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The best massages with your clothes on

Thai Massage
Thai Massage
Deborah Benbrook,

The health benefits of massage are many including stress and pain relief, muscle relaxation, improved circulation and tissue regeneration. But what if you’re not comfortable exposing your naked body to a stranger, no matter how professional he or she may be?

There are several types of massages you can have with your clothes on. Here’s a look at a three of them.

Thai Massage

Thai massages have been around for over 2,000 years in India and Asia. The therapist uses his or her own body (hands, knees, feet, arms, legs) to deliver deep acupressure to various points in your own body as you lie on a mat on the floor—fully clothed. In addition, yoga-like stretching is included as part of the massage. Some centers allow you to wear your own comfortable clothing, and others give you loose cotton pants and a T-shirt to wear.

It’s usually best to book at least ninety minutes for a Thai massage to receive the full body benefits. In the Bua Thai Wellness Center in San Mateo, CA, you’re greeted in the lobby with hot tea and a soothing waterfall. The private massage spaces are Zen inspired with warm colors and meditative music.

Foot Massage

Another ancient technique, foot massage originated in China more than 4,000 years ago. It’s based on using reflexology points on the bottom of the feet and toes that correspond to different functioning areas of the physical body such as the stomach, bladder, spleen or sinuses.

Most foot massages start with soaking the feet in a warm bath of aromatic herbs while the therapist starts relaxing you by massaging your head and neck. Eventually, the entire body is massaged, which gives you an added bonus at a very reasonable price. If you’re on the San Francisco peninsula, try Oceanic Foot Massage and Spa for a delightful experience of Chinese hospitality, hot tea and full-body massage.

Chair Massage

Chair massages seem to have cropped up everywhere from airports to nail salons to trade shows. While sitting forward on a specialized massage chair, you can receive a full neck, arm, shoulder and back massage. Fees are usually based on time, and can be very inexpensive. It’s the easiest route to a quick massage fix, with lasting benefits.


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