What to Expect at Your First Massage

This outlines what to expect in a massage session at my private practice.  The experience may be different in other environments.

Before your session 

Make sure this is a good time for you to receive a massage.  Reschedule your appointment if you have a fever or skin irritations (such as sunburn or poison oak).  In the days before your massage, drink plenty of water to keep your soft tissue hydrated.  Don't eat a large meal immediately before your massage.  Give yourself enough time to arrive on time and relaxed.

Health History

Your first appointment will begin with an intake process starting with your health history.  Plan to arrive to your session approximately 10 minutes early to fill out an intake form.  The intake form will ask about medical concerns, areas of concern, what helps reduce pain for you and what makes it worse, contact information, and any health goals you may have.

I will review your intake form and ask questions to better design a session tailored to meet your specific needs.  I will ask what areas of the body you would like focused work on, and if there are areas you would like for me to avoid.  Don't be afraid to discuss any apprehensions or concerns.  All information you provide is completely confidential.

During the Massage

You will lie on the massage table covered by a sheet and blanket, with a pillow supporting your legs for added comfort.  I will check in with you to make sure you're comfortable before we begin.  Be sure to let me know if you're cold, don't like the music, or are experiencing discomfort with the technique being used.  Remember, this is your session.  You are in charge and can ask for changes or stop the session at any time.

Draping

Extremely modest draping will be used ensuring no part of the body is exposed that should not be.  Only the area currently being worked will be undraped, and then re-draped when moving along to the next body part. 

Music

You can request any music selection to suit your mood.  If you prefer silence, that is an option as well.

How to Get the Most From Your Massage

Be open as to the process as you can.

Relax and breathe into the massage, especially when areas of tension are being massaged.

Communicate with me.  If something feels great, let me know and I will focus on that area a little longer.  If the technique is not allowing you to relax your muscles, let me know and I can adjust for you.

After the Massage

At the end of the massage I will leave the room allowing you to regroup for as long as you need before getting up from the table.  If you feel light headed, please take your time and know there's no rush.  

I will offer you a glass of water after the massage to help flush the toxins that were released from the muscles during the massage session.  It's a great idea to consume plenty of water after you leave the office as well.  This will continue to flush out toxins and alleviate any soreness after the massage.  I suggest avoiding alcohol immediately after your massage as this will only increase any soreness you feel the next day.

The benefits of massage are cumulative, so typically you will feel even better as you continue to receive massages. 

Common Questions

I have to head back to the office after my massage.  Will the massage oil ruin my hair, clothes and makeup?  Just communicate with me and let me know.  I will design the session so that the scalp and face are avoided.  I can also provide a warm towel after the massage to remove any of the lotions used during the session.

Can I bring my own music?  Of course!  I can play any music you like from your iPod or from my Spotify player.  If bringing your own music, make sure the playlist will last the duration of the massage session.

Is it common to feel emotional during a massage?  Sometimes the safe touch, the music, dates that are linked to events, aromatherapy, or the scent from the massage lotion being used can bring up feelings.  The body can react by crying, laughing, shivering, sweating, or some combination thereof.  I will check in with you to see if any adjustments need to be made to the massage technique, the music, the table warmer or if you would like to continue with the massage.

Is it OK to talk during the massage?  Yes, it's completely OK to talk, but you may receive more benefit from the massage if you allow yourself to let go of your everyday worries and concerns during the treatment.  If you are nervous about the process of receiving massage and need to talk, I completely understand.  I will be staying in contact with you during the session to monitor your level of comfort with the amount of pressure and technique being used.

What if I'm embarrassed about my body?  I am very sensitive to possible client issues with touch and am completely non-judgmental about your body weight, amount of hair, skin conditions, scars, disabilities, medical conditions, or personal history of trauma.     

Darcy Blaine, CMT