we didn't massage the glutes, it just wasn't mentioned. I think your idea about the diagram in the consultation is brilliant so thanks for that.

Most of my clients though have underwear that I would struggle to move aside or tuck the towel into in such a way as to expose the buttock so I feel that in 95% of cases I'd have to ask them to remove their underwear. Can you give me your thoughts on this please, I'd be very grateful.

Sally

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Paul Crick
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Hi Sally

Most underwear can be slid down so you can get access, the most difficult item I find seems to be thongs, they are an absolute pain to move around, to tight to slide down and they are in the wrong place to get access unless you are coming up from the legs, you still need to slip them down when you do the back though 🙂

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happyfingers
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

i was trained in australia so i'm not at all familiar with ITEC courses. am i hearing that the basic ITEC massage course does not teach you to massage the gluts???

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SallyH
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

That's right happyfingers glutes weren't even mentioned! Other than in Anatomy and Physiology. At least not on the course I did and I got full marks in my practical without so obviously not on the marking sheet.

What qualifications did anyone else do?

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Aromababe
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

VTCT don't teach massage of the glutes, or at least they didn't when I trained three years ago.

I do, however, think, that as happyfingers says, it was because it is holistic or Swedish massage and not remedial or sports.

I don't always do it as a matter of course, although, I do work much lower than I was taught. However, if the client has specific lower back or hip problems, I always explain that it would be helpful for me to work the glutes.

Lesley

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Tillyp
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

We werent taught to work on the glutes either (VTCT) but when I had a sports massage recently the lady who massaged me worked on my glutes through the towel.

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Funnybunny
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Now there you go!!

We did glutes on my VTCT Swedish Massage 2 years ago!! - through either the underwear or through the towel - a bit of effleurage and then a bit of kneading, followed by a bit of hacking & then effleurage again. I can understand why people might not want to have it or do it - but it is a really good treatment when you considered what that area has to contend with in terms of weight and mobility.

LOL

FBx

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alrl
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Its Friday, and I am off for a week so I am feeling fairly relaxed and don`t care too much.

But if you feel that you need to massage any particular bit of me through a towel, then by the same logic as to both my and your total "body" shyness, you must massage all of me through a towel.

I might be polite on the day but I am highly unlikely to return.

Have a nice weekend everyone - with or without your towels, buttocks or other controversial bits.

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Alan D
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

I agree; I also wouldn't return to a massage therapist who asked me to wear shorts and who was too prudish to work on the glutes. I assume that Deb has read the earlier thread on 'naked massage'. The London College of Massage website suggests advising new clients that it is preferable not to wear underwear for a massage; and while I realise that many clients prefer to wear underwear, I don't think that a therapist should insist on this.

Alan

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happyfingers
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

i always ask my clients to wear underwear of some fashion because i use their underwear for draping. i can get to any body part just as effectively as if they weren't wearing anything. if they insist on being naked, i ask them to find another therapist. it's just the way i operate.

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Deb379
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Hi there

Been reading all your comments with interest. As someone pointed out, there seems to be a few differences between the different massages available.

I feel with remedial massage if you have a problem in and around the buttock area then you would expect treatment there, same sort of situation when you go to a physio.

Personally I would not expect anyone to be totally naked. I myself would not feel comfortable about being asked to remove all my clothes for a massage, but that's me.

Someone I know who had a massage by a man, said she felt totally uncomfortable about the whole situation, she said the towel kept falling out of place. Although the therapist took no notice, it made her feel uneasy and therefore not relaxed. Hence to say she didn't go back.

I suspect it's only a matter of time before someone claims to have been abused whilst totally naked under a towel. Personally I would not want to put myself at risk.

I have heard of a lot of stories from female therapist who have been asked to massage men. When you are a female and working alone you have to be extremely careful. I'm not saying all men are like this but there are unfortunately a few who think massage is for other purposes.

I guess it's up to the individual therapist to do what they think best.

