draping laws questions

topic posted Tue, June 8, 2004 - 12:10 PM by  sinecure
Making the topic generic. :) I do have a specific question, though. I recently had someone call the salon where I work wanting a massage with no drape. In school we were told that it's illegal in WA to do massage without a modest drape. The other massage therapist at the salon confirmed this, but I can't find any reference to it in the WA massage laws. Then a friend [also a massage therapist] told me that she doesn't think it's illegal, technically, just that it's an ethics/avoiding lawsuits thing.

So, does anyone know what the deal is with draping? I won't be working on this guy, but I also don't want to tell him that undraped massage is illegal here if it's not. Help?
posted by:
  • Re: draping laws questions

    Tue, June 8, 2004 - 12:45 PM
    They made this illegal in my state too (MN) recently. I would actually call the state, find out who to talk to and get an answer from a human, the laws can be difficult to interpret. I know that a lot of therapists still will do this kind of draping (or non-draping) on clients request.
    • Re: draping laws questions

      Tue, June 8, 2004 - 3:42 PM
      Good idea - thank you, Sara. I'll post whatever I find out.

      Holli, the client didn't say why he wanted to be undraped. The not being draped thing wouldn't automatically set off my alarms, but he was asking inappropriate [in my opinion] questions [like "how old is the massage therapist?"], he wouldn't leave his name or number, he made persistent efforts to talk us into doing an undraped massage even though we'd said no, and the other LMP here offered to give him the names of a few male LMPs who would do a massage with him undraped - which he refused. So... yeah. I won't be working with him.
      • Re: draping laws questions

        Tue, June 8, 2004 - 3:44 PM
        good call...i have never had a client make any request to draping or not so i guess it would set off my alarm if they wre requesting none specifically...
      • Re: draping laws questions

        Tue, June 8, 2004 - 10:37 PM
        Whoa... I didn't even realize that this was a male client. Women may want an undraped massage so they can have work done on the pectoral area and breasts, it is not illegal to undrape this area on a man. I would never agree to this even if it was legal.
  • Re: draping laws questions

    Tue, June 8, 2004 - 12:45 PM
    i don't know your answer but why did the client request that they not be draped?
    • Re: draping laws questions

      Tue, June 8, 2004 - 3:32 PM
      Actual legalistic regulation varies from city to city, county to county, state to state. Also by facility. Travelin' as I do with a national client base, it's unrealistic for me to know every local ordinance. Besides I resent excessive government intrusion into my life & work as do most of my clients. Most clients prefer basic drapin'-some could care less. I allow for the individual choice & with focused intent on performin' therapeutic service I have no issues of conflict within my consciousness. What goes on within the clients varies by their nature, not mine. I offer therapeutic massage from head to toe. I do not perform illegal sexual acts, but I'm trained & able to work the entire human body. It's really beyond time, we reject the legalistic restictions against our legitimate modality of health service. Bottom line-what therapist/client agree to do within boundaries of privacy/intimacy behind closed doors is between them. Note:Most localities that recognize massage as a medical modality with such absurd restictions of exposure of private areas, condescend to reality with special consent forms for either breast massage or gluteal work. Always have these signed if this is the case. Cover your ass!
      • Re: draping laws questions

        Tue, June 8, 2004 - 8:39 PM
        no. Cover Thier ass!
        I can understand that you want to present this guy with legal facts. But the fact is, he's trying to take advantage of just that. More than likely he knows the facts, and is trying to work within the loopholes. The client will first want no draping, then light touch(or some such thing) and then the etc...... and when you back off, he'll point out the no draping thing. Another clue, no call back number, name etc. In the average massage world nowaday's a client will prefer to be draped.
        City to city - county to county - country to country, most real clients have a natural sense of modesty that is to our advantage as massage therapists; We are not left feeling uncomfortable in any way.

        Please understand that I Love nudity, on the beach in the home etc. But Ethically and professionally, I don't think at has a place within the massage world anymore. Heck, even if its just a towel.
        Thanks for reading the rant.
        • Re: draping laws questions

          Tue, June 8, 2004 - 10:25 PM
          > Ethically and professionally, I don't think at
          > has a place within the massage world anymore

          I understand where you're coming from, but I disagree.

