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Hesston, KS 67062


Linking body, mind, and spirit for a holistic approach to wellness.

Thoughts on Wholeness

A blog about health and wellness with a holistic approach.

Ummm.. do I have to take all my clothes off?

Michelle Voth


The short answer is “No. Absolutely not.”

But the long answer is, well, much longer. This is one of the most frequently asked questions about massage and deserves some discussion.

In massage school it was suggested we say to clients, “Undress to your level of comfort.” I found that’s way too vague, and doesn’t really answer the questions. Heck, I’m not even sure what that means.

What I generally say is, "I'll go ahead and let you get undressed. There are hooks behind you for your clothes. Feel free to leave underwear on or off. Either way is fine. I'll be back in a few minutes."

First, no matter what, you’ll always be covered (draped) with a sheet and a blanket. You’ll never be left feeling exposed or chilly. When I work on an arm, I fold the sheet back and tuck it under your arm so it’s secure. (No drafts, my friends.) I follow the same protocol for the leg.

When I work on the full back, I fold the drape down at the hips. If you’re wearing underwear I’ll gently tuck the sheet around the waistband, to protect your clothes from massage oil. If you’re wearing a bra, I’ll work around it. If you’re wearing a t-shirt or tank top or space suit, I’ll work through it. I know plenty of very effective massage techniques that can be administered over clothing. If I feel I can’t effectively treat your issue through the clothing you’ve chosen to wear, I’ll tell you, and we’ll figure out another approach.

I don’t care, and I’m not judging you. This massage is about you and it’s important you feel comfortable. For some people that means leaving some clothing on. For others, it means taking it all off. There is no right or wrong, this is YOUR massage.

Enjoy your next massage!

I take a massage each week. This isn’t an indulgence, it’s an investment in your full creative expression/productivity/passion and sustained good health.
— Robin S. Sharma

A meditation on wholeness

Michelle Voth

I sketched every morning in a notebook a small circular drawing,...which seemed to correspond to my inner situation at the time...Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is...the Self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all goes well is harmonious.
— Carl Jung

Mandalas are an ancient meditation tool with roots in Hindu and Buddhist tradition. I was recently introduced to this form of meditation through a friend, and it has changed my life. 

Ok, maybe that's a little dramatic, but it truly has made a very positive impact on my daily life. The concept is simple. Start with the seed: a dot, a circle, and eight lines, and then pick any line or shape and repeat it exactly the same way eight times around the circle, repeat, repeat, repeat, etc., until the mandala is complete. There are no other instructions, and there are no mistakes. 

What I have discovered while drawing a new mandala every day, is that every one is different and every one is beautiful. The activity is mindless and yet mindful at the same time, and I have found it to be very relaxing, very centering. Sometimes a theme is revealed to me (hard vs. soft, simplicity, chaos) and sometimes it just is what it is. Simply stated, it is a beautiful, unique creation that only I could create at that particular point in time. It links me to wholeness and it links me to that holy place within myself, within all of us. 

I found god in myself, and I loved her, I loved her fiercely.
— Ntozake Shange