Regards
Deb

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Alan D
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Hi Deb

I forgot to mention in my previous post that there is a very good Swedish massage video produced by IMC Vision () which includes a demonstration of gluteal massage, with good towel procedure (towels covering the back and the legs so that only the gluteal area is exposed).
If you want your male clients to wear underwear for treatment, I would personally recommend pulling it down in order to work on the glutes (as suggested by Paul), rather than working through the underwear and/or a towel.

Alan

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gntlhnds
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Hello everyone. New here and from the US. I found this thread most interesting because it differs so much from what I learned here in school. We learn Swedish Massage with some Deep Tissue and learn how to perform full body massages including the glutes undraped. We're also taught how to give some massage over clothing if a client isn't comfortable removing all of their clothes. Here in Virginia it's most common that a person will remove all of their clothing for a full body massage and will be draped with sheets, not towels. I personally have issues with my glutes and lateral rotators, and if a massage therapist was uncomfortable working on them, I would not want a massage from them. If you're uncomfortabe with people being fully unclothed this wouldn't be the profession for you around here.

Take Care

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Paul Crick
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Hello gntlhnds

Welcome to the forum 🙂

You will probably use a sheet over there because it is warmer, we have a short summer over here and you have to keep people warm or they tighten up and defeat the object of the treatment.

I must agree that I would be put off by someone who was not comfortable working my body for whatever muscular/skeletal dysfunctions I happened to have which sent me for treatment in the first place.

If people go to the dentists they expect to expose their teeth for treatment, if they go to a massage therapist they should expect to expose their bodies or at lease the bits that are getting worked, midst you when it does get warm over hear, patients often throw the towel on the floor as it is uncomfortable when they are to hot 🙂

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RustyM
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

I hope we have got to the bottom of this now.....

😀

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Rainbow
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

I have just completed ITEC Holistic Massage and we worked on the glutes - the tope part via the back and the bottom part via the legs. It seems to me that unless you find the right tutor you could have a problem - maybe it is the tutors enforcing their own opinions on their students, rather than following the sylabus!

Rainbow 🙂

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bigvoice
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

SallyH, hi;
Am astonished that you didn't do glutes in your ITEC. Agree humbly with Paul that they are crucial if you're going to do any good to the back.
Our school was ever so keen about 'ethical' 😉 techniques, to the point that we wouldn't ever stand at the bottom of the couchfacing up for fear of seeing too much. Draping technique ensured we never glimpsed a nipple either.
We were trained to ask guys to wear briefs - you just can't stretch back shorts or boxers - and it is then easy to pull back the fabric to expose one glute at a time. I can see that having no underwear on a client would make it easier to work on the top of the glutes - I've not really experimented with this though, and am used to using elastic waistband to anchor the drapes.

I always discuss abdominal massage before the massage, I'd rather not run into surprises during the treatment. If someone suffers from IBS or colon problems - or indeed is having painful periods - it's better to know. I also have one friend who will vomit if you so much as touch his belly-button:(
Love and light
BV
[sm=cat.gif]

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healinghands
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Hi all,I did VTCT Swedish Mass Dip. in 2001 and all we did on the gluts were pressing fingers, moving in circles then lifting off the area. We did this all over the gluts in differents spots but were never taught any other moves for that area which is a shame considering it was a diploma course. It doesn't worry me doing the gluts and I have a male client who asked if I would give him massage there. I think I'm going to learn some more moves for the glut area and use it as part of my treatment as long as the client is happy.

Hugs and blessings.

Elizabeth

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Gussie
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

I think the main priority is comfort for the client. I wasn't taught to massage the gluteals till I attended a remedial massage course. I don't think you would get into the depth of understanding how those muscles work untillater.In my aromatherapy course I was taught do not touch AND never massage a mans abdomen under any circumstances. Experience, confidence and further training steer you in a direction you feel comfortable with - and a direction which will benefit the client more and more. I always ask my clients if they are comfortable having their glutesor stomachmassaged.

Great idea Paul having a picture during consultation.

I like my clients to keep at least some clothes on.. even with boxers on there are some clients who will kick their drapings about and expose themselves without realising (thankfully only one client so far for me and I didn't let on, just covered him). Above all else you want them to feel relaxed and secure.