          Obviously, a client should always have draping available to them if they want it. Similarly, no therapist should be required to work on an undraped client if they are uncomfortable doing so.

          However, not all clients who request undraped work are seeking sexual services, and not all practitioners who allow it are prostitutes. As long as both client and therapist are clear on boundaries and that nothing sexual will be involved, I see nothing unprofessional or unethical about providing undraped massage. In fact, I know highly respected massage practitioners who have clients on whom they work undraped (as do you, I'll wager).

          As I said, though, I do understand where you're coming from. I wouldn't work without a drape on a brand new client. I'd want to be comfortable with their goals and ability to maintain boundaries first.
          • Re: draping laws questions

            Sun, August 10, 2014 - 9:16 AM
            After 17 years of practice, all my clientele are required to wear underwear, and I have never been happier. Here are a a few good reasons.
            1. Out of sight, out of mind. It is not necessary to ever expose private parts to do good bodywork.
            2. Husbands like it when they know their wife’s private parts will never be seen, just because.
            Even my wife Elaine likes this this idea, just because.
            3. Most people at some time have had a sheet draping fail them at some time during a massage, or at least felt like they did, and suddenly felt vulnerable under the sheet in a naked state.
            4. Modest people may never get a massage, but if they knew everyone in my practice from now on are required to wear underwear at all times, they know they would not feel social pressure to get naked later just to be cool.
            5. Many people who got a massage in the past, just naked under a sheet, later to report to others that they regretted that decision because:
            a. They remember some early life trauma around boundaries, and fear and anxiety comes up.
            b. They find pleasure can feel sometimes be sexually arousing, which passes, but in the mean time they regret not having the added protection of underwear in this state, as it makes them feel more vulnerable.
            c. As good relations grow between therapist and client from session to session, the wearing of underwear can help both parties keep a healthy distance and avoid things feeling weird.
            d. As the therapist has the client put their body in sometimes awkward positions to do range of motion and resistant stretches with trigger point work, the added modesty of underwear and the sheet together is more comfortable, and makes the work even possible for modest people.
            e. If a man wearing underwear gets a temporary erection on the table, which passes, the therapist may never even know it, and the event clears by itself without further embarrassment.
            f. Draping often is not perfect, and fails boundaries of comfort or vulnerability even if it does work, because sometimes it just feels like it is not working.
            g. People feel more pleasure, in a non-sexual way, if they feel safe enough or not as vulnerable.
            h. Knowing everyone in my bodywork practice forever wears underwear is a good public reputation, with my family, referring medical professionals, and client family members.
            i. The most conservative people can get bodywork while maintaining modest boundaries.
            j. Some people, who have had their boundaries stripped during some act of oppression during childhood, need the authority figure in the bodywork room to set the boundaries for them, and guard that boundary for them, as they may not have the ability to do it themselves.
        • Re: draping laws questions

          Tue, June 8, 2004 - 10:59 PM
          Seriously, all I want to do is make sure I'm not giving him [assuming he calls back, which I doubt he will] and my coworkers incorrect information. He was skeevy, and the salon will not be booking any appointments for him.

          I have no problem with undraped massage in theory, and for those who can do it and maintain boundaries and all, good. I'm glad that you can provide that service. Heck, I'll even refer people to you. But even with a sheet, being a naked person on a table is fraught with potential triggers and weirdnesses, especially if you happen to have been sexually abused, which some of my clients have been. Probably more than I know, even. So just in case there's something there to be triggered, I choose to keep that physical boundary, flimsy as it may be. :) Safer all around, in my opinion.
          • Re: draping laws questions

