Getting a relaxing massage can be beneficial any time of the month.
But what do you wear when you’re on your period and want a therapeutic massage?
This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about getting a massage during menstruation – from choosing comfortable clothes, preparing for your appointment, addressing cramps and discomfort, talking to your massage therapist, and more.
Why Get a Massage on Your Period? Benefits and Key Facts
For many women, getting a massage during your period can seem unappealing.
However, there are actually several benefits to booking a spa treatment at this time of the month:
- Relieves PMS symptoms like cramps, bloating, fatigue, and irritability through massage techniques that increase blood flow. Aromatherapy oils can also help alleviate discomfort.
- Reduces anxiety and depression that often accompany PMS and menstrual cycles through the release of serotonin and dopamine during massage.
- Loosens tight, painful muscles caused by cramping and hormone changes.
- Decreases water retention and bloating through lymphatic drainage massage techniques.
- Provides a peaceful, therapeutic break when you may be feeling more sensitive.
- Promotes a sense of self-care during a time when your body is going through hormonal changes.
So don’t shy away from booking a spa day on your period!
With the right preparation and communication, it can be just as relaxing and rejuvenating during this time.
What to Wear: Outfit Tips and Ideas for Massage During Menstruation
The first step is choosing the right thing to wear to your massage if you are menstruating.
Here are some tips on how to dress comfortably:
Opt for Loose, Soft Fabrics
Tight clothes can be irritating if you’re experiencing cramps, bloating and tenderness during your period. Instead, opt for loose, soft fabrics that won’t cling to your body:
- Yoga pants, sweatpants, or leggings with a baggy t-shirt or sweatshirt.
- A casual jumpsuit or maxi dress in a flowy knit or jersey material.
- Soft pajamas that can double as streetwear, like a cotton shorts and tank set.
Wear Layers You Can Adjust
Layers allow you to adjust for comfort based on any temperature changes or massage pressure during your session.
Some layering options:
- A long, open cardigan over a camisole and leggings.
- A coordinated sweatshirt and sweatpants set.
- A lightweight kimono-style robe over your massage clothes that can be taken off easily.
Choose Darker Colors
Wearing darker colors can give you added peace of mind in case of leaks or spotting. Go for black, navy, burgundy, gray, dark green, or brown. Dark neons can also be a cute, fun option.
Pick Comfortable Shoes
Don’t wear anything too constrictive on your feet when getting a massage during your period.
- Fleece-lined slides or slippers.
- Fuzzy socks with rubber soles if removing shoes during massage.
- A supportive sneaker if walking to your appointment.
Accessorize With Layers
Some extras that can make your massage outfit more comfortable:
- A scarf to stay warm in the treatment room.
- An oversized tote bag to hold essentials like swap clothes, heating pads, snacks, etc.
- A soft blanket or shawl to wrap up in before and after.
Now that you know what kind of clothing is best for a massage on your period, let’s look at underwear and preparation.
Should You Wear Underwear? Plus Pre-Massage Tips
Another question many women have is whether to wear underwear beneath their massage clothes while menstruating.
Here are some tips:
Wear Thongs or Seamless Underwear
This allows for a massage without visible panty lines.
- Disposable thongs if worried about leaks or spotting.
- Low-rise styles that sit below massage areas.
- Seamless boyshorts or hipsters for more coverage.
- Lacy thongs if they won’t show through your layers.
Use Pads or Tampons
To prevent any leakage or staining during the massage:
- Wear an ultra thin pad if your flow is light.
- Use a tampon if you have a heavier flow.
- Try a menstrual cup if you are comfortable inserting one.
- Bring extra pads or tampons to change after your massage.
Clean Up Before the Appointment
Take a warm shower and wash the areas being massaged beforehand so you feel fresh. Don’t use heavily scented products.
Discuss Menstruation with Your Therapist
Let them know you have your period so they can tailor techniques, use a blanket, or avoid massaging your lower back and stomach.
Time Your Appointment Carefully
Avoid booking during the heaviest days of your cycle if you have severe cramping. The best time is usually just after your period ends.
What Kind of Massage Should You Get? Different Types and Techniques
Now let’s explore some of the most common massages and techniques, and how they can help alleviate period discomfort:
- Swedish Massage: This uses long, fluid strokes to promote relaxation, improve circulation, and ease muscle aches. It’s extremely gentle and great for PMS relief.
- Aromatherapy Massage: Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, clary sage, and marjoram are massaged into the skin to reduce stress and relax the body naturally. Very soothing for menstrual cramps and mood swings.
- Deep Tissue Massage: Firm pressure is used to reach deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Helps immensely with releasing tightness and pain from cramping. Discuss your comfort level first.
- Shiatsu Massage: Fingertips and palms apply rhythmic pressure along the body’s meridians or energy channels. Eases headaches, nausea, and hormonal shifts related to periods.
- Reflexology: Specialized pressure techniques applied to the feet stimulate organs and glands to balance hormones and relax the body. Extremely effective for relieving period discomfort.
- Lymphatic Drainage: A very light massage that encourages lymph fluid movement to drain away excess water retention and inflammation. Great if you experience bloating during your period.
Do You Remove Clothes During a Massage on Your Period?
Many women worry about leaks and stains if clothes are removed when they’re menstruating. Here’s what to expect:
You Can Keep Clothes On
It’s absolutely ok to keep your clothes on during a massage when you have your period. Just mention this to your therapist. They often work around clothing by massaging above fabric or through light sheets.
You May Be Asked to Remove Outer Layers
Don’t panic if asked to remove a robe, cardigan, etc. Your therapist will drape a sheet or towel over areas being massaged for privacy and warmth. Leggings and tanks make good base layers.
