What To Expect On Your First Massage
So you are thinking about getting your first massage, but you have a few questions about
what to expect. Like which type of massage should you ask for? And do you really have to
take off your underwear? Here are some tips to make your first massage a great experience.
When You Call for Your Appointment, Ask a Few Questions So You Know What To Expect
types of massage therapy are available and how
much do they cost? Some types of massage may be more expensive,
such as Deep Tissue or
Hot Stone Massage Therapy.
Spas also may offer add-ons for an additional fee, such as
How long are the sessions? Sessions will typically be 50-90 minutes
in length. Clarify whether a 60 minute session is 60 minutes hands-on
or 50 minutes hands-on with 10 minutes to undress, dress and speak to
the therapist before the session.
You may be able to request either a male or female massage therapist,
if that matters to you.
Before Leaving For Your Massage Appointment
Avoid eating a heavy meal just before your massage.
Drink fluids to stay hydrated.
Be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes early to give yourself time to
fill out the intake form.
What To Expect When You Arrive
You will be asked to fill out an intake form that will
ask about medical conditions and medications so the therapist will know
what to expect.
Tell your therapist about any concerns or issues you may have.
Be specific. If you have a "bad back", does that mean you want extra time
spent on a sore area or that you've had a spinal fusion and you are not to
be bent or twisted near the fusion.
What are your goals for the session? Feeling tired and stressed and need
to rejuvenate? Looking for pain relief for your aching neck and shoulders
after working on the computer all day? There are many reasons people seek
the benefits of massage therapy.
Sharing your goals with your therapist will allow her/him to
customize your session to your needs.
It's a good idea to use the restroom before your massage.
What To Expect During the Massage
After you discuss your intake form, your therapist will leave the room so
you can get undressed and get under the covers on the massage table. It is
entirely up to you whether you undress completely. Some people are more
comfortable leaving their underpants on.
There are some types of massage that don't require you to undress
You will need to undress if you want an oil massage. Many
types of massage therapy, such as
Swedish Massage, are done
directly on the skin using cream or oil to allow the massage therapist's hands to glide smoothly
over the skin.
Oil massage is nourishing for your skin and feels really great, too!
So now you are warm and cozy under the covers. Your therapist returns,
knocking before entering. Your session begins.
Usually, your therapist won't talk much except to check
on your comfort. This is to allow you to become deeply relaxed and even
doze off a bit if you like.
During the massage, you will be kept draped except for the
area being worked on.
If you are too warm or cold or you want more or less pressure, be
sure to speak up. Each person perceives pressure and temperature differently.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to massage therapy.
Tell you therapist if you really like something (s)he is doing, also.
Remember, your therapist wants to know what you like or don't like
so (s)he can give you the best experience.
A typical full body massage will include work on the head, neck,
shoulders, arms, back, legs and feet. Hip, gluteal and abdominal massage may also be
included, depending on your needs and preferences.
What to Expect After Your Massage
Take your time getting up. You may feel slightly groggy or
disoriented if you were deeply relaxed. Don't be afraid to ask for help getting
up if you need it.
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids afterwards. Massage moves a
lot of blood and lymph around in your systems and can free up toxins and cellular
waste products that need to be excreted in the urine.
If you have a lot of toxins and waste built up in your system, you may
feel slightly nauseous or headachy temporarily as they flush through. This is
actually a good thing even though it may not feel like it at the moment!
You may feel a little sore for a day or two afterwards if you had a lot of deep
tissue work done. Let you therapist know if you are more than a little sore.
If possible, plan to take it easy for a few hours after your massage
to enjoy the maximum benefit of the massage.
A relaxing massage in the evening, followed by a hot bath can help you fall
asleep if you have insomnia.
Hot Stone Massage Therapy
is a great choice for insomniacs.
People often ask about tipping. It is customary to tip massage therapists
15-20%. When massage therapists work in a medical setting, they may be
compensated differently so you could inquire if it is appropriate to tip there.