            Wed, June 9, 2004 - 2:39 AM
            The issues I attempted to address were of choice & control. I strongly practice both, freedom of choice to drape/undrape should be held by mutual agreement between therapist/client. Local,state,federal governmental agencies & their generally unaware representatives have no business in our business on this issue. I fully accept qualificative control over anyone practicin' any format of health service, but so-called moral & ethic regulations are out of control & obstructin' valid work. Comin' from clinical background, where I changed bedpans & retrained patients in basic functions such as toiletries, it's absurd that I am restricted from gluteal work or basic examination of any area of the human body. It doesn't help the cause to have any priss or prude in the trade. If you're that uncomfortable with humanity or nudity you might reconsider your own issues of choice & control & career.
            • Re: draping laws questions

              Wed, June 9, 2004 - 6:14 AM
              I work in a clinical setting, that being a Chiro's office. I am met with glut work daily. The client is able to recieve full glut work without having to feel/be exposed. That meaning, the glut is exposed, but the entire back-end is not. More over, if I am doing anykind of groin work, say for a runner, it is also unnecessary for me to do it undraped. I have heard on occaision that even male massage therapists have had male clients that experience penile erection (I prefer the term woodie, but I'm attempting to maintain my current prudish image here) and although I understand this and actually don't mind it - I don't need one staring me in the face while I'm trying to stretch or clear an area near by. If I have (and I have) a client who requests this kind of work - even after having had a few massages from me, I will refuse to do it undraped. As female massage therapists it is often assumed that we will do more/give "more" if a male client just "happens" to present us with his package. I receive my massages in the nude with minimal draping. I prefer that my clients be completely nude but draped. I also agree that if we are not careful the laws might work against us. But I also think that maintaining a status quo from the 70's will work against us and not for us. I chose massage therapy for many of the same reason that most of us have, we want to give, heal and help.
              If the client wants erotic massage, surely he'll find it. The rules are different there I imagine.
              • Re: draping laws questions

                Wed, June 9, 2004 - 8:22 AM
                I don't think you're a prude, Deb, and I fully agree with your decision to require draping in your practice. I was only responding to the apparent suggestion that it would be unprofessional for another therapist to make a different choice. Undraped massage is not the same as erotic massage, and if a client is looking for the latter, they need to go somewhere else.

                I can also understand why being a female therapist might affect your perspective. Male therapists aren't immune to clients (male or female) seeking "more", though it's certainly much rarer.
                • Re: draping laws questions

                  Wed, June 9, 2004 - 7:24 PM
                  Eric my Dahlik -
                  it is not you who called me the prude! Thank you for your response! I appreciate your clarity, and I fully agree with you!
                  Peace and lets consider a trade~
                  Deb/Deborah/Dee Dee but never Debbie (or late for dinner!)
          • Re: draping laws questions

            Wed, June 9, 2004 - 7:48 AM
            Oh, absolutely. I've worked with abuse survivors too, and I'm well aware of how easy it is to hit those triggers even if you're working on a client that's fully clothed.

            I can't imagine doing undraped work on such a client (well... maybe if the client was someone I'd seen long-term and was asking for it specifically so they could somehow work through fear/trust issues, and then only with specific consent of the client's pshychotherapist. And even then I'm not sure.)

            Sorry for not being able to answer the legal question. Massage in California is regulated at the municipal level rather than the state level, so every city is different, and I have no idea what the laws are in Washington.
            • Unsu...

              Re: draping laws questions

              Wed, June 9, 2004 - 8:36 AM
              But Eric, how do you KNOW if they've been abused? Most people are not going to walk in and say, "Hi, nice to meet you for the first time. Did you know I survived sexual abuse by my uncle?" And more specifically, ANY kind of trauma can be triggered during bodywork -- emotional abuse, physical abuse -- abuse that people may not carry in their identity as abuse.

              I also can't say with certainty how good my clients are at keeping the lines clear around touch and their sexual and emotional bodies. And quite frankly, can you be absolutely sure of all your boundaries and triggers?

              I really do think it's not necessarily a matter of choice or of legality but a matter of setting appropriate boundaries to drape or not drape. Draping provides a little extra cozy room for human frailty and helps to set the boundaries between personal and professional.
              • Re: draping laws questions

                Wed, June 9, 2004 - 11:46 AM
                I realize that. That's just one more reason I won't agree to undraped work on a client unless I have an established history with them and feel completely comfortable with the arrangement. If there's any doubt in my mind about the ability of either of us to handle it, the answer is no. Period.

