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massage therapy musings &
persistent pain ponderings

Massage Myths: You Gotta Shave


shave before massage therapy

The Massage Myths series seeks to set the record straight with questions you may ask, or may be afraid to ask, with massage therapy.

This article focuses on the common myth that you need to shave prior to your massage therapy session.


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Without fail, every week a massage therapy client (or two, or three) expresses their apologies and/or their self-consciousness about unshaven body hair during their appointment.

I get it totally get it.

But, I also don't care.

And here's why:

#1 THIS IS THERAPY

Massage therapy is therapy.

You're here to help decrease acute or chronic pain. Encourage better range of motion. Better manage the stresses of life. To improve mood or overall wellness. Or all of the above.

Your physical appearance isn't important to achieving those goals.

You could roll in your hair a mess, not a single body area shaven, and donning your oldest, most embarrassingly worn sweat pants.

And that would be just fine.


If you come with make up on, it'll probably get messed up.

If you take the time to style your hair, you'll likely leave with another style entirely.

If you pick out a sharp outfit, you'll either remove it, or it'll be under the sheets anyway.

When it comes to unshaven hair I hear, "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry for my hairy legs!" on the regular. But really, it's no biggy. And absolutely no need to apologize.

The time you are in my office is about your health and well being, not your fashion, beauty, style, or state of hair growth.

#2 ACTUALLY, JUST SKIP IT

Especially if you have sensitive skin, you might want to forgo the shaving/waxing routine all together and leave your outgrowth or stubble intact prior to a massage.

Massage therapy often involves some degree of friction, and for freshly shaved skin, that could likely lead to irritation or itchiness.

And who wants to be irritated during a massage?

There's lots of ways to get ready for your massage that are much more useful than removing hair. Skip the shave or wax and enjoy a nice cup of tea, a long hot soak in the tub, or a light walk instead.

So there we have it. I don't care if you shave. And you don't have to either.

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Myths Article Series

Massage Myths: Regular Massage Therapy is UNaffordable Massage Myths: You Have to Bare It All Massage Myths: Deep Tissue or Bust Massage Myths: Talking Ruins the Experience Massage Myths: I'm Too Self-Conscious for Massage Massage Myths: You Gotta Shave Massage Myths: Drinking Water Post Massage Massage Myths: One Table Fits All

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And might be wondering... who wrote all these words?
Well hello! My name's Raechel and I'm a massage therapist.

I enjoy writing about wellness (duh); nerding out about sci-fi or Dungeons & Dragons; trying to grow plants; building things and sailing with my significant other; thoughtful conversations with close friends; loving my German Sheppard dog; and getting lost in a book.