Twelve Problems Only a Massage Therapist Would Understand


Most of the time massage therapists love their career and love working with their clients, but like any other job, massage therapy comes with unique challenges and risks.

Some of those risks entail bodily injury because LMT's work with clients who may be seeking therapy due to injuries or strains.

Another potential risk is running into an uncomfortable situation where a client acts inappropriately.

Top Things Massage Therapists Hate

We asked our followers to name problems that only massage therapists really understand. 

Here’s what they said:

1. The Client Doesn't Communicate What They Want

A massage therapist with her hands up questioningly

When a client only pays for a Swedish and then says you can go as hard as you want. If a client wants a certain type of massage, that service should be communicated and paid for prior to the session. 

2. Clients Exposing a Little Too Much

When you ask a client to get undressed and get under the sheet only to find that when you come back in the room, they are buck naked spread eagle on top of the blanket.

Inappropriate behavior and requests are among the top-cited concerns of many massage therapists. Not only is this disrespectful to you as a trained professional, but it disrespects the profession as a whole.

3. Clients Who Are Too Eager to Undress

When they start to undress before you have left the room, dropping their robe, and you see more than you bargained for.

If the behavior seemed deliberate and inappropriate, read "You Don't Have To Take It. How To Handle Inappropriate Clients."

4. Wiggly Clients

When a client is constantly moving around on the table. This may be due to discomfort. Communicate with your client to determine the cause before making assumptions. 

5. Indecisiveness

When a client keeps shorts on, and then tries to move them out of the way mid-massage.

6. Learning Too Much

When you know your client’s dirty little secrets, like when they buy a gift certificate for their wife and their girlfriend.


7. Professional Disrespect

When a client acts like you are not a professional because you’re not a doctor. You've spent hundreds of hours in training, thousands of dollars for licensing and massage therapy school, and that expertise and knowledge is dismissed by your clients because you have RMT, LMT, or CMT and not MD in your job title.

Building credibility as a massage therapist and winning the respect of your clients isn't an easy task, but these five tips can help. 

8. Co-workers Who Don't Pull Their Weight

When someone sees you leave the office with a laundry basket full of sheets and says, "I got some laundry you can do, too!"

While it's okay to help out a co-worker once in a while, it's important that everyone pitches in. If you have someone who is constantly taking advantage, maintain your professional boundaries with a smile. It's perfectly okay to say no.

9. Undisclosed Client Injuries

When they don't put their back issues on the intake form. Then when you ask about the surgical scar they say, “You’re not really a professional, so I didn't think it mattered.”

Client intake forms can be crucial in protecting both you and the client. Read "A Massage Therapist's Guide To Protecting Themselves and Their Clients" to learn more.

10. Fungus and Body Odor

When they want a foot massage and have a fungus on their toes. Now, this is just disgusting.

Of course, if there is any possibility that treating a client puts your health at risk, it's better to end the session, refund the fee, and let the client know they need to resolve the issue before returning again.

Another common problem massage therapists face is bad body odor from a client who doesn't practice good hygiene. Gross!

11. No-shows

When a client doesn’t show up and doesn’t call. This is extremely frustrating since you lose income and could've treated a client who was in need of your services.

Implement a no-show policy and fee for clients who do not cancel without a 24-hour notice. 

12. Tasteless Jokes

When a male client "jokes" about happy endings. Return the humor with a "joke" about calling the police. 

Safety should always be your highest priority and sometimes you can pre-empt potential problems by screening your clients and following these safety tips. 

How Can Massage Therapist Insurance Help?

While massage therapist insurance can't solve the problem of no-show clients, failure to disclose medical conditions, inappropriate behavior, or clients with bad hygiene, it can protect massage therapists from larger problems such as lawsuits or claims.

General and professional liability insurance can safeguard against the financial fallout of those types of massage therapist problems. Read about the types of claims massage therapists face here. 

How To Buy Massage Therapist Insurance

Getting coverage for your massage therapy career is easy with BBI. Our online process allows you to apply for and purchase your policy 24/7, add additional insureds, and download your documents anytime. Buy massage therapist insurance here.

If you're in the market for insurance but are still shopping around, learn about the three things that are important to have in your policy here. 

Are You A Massage Therapist? Tell Us About The Problems You Face

We appreciate your submissions and would love to hear about some of the top problems you face in your career, or things you hate about being a massage therapist.

What do you think of these? Have something to add? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page!

By Lyndsey Larsen

Lyndsey Larsen is the Marketing Manager for Beauty & Bodywork Insurance and writes about business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and insurance.

Lyndsey Larsen is an experienced writer with a background in corporate communications and nonprofits, SAAS corporations, and nutraceutical companies. She has previously worked as a journalist for regional and national publications. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing butterflies, rockhounding, and spending time with her two kids in Utah's mountains or deserts. Find Lyndsey on LinkedIn.