I will always explain to a client when I intend to work on the glutes, to ensure they are comfortable and not embarrassed. I have worked through trousers before now on a client with hip problems - he was very shy,in a lot of pain and needed treatment. He still got the benefits though.

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New Age London
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Very interesting.

I did ITEC Swedish Massage before it was called Holistic, and we were taught to do the buttocks as part of the course. This is through a towel though, although luckily our intructor also did Remedial and Sports massage as well as Shiatsu, so were were taught many ways to do it through the towel 😀

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Alan D
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

I realise that we are going round in circles a bit, but I am still surprised by the number of contributors to this forum whodislike the idea of clients undressing completely. In a recent 'Sunday Times', there was a 'reader's question' which asked

"in a spa, I'm never quite sure if I'm meant to strip naked for a full-body massage. What's the etiquette?"

the reply given was

"about 99.9% of therapists prefer you naked".

That tiesin with my experience in 'real life', but it certainly doesn't tie in with the views of several contributors to this forum. I'm not sure if the 'Sunday Times' is wrong, or if we have a very unrepresentative sample of therapists on this forum !! AndIam particularly surprised by Gussie's view about boxers; if atherapist insists on a client wearing underwear, I would have thought that briefs would be preferable to boxers, because they would allow a therapistto reach the hamstring origins and the lower parts of the glutes, which boxers certainly don't.

Also surprised that Gussie was taught not to touch a man's abdomen: abdominal massage was a compulsory element of both my ITEC course and my sports massage course !!

Alan

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Gussie
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Silly font size defaulting to huge all the time, not shouting, honest!!

*nod* Stupid isn't it how just one course varies from another - at least now through further training and development I can treat the full body confidently and appropriately.I have to say though that the aromatherapywas the weakest course I attended and in hindsight I'm not surprised the course content was so restrictive. Later courses have been far, far more open and the quality of the therapists they produce on them is far improved. I mean, realistically I couldn't call myself a remedial therapist if I listened to the original advice from the aromatherapy course about not treating menand said I'll treat anything but men with pulled stomach muscles.

It's the same with anything, when you being to understand the scope, complexity and diversity of these courses, you can pick and choose them far more rigorously.For istance variance from one course to another in the ailments which are contraindicated greatly.. the use of towels and which areas to treat, how, and even massageroutines and procedures are all very much guided by the teacher and exam boards you choose.

With regards to underwear choice, people wear what they wear.. just a general comment really that despite your best efforts to maintain dignity, there's always someone who is going to displace their drapings. I don't insist they leave their underwear on, I just find that clients feel more comfortable with at least something on.. even those who are therapists themselves and have been taught to massage the client naked. I used to say you can choose whether you want to leave your underwear on, but I would usually get a mortified look that I even suggested that from the men and a look of fear that (I presume) they'd chosen the wrong kind of 'therapist' to treat them so just usually tell them to leave undies on to save that moment of horror.

I think a spa is a different experience from a salon or a treatment ina private treatment room.. so etiquette will vary greatly.. the spa is really the experience of the treatments in that particular setting and it's not feasible to recreate all that luxury in your private clinic. No pool, no sauna, it's no less professional, but the delivery is different.

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healinghands
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Hi again. We were taught on all my courses to do abdominal but only on female and only if it was ok with client. My regular male client enjoys having his abdomen massaged and I also massage the chest area, which we were told not to do. But he enjoys it and goes away very relaxed and happy to have a good treatment. He has been to a few so called "therapists" in this area only to find them asking if he requires anything extra after the massage!!!! Needless to say he declined and looked for a genuine therapist and, lucky for me, he has been a regular since his first massage with me. With regards to the underwear situation, most of my clients leave these on. One of my ladies only leaves her pants on and is quite happy to go without her bra and my reg male client now leaves his underwear off. It doesn't bother me either way whether the clients keep their underwear on but it is better without as, as it has already been said, you can get to parts without their restriction.

Happy massaging.