You Typically Won’t Remove Underwear
Reputable massage therapists never ask clients to remove all clothing, especially underwear. If asked, refuse or report them.
Speak Up If You Feel Uncomfortable
Your comfort comes first, so don’t be shy about voicing boundaries. A good therapist wants you to feel safe and relaxed.
Additional Draping Can Be Requested
Ask for an additional drape, sheet, or blanket if worried about leaks or staining the table during massage strokes.
How to Talk to Your Massage Therapist About Getting a Massage on Your Period
Open communication with your massage therapist ensures the session addresses your needs during menstruation.
Here are some tips:
Inform Them You Have Your Period
Let your therapist know when you book the appointment and again when you arrive that it’s your time of the month. This gives them key information they need to tailor the massage.
Ask Them to Avoid Certain Areas
Request they avoid massaging directly over your uterus and bladder if you have cramps, bloating or discomfort in these areas that day.
Tell Them Your Pain Level
Communicate your current pain and discomfort level so they can gauge pressure and focus on relieving tension or swelling.
Speak Up If Any Techniques Hurt
Everyone has different period symptoms and pain tolerance. If any massage techniques exacerbate discomfort during the session, ask them to adjust.
Request PMS-Specific Techniques
Ask your therapist to incorporate massage methods that specifically relieve common PMS symptoms like backaches, sore breasts, headaches, constipation or fatigue.
Let Them Know If You Become Dizzy or Nauseated
Hormonal changes can sometimes cause lightheadedness or queasiness during massage. Inform them if this occurs so they can have you rest and hydrate.
After the Massage: Things to Remember
Once your therapeutic massage session is over, here are some final tips for a comfortable experience from start to finish:
Shower After Your Massage
Use warm water and a mild soap to rinse away massage oils and refresh before re-dressing. Bring baby wipes to freshen up if a shower isn’t available.
Change Into Clean Clothes
Put on a fresh set of clothes after your massage to avoid any lingering oils or sweat transferring to your car or home upholstery.
Drink Plenty of Water
Avoid Heavy Exercise
Take it easy for the rest of the day. Strenuous exercise can negate the relaxation benefits of your massage.
Watch for Spotting
Don’t be alarmed if you notice some spotting after your massage. The pressure can sometimes dislodge minor clots or blood flow. Just wear a pantyliner for the rest of the day.
Continue Self-Care at Home
Keep relaxing with a bath, light yoga, soft music, comfy clothes, or other things that soothe your mind and body.
Getting a massage on your period can be uncomfortable if you’re not prepared. With the right clothes, products, communication, and post-massage self-care, you can drift away into blissful relaxation even during menstruation.
Don’t let your cycle stop you from enjoying the amazing therapeutic benefits of massage and aromatherapy.
- Menstruation: Science and Society – PubMed: This PubMed article provides a comprehensive overview of menstrual health and its impact on women’s overall health.
- How You Can Help Treat Menstrual Pain – Massage Professionals Update: This article from the Institute for Integrative Healthcare discusses the role of massage in treating menstrual pain.
- The Effects of Massage Therapy on Dysmenorrhea Caused by Endometriosis – PubMed: This scientific study from PubMed explores the effectiveness of massage therapy in treating dysmenorrhea caused by endometriosis.
- Menstrual Hygiene – UNICEF: UNICEF provides resources and information on menstrual hygiene, highlighting the importance of managing menstruation in a dignified, healthy way.
Q: What should I wear to a massage on my period?
A: It’s best to wear comfortable clothing that allows for easy movement and doesn’t restrict blood flow.
Q: Can I wear underwear during a massage?
A: Yes, you can choose to wear underwear during a massage. However, keep in mind that removing your underwear can allow for better access to the muscles being worked on.
Q: Can I wear a tampon or menstrual cup during a massage?
A: Yes, you can wear a tampon or menstrual cup during a massage. It’s common for people to receive a massage while menstruating, and wearing a tampon or menstrual cup can help manage any potential leakage.
Q: Is it okay to schedule a massage during my period?
A: Yes, it’s perfectly fine to schedule a massage during your period. In fact, receiving a massage can help alleviate menstrual cramps and promote relaxation.
Q: What type of massage is best for menstrual cramps?
A: A menstrual massage, also known as abdominal or pelvic massage, can specifically target the areas affected by menstrual cramps. This type of massage typically involves gentle pressure and can provide relief from discomfort.
Q: Should I wear a specific type of clothing for a massage during my period?
A: There’s no specific type of clothing you need to wear for a massage during your period. Just choose something comfortable that you feel relaxed in, whether it’s loose-fitting pants, a shirt dress, or any other clothing that doesn’t feel restrictive.
Q: Can I go to the spa while menstruating?
A: Yes, you can absolutely go to the spa while menstruating. Most spas are well-equipped with sanitary pad disposal units, and the professionals there are used to working with clients during their periods.
Q: What if I feel uncomfortable without my underwear during a massage?
A: If you feel uncomfortable without your underwear during a massage, you can wear a clean, sanitary pair of underwear or ask for disposable underwear, such as a plastic thong, from the spa or massage therapist.
Q: Will the massage therapist remove my underwear during the session?
A: No, the massage therapist will not remove your underwear unless it is necessary for a specific type of massage you’ve requested, such as a full body massage with oil where the therapist needs direct access to your skin.
Q: Can receiving a massage help with PMS symptoms?
A: Yes, enjoying a massage can help alleviate some PMS symptoms such as bloating, mood swings, and cramps. The relaxation and stress relief provided by a massage can be beneficial during this time.