When you're treating a massage client, you want each touch to provide relief from pain and stress. The last thing you ever want to do when you're treating a client is to tickle him or her, especially if you're a new therapist and are a little anxious about how to treat your clients. While some clients you treat won't be the least bit tickly, there will likely be others who are very sensitive to being tickled. For such individuals, touching even in places that aren't traditionally associated with being ticklish can be a problem. Here are three strategies that you can use to avoid inadvertently tickling your clients.
Keep Your Pressure Firm
A touch can get tickly when it gets lighter. While some people may enjoy the sensation of their massage therapist's fingers gently being dragged over their skin, this movement can be very tickly for others. By keeping your pressure firm, you'll do a better job of avoiding tickling your clients. Light pressure is something to avoid, anyway. When your pressure is overly light, you're doing little to actually work out the knots in your clients' muscles. Although you don't want to go too firm with your pressure, remembering the techniques that you learned in school will be beneficial.
Communicate With The Client
There are a number of areas of the body in which lots of people are ticklish. This can include the soles of the feet, the ribs, and the underarms. Sometimes, you won't be treating these areas — but you may be treating other areas that someone finds ticklish. The important thing to remember is to always communicate with your client. Asking the client if he or she is ticklish in a unusual part of the body, or empowering him or her to let you know if a particular touch feels tickling, can help you to avoid bothering your client in this manner.
Keep Your Sleeves Rolled Up
If you wear a long-sleeved shirt with loose sleeves, your cuffs may gently drag across a client's skin while you work on a particular part of the body. You might not notice this, because you're busy working on the muscles, but the light contact of the fabric could be ticklish and reduce the enjoyment of the massage. It's a good idea to either wear short-sleeved shirts when you're treating your clients or to always roll up your sleeves before you begin the therapeutic massage therapy session.