It’s imperative to employ proper draping when you’re massaging a client. A drape is just a blanket or a sheet used to cover clients and protect their modesty. This makes them feel comfortable as well as wards off sexual advances from clients who want to behave inappropriately. In the United States, the law requires you to cover massage clients with a drape.
When the Client is Face-Down
Use a flat sheet or blanket to cover the entire body. It’s wise to start out with the whole body covered with a drape to make your client feel comfortable and safe with you. You can uncover each area as you massage it (pull the top of the sheet down to expose the back so you can work on it).
Ask the client if she wants her back covered back up when you move down to her legs. Some clients may become cold but some are completely comfortable with their backs remaining exposed. Pull the sheet back up when you’re ready to flip the client over.
Drape just the buttocks with a towel if your client is comfortable with that. If you need to work the buttocks, simply pull the drape up and secure it while you work.
Pull the sheet underneath the client’s thigh if you want to stretch the quads while the client is prone. Bend the client’s leg at the knee and grip the leg underneath the thigh. Lift his leg up just a bit so you can pull the sheet under his thigh. This will make him feel more secure while you perform the stretch.
Tuck the sheet underneath the thigh in the same manner before you massage the back of the leg. Although it’s up to you if you want to massage this area this way, and most clients are okay with you just pushing the sheet aside for this.
When the Client is Laying Face-Up
Cover the client’s body with a flat sheet or blanket. This is the most appropriate way to drape a client while they’re supine. Uncover only the body part you’re working on, but you should never expose the breasts.
Leave the room and let your client undress, lie down on your table and cover her hip area with a towel. She should also cover her breasts with a towel; you can use one large towel to cover both areas, or two smaller towels. If her breasts are large, give her two towels for sure. Men should cover their groin area with a large bath towel folded in half.
Lift the client’s leg up just a bit to pull the flat sheet under his leg so you can stretch him. With your hand under his knee, gently lift his leg a little and pull some of the sheet under his leg. When you stretch his leg, you can have him hold part of the sheet to keep it tight against his thigh and retain his modesty.