In a word: no!
Now for the details. There are a few circumstances under which you might receive a Living Link massage therapy session and the clothing question varies accordingly.
In-office massage (Union Square NYC)
An in-office session takes place on a specialized massage table, with a face rest. Some bolstering will be used in addition to keep you comfortable according to your needs. There are linens on the table with which you are covered throughout the session. Only the body part received work at a given moment is exposed, such as your back, or your leg.
Underpants / Briefs / Boxers – removing these allows for certain techniques around the hip which are prevented if they are present. However, effective work can still be performed through the underwear and they need not be removed. Many of my clients choose to keep them on, as they feel more comfortable that way.
Bra – removing your bra allows for slightly more fluid work on the back and shoulders. Most of my female clients choose to remove their bra, unless they are nursing mothers.
Other clothing – removing large pieces of clothing allows for skin on skin contact and oil application. Skin on skin contact promotes certain hormone release which benefits the nervous system. Working directly on the skin also allows for some of the more advanced therapeutic techniques that I employ such as myofasical release, IASTM, and cupping. Oil application allows for certain Swedish techniques such as effleurage, and allows for some of those advanced techniques.
If you are coming in for the relief of specific injuries or chronic local conditions, I may help you to find a comfortable way for you to remove certain articles of clothing to perform the treatment. However, as always, this is not necessary.
Most clients remove all clothing except underwear. However, effective and relaxing work can still be performed through and around them and they need not be removed. Useful techniques that can be used through clothing include:
- General Friction
- Cross Fiber Friction
You will be fully clothed during a chair massage session. It can be good to remove bulky outer layers though. For more details, read here.
Read more in my Frequently Asked Questions blog series:
Can I talk during a therapeutic massage?
Will I be in pain during a therapeutic massage?
How should I feel after a therapeutic massage?
What is chair massage?
What to expect in a professional massage?
What is a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT)?
What is a scope of practice? What is yours as an LMT?
What do you learn in massage school?
What kind of massage do you do?
What kind of music do you play during a massage?
Should I give you a tip after the massage?