                I don't question why others would choose to not allow it at all, and I think it's ridiculous to dismiss those who don't as prudish. I simply find equally ridiculous the notion that any practitioner who agrees to do undraped work, regardless of circumstance, is either unprofessional or unethical. It's too simplistic a model.
                • Re: draping laws questions

                  Wed, June 9, 2004 - 8:32 PM
                  Whoa-you all are spinnin' your wheels. Eric-I know you wanna kiss the sisters ass, but quit the flip/flop. Ladies-You're missin' the point of law issue because of personal inability to deal with client personality. We're are losin' practice rights to governmental restrictions, stroke by stroke. We need to stand together against overregulation of our craft. Deborah-you might not realize you're sheltered from aspects of legalistic inhibition of work because you're workin' within' clinical situation. In some cities,counties or states, you'd be arrested for gluteal work regardless of drapin'-follow the trend of laws against body/energy work. They tend to go like so, excessive drapin' regulation to limitations of area. Topic questioned point of law. Point of law is my concern & should concern any & all body/energy workers. Clinical or casual. Freedom of choice to control interaction of facilitation of therapeutic service must remain between therapist & client. Resist restictions of so-called morality laws that inhibit valid therapy.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: draping laws questions

                    Wed, June 9, 2004 - 10:30 PM
                    my two cents:

                    the draping issue really came up for the original poster because of a 'vibe' she got. The client even wanted to know how old the therapist was right? Draping issue or not, the client was already out of line. The drape was probably just his way of scoping out the place for a potential hand job.

                    What was that?
                    I think I hear the rumbling of tanks from the draping police coming around the corner!

                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: draping laws questions

                    Wed, June 9, 2004 - 11:40 PM
                    > I know you wanna kiss the sisters ass, but quit the flip/flop.

                    <counts ten... make that twenty...>

                    Based on the bulk of your response, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that perhaps my statement: "I don't question why others would choose to not allow it at all" was unclear and might have been construed as support for laws prohibiting undraped massage. A more precise phrasing would be "I don't question why another therapist would choose not to perform undraped massage as part of their practice".

                    I believe as you do that control should remain with the therapist and client, and that the law should stay out of it. But there's nothing wrong with a therapist exercising that control by choosing not to provide undraped massage.

                    Hence, if someone calls you unprofessional for doing such work or tries to regulate away your ability to do such work, I'll defend you. If someone calls them prudes or suggests they are unprofessional for excluding such work in their own practices, I'll defend them.

                    No flip-flopping or ass-kissing required.
                    • Unsu...

                      Re: draping laws questions

                      Thu, June 10, 2004 - 1:20 AM
                      Okay, let me throw my two cents in here. First, I agree that what happens in the treatment room between client and practitioner is between them. That said, I don't think we need to go to laws to create limits. A while back I did some training at the Ritz-Carlton and they have very strict draping protocols and not because of the laws but because they wanted to avoid any hint of sexual misconduct. As such, in our private practice or at a spa we can set the rules. It's kind of like the restaurant where they say, "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service." It's not a city ordinance. It's their rule.
                      • Unsu...

                        Re: draping laws questions

                        Thu, June 10, 2004 - 2:15 AM
                        is it just me or does some of this discussion seem a little charged with members personal stories?

                        from what i've read above, it looks like everyone is basically in agreement on these points: (1) that there is nothing inherently wrong with working on a client undraped, (2)although often when clients ask to be worked on undraped, they have sexual intentions (fact: people often get off on just exposing themselves, and although they may not be wanting any additional sexual attention and although they might not even be honest with themselves about this fact, they still are lookig for a sexual experience), (3) as an industry, we have to be aware of the potential of limiting effects of an increasinly restrictive and puritanical governemnt who historically misunderstands our profession, and (4)ultimately, it is up to the individual massage therapist to set his/her boudries.

