How far does one need to undress?
Only to your comfort level. You will be under a sheet and fully draped at all times. Some people remove their underwear, others do not. Some people choose to remain clothed from the waist down. It is entirely up to you. Remember it is important to relax during your massage, so if the thought of being undressed (beneath a sheet) while an LMT works on you makes you uncomfortable, don't push yourself.
If the pressure that the massage therapist is applying to my body is uncomfortable, should I try to “tough it out” in order to receive the maximum health benefit from my massage?
No! It is your responsibility to let the massage therapist know if the pressure is too much. We are here to facilitate healing, not send you away with more stress than when you came in! If you find yourself tensing up against the pressure, it's too much. If you find yourself holding your breath (which many of us do at times without realizing), or if you can't comfortably take deep breaths then the pressure is too much.
Should I try to make conversation during the massage?
This is an hour set aside in your busy day that is all about your relaxation. If you prefer to talk, talk. If you prefer to zone out, by all means do so. Your LMT is a professional who knows that different people prefer different things when it comes to talking during their massage, and they will take their cues from you accordingly.
What if I fall asleep and drool on the table?
Then you're getting a good massage!
Why does my massage therapist tell me to drink extra water after my massage? Do I really have to?
While some people scoff at the often heard claim that massage releases toxins from the body, (what are these undefined “toxins”, anyway, one might ask?) what is indisputable is that massage increases local circulation in the areas that are worked on. Increased circulation speeds up metabolic processes, which includes the process of elimination. All metabolic wastes are excreted in a form of water solutes through the excretory organs. So if your metabolic processes are sped up, and they use a water based solution to eliminate the natural things that we eliminate on a daily basis, then we need to take in more water to return to homeostasis after receiving massage. The bottom line being that staying adequately hydrated is good for all of us, so - yes - drink the extra water after your massage.