What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?
Your massage therapist will require you to fill out a health history form. Afterward the therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you.
It is important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.
Do I have to be completely undressed?
You should undress to the level you are comfortable. The therapist will work around the clothes you left on as best as he/she can. If removing all your clothes makes you too nervous and unable to relax, then you are not getting the optimal benefit from the session.
What areas are massaged in a full body massage?
A full body massage includes neck, back, arms, legs, glutes, pectoral muscles (chest), hands, feet, scalp, & face.
Do I have to cover myself with a sheet or towel?
You will be properly covered or draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed. You should always let your therapist know if you are uncomfortable for any reason during your massage session.
What do I do during a massage treatment?
Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she/he will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable.
Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It’s up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.
How long will a massage treatment last?
A session consists of massage, time for you to dress and undress and time to communicate with the therapist to make your massage truly customized. The average full-body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60 to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.
Will the massage hurt?
This depends on the type of massage and the depth of the strokes. A light, relaxing massage shouldn’t hurt. With that being said, there is a ‘feels good’ hurt. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the ‘feels good’ hurt range, but at times there may be some discomfort. Always inform your massage therapist if the pressure is ever too much. Pain can be an indication that the muscle is possibly injured or inflamed and pressure should be adjusted. Also, pain can cause you to tighten up and negate the relaxing effects of the massage. The most effective and deepest massage always works with your body’s natural response, not against it.
How often should I get a massage?
“Some is better than none.”
What does that mean? Well, it varies from person to person. If you are just looking for some occasional relaxation, then a session every 3-6 weeks may be fine for you.
However, if you are looking to address a specific condition, then it is recommended to go more frequently at first and then slowly taper down to a maintenance schedule. It is easier to address and reduce your pain/discomfort quicker when your sessions are closer together.
Frequency of sessions should be discussed with your massage therapist after your treatment when he/she has a better hands-on understanding of your particular muscular issues. Listen to your body. If your body starts yelling at you, make an appointment.
Can I talk during my session?
Sure, if you’d like to talk go right ahead. The important thing to remember is that this treatment is all about you relaxing and enjoying the experience.
In many instances, people may feel more relaxed starting off talking, and as the massage progresses, enter quiet states of relaxation.
The important issue here is that there are times when you need to speak up. If the therapist is doing anything to make you uncomfortable, you should let her/him know immediately. Also, let him/her know if you get too warm or too cold, if the room is too bright, or if the pressure needs to be changed (lighter or deeper). If something is not working for you – speak up! It’s OK!