Elizabeth

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Gussie
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

[quote]He has been to a few so called "therapists" in this area only to find them asking if he requires anything extra after the massage!!!! Needless to say he declined [/quote]

Liz - was this before or after you propositioned him for anything extra? *wink* [sm=hidesbehindsofa.gif]

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Alan D
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

I was interested to read Elizabeth’s comments about therapists offering ‘extras’. My first experience of receiving massage was on a holiday in Europe, when I decided to treat myself to a massage in a hotel spa. I found it very relaxing, and on returning to the UK I decided that I would benefit from regular massage. But I wanted to avoid the type of therapist who offers ‘extras’, so I booked in at the London College of Massage as being a reputable and safe option. Their website says:

“ for a full body massage it is usual to undress completely, although some people prefer to keep on their underwear”

Consequently I have become accustomed to being naked for receiving massage, and I would be slightly embarrassed if a therapist asked me to put my underwear back on !

Incidentally, in the discussion of abdominal massage and nudity vs underwear, nobody seems to have responded to Suzanne’s comments about massaging the buttocks through a towel. At the risk of repeating what was said in earlier posts near the top of this thread, personally I still think that it is better to massage the bare flesh rather than work through the towel. Firstly, I think that massaging through a towel is less effective: I doubt whether any of us would massage the shoulders through a towel ! But more importantly, when I am massaging a supine client, I use the towel to cover the genitals and (for female clients) the breasts, to mark the ‘boundary’ between the exposed area which I am going to touch and the covered area which I am not going to touch. I think that using the towel in this way is important to “create a psychological security barrier, putting the client at ease” (the quote is from Mel Cash’s book ‘Sport & Remedial Massage Therapy’). By massaging through a towel, you lose that 'security barrier'. And if a female therapist doesn't want to see too muchmale buttock, it is quite easy to work on one buttock at a time, covering the opposite buttock (and the gluteal cleft) with a towel.

btw - apologies to ’Louise 100’ for ignoring your contribution, but it is still invisible and marked as ‘awaiting approval’ at the time of writing this.

Alan

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Supersub
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

It's a good point about everyone being taught differently - sometimes when doing the same course but with different tutors. And sometimes even the same tutors are inconsistent, saying one thing but then demostrating or condoning another. Massaging the male abdomen is a good example. There seemed to be a sniggering suggestion on my VTCT Swedish course that we shouldn't ever massage male abdomens as a man might get aroused - by having his gut squeezed! As one of the two men on the course, I didn't argue with this, but it sounded pretty unlikely to me (maybe exposing a misunderstanding about male physiology?). But then, we (or certainly I, though I am a man) went ahead and worked on the abdomens of male college clients (as well as female), without any objection from the teacher.
I've just started an ITEC aromatherapy course and was surprised to discover we are expected to help clients off the couch. Even with clever work with the towels (reminds me of changing on the beach as a child!), that opens up all sorts of risks of compromising "modesty". On my last course we just left the clients (assuming they were able-bodied) to get up in their own time behind a curtain/door.
In contrast, one therapist I met recently toldme he was taught to avoid walking around the bottom of the couch in case he saw something he shouldn't! I would like to think if anyone were that interested in peeping under the towel, they would be found out pretty quickly and removed from the course on the grounds that they were in the wrong place!
It's a good point, Alan, about the use of towels to mark out "boundaries". My new tutor has surprised me by saying she prefers us to use one big towel, rather than the two I was taught to use before - but that does make it harder to expose sections, eg glutes (if you want to!), or individual legs, and avoid leaving the client feeling uncomfortable.
But I suppose that's what it's all about, isn't it? Some clients have very relaxed attitudes towards exposing their bodies, and some don't (rather like the beach). The key thing is to make clear what you expect of the client, and what he/she can expect from you. If you sense any unease, you can adapt. However we are trained, the one thing we should all be good at is being sensitive to the feelings of others. Isn't it?

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bird
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RE: Swedish Massage and buttocks!

Hello

I did ITEC A&P&Massage a couple of years ago. We were taught the gluteals in detail and certainly didn't have to work through a towel. How ridiculous! If a therapist is going to be that shy about a group of muscles then I feel they may be in the wrong profession!

I personally don't mind if ladies undress fully. With men I find that things sometimes 'bob up and down!' so I prefer them to wear undies!

Lisa x

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