                        All that said, what is up with all the attitude? I'd like to challenge the members or this tribe to try to (1) not take things personally and (2) be respectful. Remember, your expeirence (no matter how many years you've been at it) and your opions are just that, YOUR expierencs and YOUR opinions. Remember, that simply by saying something like "my experience is..." you can change the entire tone of your post.

                        Just my two cents...
      • Re: draping laws questions

        Tue, March 1, 2005 - 9:46 AM
        Don't you think for a woman to sign a form giving a man
        'permission ' AND waiving blame would set her up and allow men
        TO>what in their twisted mind is ' CARTE BLANCE ' TO GROPE?
  • Re: draping laws questions

    Thu, June 10, 2004 - 4:58 PM
    If you live in a state which requires the NCBTMB exam for licensure (which I do), then you may be legally obliged to abide by their standards of practice. According to "Standard I: Professionalism," part (k), the certificant must "use appropriate draping to protect the client's physical and emotional privacy."

    My personal opinion is that the massage therapy regulations of the State of Nebraska are in the best interest of public health. To me, they just seem like good common sense, and I haven't yet encountered any compelling reasons to do things differently.
    • Re: draping laws questions

      Fri, June 11, 2004 - 8:24 AM
      That's a good point, but I'm not sure that standard really means anything in practice stronger than "don't give your client less draping than they (or you) are comfortable with".

      Taking an extreme example, consider a therapist working in an environment where social (i.e. nonsexual) nudity is common, such as a clothing-optional resort. While some clients would still want to be draped for massage (for warmth, security, or whatever), I don't think it would violate the NCBTMB standard of practice to skip the draping at the request of a client who's been walking around naked all week.
      • Re: draping laws questions

        Fri, June 11, 2004 - 9:05 AM
        I agree with Eric - it's really down to the culture, the environment, the treatment, and the professionalism of both the practitioner and the client - the client has responsibilities too.

        I recently received a massage in Kauai in a rural spa. It was extremely hot and the draping was minimal. In Kerala I received ayurvedic massage daily. The room was private and I was completely naked (and comfortable) the whole time.

        In both situations the amount of fabric or lack of it was irrelevant to the way I was treated - ie with professionalism and courtesy.

        (Back in the urban world I work with full draping; my clients choose how much they want to wear in addition to the sheet)
      • Re: draping laws questions

        Fri, June 11, 2004 - 9:11 AM
        True. I didn't see any place where the NCBTMB specifically defines the term "appropriate," so it seems like there would be some latitude for interpretation. It doesn't sound to me like Hosie is working in a clothing-optional salon, however.
  • Re: draping laws questions

    Wed, June 16, 2004 - 8:52 PM
    I teach an "Ethics and the Law" class at a massage vocational school and in WA state it is NOT a legal requirement to drape one's client. The only time linens are mentioned in massage related law, is the specifications are laid out for how to store dirty linens.

    However, it is in the AMTA ethics that one must use a drape. (At least it was when I was a member 8 years ago.)

    Many people just use the "it's illegal" rational because it's an easy way to set a boundry.
    • Re: draping laws questions

      Fri, February 18, 2005 - 11:39 PM
      I get so sick of people trying to impose their own morality onto others.

      Draping laws suck! If someone prefers to be draped, that's fine. If they prefer not to be draped, that does not make them a pervert!

      When I work on clients, linens are provided. It is up to them if they are draped or not.

      As a client myself, I wouldn't pay for someone to work on me if they did not trust me or feel confortable with my body, or with my confort level.
      • Unsu...

