IS THIS YOUR FIRST MASSAGE?
If you’ve never been to a massage therapist before, you are in for a treat. Regardless of whether you are coming for medical reasons or just to relieve stress, massage can have an amazing curative effect. Therapeutic massage releases chronic tension and pain in muscles, improves circulation and respiration, increases flexibility in the joints and reduces mental and physical fatigue. In addition, therapeutic massage is one of the most effective means available to combat stress.
There are a few questions you may want answered before you are ready to experience a therapeutic massage.
WHAT IS THE FIRST APPOINTMENT LIKE?
You will first be asked to fill out a confidential health form. This is necessary since there are some circumstances for which massage is not appropriate. After an initial interview, you will be left in private to undress and get on the table, covering yourself with the sheet.
For a full body massage, most people undress completely, though you may choose to wear underwear. You will be warmly covered at all times except for the area being worked on. In all cases, your modesty will be respected.
The massage is done with your choice of professional massage lotions or light oil that are good for your skin and absorb easily. Some forms of massage do not require the use of oil or lotion.
In some cases, the therapist may have some soothing and relaxing music playing softly in the background.
The massage begins with a contact hold. This may be at the feet or shoulders depending on what work is being done. The work will generally begin with broad flowing strokes. These have a calming effect on the nervous system and release the tension in your superficial muscles. The therapist will then work on specific muscles as needed.
Generally, the therapist will check with you several times during the session about the pressure that is being used. Remember, the more feedback that you give, the better the massage will be for you. Massage often finds “tender points” in the body.
These are areas that you may be unaware of, but are tender or even painful to the touch. They may even be the cause of pain that is felt in other areas. The therapist is trained in ways of lessening or even relieving them.
WHAT SHOULD I DO DURING THE MASSAGE?
Make yourself comfortable. Most people just close their eyes and relax completely during a massage. Some prefer to talk. It’s not uncommon for people to fall asleep during a massage. It’s your massage, and whatever feels natural for you is certainly the best way to relax. Remember YOU are paying for the massage so you should be incharge, if something the therapist does not feel good, let them know; if it feels great let them know so they may spend some extra time working.
If it is necessary during the session to adjust your position, the therapist will first make sure that you remain properly covered and then tell you what to do (such as turning over).
If you feel the need to use the restroom during the session, just let the therapist know.
HOW LONG IS A MASSAGE
A massage session is usually one hour long. This is usually enough time for a deeply relaxing full body massage or for detailed work on a specific problem area. There are times, though when up to an hour and a half may be necessary to give more attention to a problem area.
HOW WILL I FEEL AFTER MY MASSAGE?
After a massage, most people feel very relaxed. You may experience a lessening of or even relief from aches and pains that have built up over weeks or even years. This may last for a couple of days depending on the cause of the problem. With regular massage, many of those aches and pains that we learn to live with may go away entirely. Some people feel very energized following a massage and some feel very lethargic so how you feel is actually dependant on you. If this was a deep or therapeutic massage, you may also feel achy a few hours after the massage, or even into the next day. If you are very sore, or the soreness lasts more than a day, your massage may have been too deep. Please provide this feedback to your therapist, as this will allow for a much better subsequent session.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN THE MASSAGE IS DONE?
After your massage is finished, you will be given privacy to allow you to dress. Get up slowly from the table. Massage can be profoundly relaxing, affecting all of your body’s systems. You may want to sit on the table for a minute before getting off to allow yourself a chance to re-orient (or wake up).
You should always have a drink of water after getting a massage. If this was a deep or therapeutic massage and a lot of tension was released, you should significantly increase your water intake to allow the toxins released from the muscle tissues to pass out of the body. Sorry, coffee, soda, and alcohol will not work.