***READ ME FIRST***
This is YOUR session. Speak up!
Why is this so important? If you want anything changed: pressure, areas worked, position or if you are too hot or too cold … speak up!
You will not hurt the therapist’s feelings by asking for something that will make you more comfortable. Your therapist wants this to be the best experience for you to relax and enjoy.
Also, what you requested in one session may be different in another. If you had a full body massage last time you had a session, but this time you only want your back/neck/shoulders/arms worked, it’s perfectly fine to ask.
You will enjoy your sessions so much more!
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. Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition and to see if you have any presenting complaints.
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. For a full body massage, most get completely undressed. However, if you will be more comfortable during the session if you leave your underwear on, that’s fine. 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.
Your massage therapist should give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table
What areas are massaged in a full body massage?
A full body massge includes neck, back, arms, legs, glutes, pectoral muscles (chest), hands, feet, scalp, & face. An abdominal massage is only done if requested.
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. No areas will be exposed without your consent. 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 that doesn’t probe very deep into the muscles, shouldn’t hurt. With that being said, there is a ‘feels good’ hurt and an ‘ouch, stop it’ hurt. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the ‘feels good’ hurt range.
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. Always inform your massage therapist if the pressure is ever too much.
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. Many therapists discourage talking in hopes that you will relax, let your mind float free and enter a state of massage bliss.
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!
How will I feel after my massage treatment?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience a significant decrease or freedom from long-term aches and pains. Many feel a little slowed down for a short period and then notice an increase of energy, heightened awareness and increased productivity which can last for days.
If you received a deep massage, you may be slightly sore the next day – much like a good workout at the gym. Sometimes a hot shower, or a soak in the tub can ease this soreness.
After your session you should increase your water intake. Just a glass or two more than normal is usually fine. This helps keep your body’s tissues hydrated and healthy.
When should I not get a massage?
In my opinion there are few conditions which would prevent you from enjoying massage. You should not book a massage if you have a fever, cold/flu, or contagious skin infection, Were recently involved in an accident.
There are many other conditions in which your therapist may need to adapt his/her techniques (i.e. arthritis, osteoporosis, spinal fusions, herniated disks, etc.) or avoid an area completely (i.e. cuts or burns). With some conditions it is a good idea to get an approval from your physician before you receive massage (cancer, certain heart conditions, pregnancy). You may ask your therapist when scheduling your massage if a doctors clearance is needed. This doesn’t mean you can’t get massage. But its always better to err on the side of caution. It is best to inform your massage therapist on any medical conditions you may have so he/she can can advise you about your specific needs.
Should I avoid eating or drinking before a massage?
It’s best to not eat right beforehand. If you’re too hungry to wait, something light that won’t upset your stomach is okay. We just wouldn’t recommend heavier fare.
It’s all right to drink some water or lighter non-alcoholic beverages before your session, but again we recommend not overdoing it. This is more of a comfort issue than anything. So if you’re okay with it, so are we.
How much should I tip?
While any gratuity is always at the discretion of the client, it is customary and welcomed by your massage therapist. The fee you pay for your massage to the therapist or cashier belongs strictly to the business. While tipping is not required, it is most welcome and goes directly to your massage therapist. It does not matter if the therapist is the owner, partner or employee of the massage business.
Tipping the person who gave you your massage is a nice gesture if he/she has given you a good massage. If you do decide to give your therapist a tip, the amount to give is entirely up to you.
The average tip is 15-20% of the charge for the particular service the therapist performed.