        Re: draping laws questions

        Sat, February 19, 2005 - 7:50 AM
        though I do not share Jay's anger about draping. I think that draping is a agreement that should be worked out between the client and masseur. The AMTA can rant, rave, and legislate and I am not listening (i am a proud ex-member). I think some of the early posts in this thread about how the client must have wanted something more if he did not want a drape are really unfair. Some people just don't like drapes. Some clients feel that massage is about liberation and feeling good in ones body and don't like to feel that they should hide parts of who they are. We don't even need to set up a scenario like papa bears people should feel free to express there needs if I can't meet them someone else surely will. Even though, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a sensual/erotic/therapeutic masseur, I leave it up to the therapist to cover or uncover me when I get a massage. *NOTE TO MASSAGE CONSUMERS when you recieve a massage you will get the best massage when you let the therapist set his or her comfort level on issues of draping, touch etc.* We must feel safe to do our job effectively wether we are card carrying members of the AMTA or Body Electric therapists. I am not just shooting my mouth off on this issue as I attended and graduated from a very conservative massage school and at one time would have refused to serve a client who refused a drape. I do have a question about draping though. Do you guys think that draping can do more to bring sexual energy to a massage as it does surely bring attention to what is an O.K. part and what is not?
        thanks zeke
        • Re: draping laws questions

          Sat, February 19, 2005 - 9:36 AM
          Very well put Zeke.

          BTW- draping does not anger me. If someone wishes to be draped, they should be entiltled to that. What angers me is when people, namely massage therpaists and legislatures, who attempt to control the morality and actions of other people.

          What angers me is when a massage therapist calls another therapist a prostitute becuase they are willing to work on a client who isn't draped.

          I refuse to seek anyone's approval or license for doing something as natural as providing a healing, relaxing massage.
        • Re: draping laws questions

          Sat, February 19, 2005 - 6:57 PM
          My opinion is that draping doesn't bring any sexual element into the massage that wasn't there to begin with.

          I think the comments about the guy who inspired this thread wanting something more were totally valid. You can look at my previous posts, but the fact is that he tried to manipulate our receptionist into saying that an undraped massage would be ok even after having been told 4 times that he would have to discuss it with me. He asked how old I was, and seemed pleased that I was in my mid-20's [I was tempted to have him come in just so he could see that I'm 260 pounds of (mostly) muscle in a Hello Kitty shirt] and he refused to leave his name or number so that she could check with me and call him back to schedule. None of those things on its own would be a red flag, but taken together they're really creepy. If it was just that he didn't want a drape, he could have left his number and I would've called him back and explained that salon policy, for liability reasons, is that clients must be modestly draped, and that I'd be happy to check around and see if any of the massage therapists I know would be open to doing undraped massage. No harm, no foul. But refusing to give name/contact info + inappropriate questions about the MT + manipulation tactics = bad news.
  • Re: draping laws questions

    Sat, February 19, 2005 - 10:43 AM
    From a client's perspective:

    I prefer to receive a massage undraped, or at least to have that option.

    However, I would not request to be undraped during my first session if the therapist did not give me that option. Being nude is not a sexual invitation and I would not want it to be taken as such. Until the therapist and I understand one another, nudity is not appropriate. Moreover, I would respect my therapist's preference to use a drape -- I can still get a perfectly good massage and I'm not interested in upsetting a sound professional and therapeutic relationship. I would never consider asking a female therapist to provide an undraped massage; even without any illicit intent on anyone's part, that seems to be crossing a line.
    • Re: draping laws questions

      Sat, February 19, 2005 - 10:52 AM
      Your perspective is valid.

      All I'm trying to say is that we don't all have the same idea of what is appropriate and what is not.

      It isn't right for anyone else to attempt to decide what is appropriate for me and what is not.

      There are so many different massage professionals available, and so many clients available, all of us can find the therapist/client that fits us best.

      No one needs to impose their own idea of right and wrong onto anyone else.
  • Unsu...

    Re: draping laws questions

    Sat, February 19, 2005 - 11:14 AM
    i always forget that because i do only traditional shiatsu (no oils, not touching skin directly) that in some situations, draping is *optional*. I suppose whether a MT says its okey to drape or not, its up to them. Then maybe it may not be after the vice cops show up at your studio when someone complains about the treatment.
    • Re: draping laws questions

      Sun, February 20, 2005 - 1:11 AM
      A simple solution is to allow the client to be undraped while you wear a blindfold. I can't imagine the FBI would have a problem with that. In some rare cases, though, I will force a patient to put on mukluks and a sombrero, but that is strictly for my amusement. Then I take their $100 and remind them that I'm doing them a favor by agreeing to smell their farts.
      • Unsu...

