Over the course of many years, I must have had 100’s of massages. After being injured in an accident, they’re more a necessity than a luxury for me. I need them to help keep my muscles from contracting and getting stiff.
When I’m “at home,” I have a regular massage therapist who knows me and my problem areas. When I travel, I have to take pot luck. Sometimes, I get a very good one. Other times, it can be mediocre, at best.
I’ve had massages in several countries. The techniques are usually similar, and I’ve always been asked to remove my clothes…until I arrived in Scotland.
In Scotland, they want you to keep on your underwear–bra and panties (“pants,” if you’re British and reading this). I might have thought that it was only one quirky therapist who insisted on this, but I’ve had a few massages now in Scotland and they’re all the same. I even had one massage, half-clothed, leaving my skirt and tights on.
Now, I ask you how they’re going to really be able to work on me, dressed, when my biggest problem areas include mid-back, between my shoulder blades, just under the bra’s band, and my right hip.
The first time I went to a Scottish massage therapist, he asked me to leave on my underwear.
Just taking off my coat, I turned to look at him. “Why?”
“Because…” He trailed off.
“Because why? I’ve had lots of massages. I’m okay with being naked.”
“No, you need to leave on your bra and pants.”
“But why? It’s not going to be easy to work on my problems if I still have on my underwear. I’m not going to be comfortable.”
“Well, you need to leave them on.”
“Are you going to be uncomfortable if I don’t?”
“No, no, but…okay, go ahead and do what makes you comfortable.” He left the room.
I won that battle, but lost the war. While I lay there nude, he spent more time wrapping me up like a mummy, making sure none of my…what was it Bridget Jones called it?…wobbly bits?…flopped out than he did on the massage.
Afterward, it occurred to me that maybe it was a law in Scotland that you must remain partially dressed during a massage.
As I handed over my sterling, I asked him, “Is it a Scottish law that massage clients have to remain clothed?”
He looked pained. “Um, no.”
“Then, why do you insist on it?”
“Because…well, because…we’re British!”