        Re: draping laws questions

        Sun, February 20, 2005 - 6:45 AM
        from my massage consumers perspective. Give me chair massage, give me draped massage, give me undraped massage as long as it is good massage. . . I think sometimes we get tied into knots over draping spending energy posting, thinking about, arguing about it and it is a bit of an abstraction
        • Re: draping laws questions

          Sun, February 20, 2005 - 10:35 AM
          While reading these posts, I was thinking about what benefits there are from undraped massage. I did notice one good one--if it is too hot. That makes sense.

          Otherwise, what is it? Is an undraped session a good way to smoothly & without interruptions cover the body (e.g. strokes that run from foot to head)? Is it psychological, a way to feel more exposed to another person's maniputation of your body?

          Coco--I saw that you mentioned shiatsu as traditionally clothed, which made me wonder about some books I've seen (specifically, I'm thinking about the author Nicola) in which the shiatsu was done totally unclothed. Maybe that was just for visual reference, I don't know, but the way I learned it, fabric is no barrier to chi, so I learned it clothed too.

          • draping laws questions

            Thu, February 24, 2005 - 2:43 AM
            I dont usually worry about draping, usual work in nude setting...
            • Re: draping laws questions

              Sat, February 26, 2005 - 6:43 PM
              ...but seriously folks, a possible value of an undraped massage is in providing a witness to the person in their natural state and creating a sense of integrated wholeness of the body and being. Serving as a witness to a person's natural wholeness sends a message that their body is beautiful and that they deserve to live in this world... whereas insisting on draping conceptually mutilates the body (an arm hear, a leg there) and implies a sense of shamefulness, creates shame by implying that certain parts of us are not fit to be seen. If a person is uncomfortable being viewed in the nude I would suggest they just wear comfortable clothes -- pajamas, sweats, yoga gear -- avoiding the *conceal and reveal* mentality inherent in draping technique. Nudity is certainly not necessary for good bodywork as anyone who has benefitted from thai massage, shiatsu, breema or other non-oil based modalities can attest.
              • Unsu...

                Re: draping laws questions

                Mon, February 28, 2005 - 8:29 PM
                I disagree that draping inherently "conceptually mutilates the body." Draping is not about ** oh my god his ass is showing, quick cover it up! *** Draping can be nurturing, warm, caring, and honoring of the beauty of the recipient's spiritually AND physical body.

                To be a witness, simply means to be present to someone's experience. In fact, you don't even need to have your hands on someone to do that. The healers whose work I admire could make me feel integrated even with a potato sack and a pair of longjohns covering my whole body.
                • Re: draping laws questions

                  Wed, March 2, 2005 - 6:04 AM
                  hmmm... potato sack and longjohns. I'll have to try that.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: draping laws questions

                    Wed, March 2, 2005 - 8:10 AM
                    It's all the rage...
                    • Unsu...

                      Re: draping laws questions

                      Wed, March 2, 2005 - 11:29 AM
                      in Idaho. . . with hot potato massage too! So start heating those sacred potatos in the water. and say a prayer for my alumni and "founder" of la stone Mary Hannigan. She also invented this sacred potato massage on a hike through Idaho.
                      (contact me if you want to know the true birth of La Stone its pretty funny Mary graduated from DIHA 2 years before me)
  • Re: draping laws questions

    Fri, March 4, 2005 - 4:52 PM
    I took a quick look at California law and can't find any code or statute that would require draping in this state. Your best best would be to consult a lawyer about local regulations.

    Each city has the power to regulate massage licensure from the state Business and Professions Code. For example, Emeryville forbids the masseuse wearing lingerie. Fairfield makes it illegal "to massage any other person ...for immoral purposes or in a manner intended to arouse, appeal to or gratify the lust or passion or sexual desires."

    You can see why getting legal advice can be good.
    • L
      offline 201

      Re: draping laws questions

      Tue, March 15, 2005 - 1:32 PM
      Y'all ask why someone would want an undraped massage -- from my perspective of a client, I've found draping to be distracting and in some cases I have experienced practically obsessive draping that made me feel very self and body-conscious.

      In cases where I have had undraped massage -- in Hawaii, at Esalen in California, at a friend's place when we were trading -- the long full body strokes and the uninterrupted flow of the massage was unparalleled. I felt completely natural in my body.

      I've also been very disappointed at times with draped massage when my primary concern was upper body soreness (from weight training etc) and the practitioner worked my neck, shoulders, and abdomen but completely skipped my pectoral areas. Same issue with glute soreness from working out . . .

      Once I am in the midst of a session it is hard to become verbal and speak up for wanting a certain area worked on, so I've been disappointed by having my very painful muscles being overlooked simply because of mammary glands. Gimme a break! This isn't middle school! It is supposed to be medical/therapeutic practice, and the sheer act of skipping the glutes or the pecs seems ridiculous to me.

      Now I have had, on occasion, these muscle groups worked while draped, but it seems like I have never had this problem with undraped massage and have frequently had this problem with draped massage.

      I also recently had a very expensive "Moor Mud" body wrap done that I spent over $100 dollars on. My arms were mudded, my legs were mudded but only up to mid thigh, my abdomen and back, neck and shoulders were mudded but the chest, lower abdomen, and glutes were all skipped. Now if there is any area that tends to break out from oils and skin sensitivity it is my chest area along the sternum . . . I will never again get a mud wrap without finding out what I will be getting. I could have done a much better job doing it myself at home. That and the mud wasn't hot, and I was cold most of the session. . . . but that's another rant.

      I hope to go to massage school next year and become a body worker, so thanks for all the info and ideas. I think the issue of creepy people seeking 'services' is totally separate from the issue of draping, and that practitioners should keep their senses open and follow their intuition to maintain boundaries. And please reserve your judgments about someone who might request an undraped massage!

      I practice Reiki which is supposedly always done with the client fully clothed, but at Esalen, Breitenbush, and other hot springs people are already naked in the spa areas so I have used towels for draping. I have not had anyone request undraped Reiki although I have done it on people I know well and have good understanding/boundaries with.

      And as for the comment on fabrics and chi, it is my experience that most natural fibers don't cause trouble for chi but that some synthetics (like knit acrylic sweaters or socks, yuck!) do feel funny and I hate working through them. I've also tried to do Reiki through Vinyl/PVC clubwear and have not liked that either . . .

    • Re: draping laws questions

      Wed, March 16, 2005 - 9:33 AM
      Coming in late on this discussion, but:

      Has it occurred to anyone that the described telephone conversation sounds a heck of a lot like a police officer trying to pull a sting?
      • Re: draping laws questions

        Fri, March 18, 2005 - 7:13 AM
        That totally didn't occur to me! Luckily we're not doing anything illegal, so it's not an issue. I'll float that idea to the receptionist, though, just in case. If it comes up again she knows to just say "I'm sorry, that's against salon policy."
        • Re: draping laws questions

          Fri, March 18, 2005 - 1:49 PM

          It just sounds like the sort of verbal game undercover officers play when they try entrap someone into saying something that will let the officer make an arrest for solicitation or intent to purchase drugs... they'll keep at it, trying to get the person's guard down.
          Reminds me of how a friend of mine got arrested for "solicitation" some years ago; all he was doing was trying to get out of the conversation without being rude! He's the sort of guy who's TOO polite, even to hookers who approach his car at red lights. <G>

          At any rate, whatever the caller's motives were, I think your plan for having her politely-but-firmly repeat "I'm sorry, but... " is a good one. :-)
          • Re: draping laws questions

            Fri, March 18, 2005 - 4:39 PM
            Sometime ago I had a caller that called two time's in one day both caller's came up out of area on the caller I D. and both asked if I use drapery. I kinda thought it was strange that terminally was used. on the same day. Most people (99%) will come right out and ask if there is any nudity involved. I told the 2nd caller that came in that day , "YES, YES, there drapery on windows"..... and I never got any more call about that again..

            Hugz Dale LMT

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