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What to Expect for your First Massage

A massage is intended to be a calm and relaxing experience. But if it’s your first massage, you may feel a little trepidation. Don’t let that hold you back. With a little information about what to expect, you’ll walk into your first massage feeling like a confident pro!

Expect Communication

Expect a lot of questions at your first massage appointment. I’ll need to know a little bit about your health history and what your goals are for that session. I will send you an Intake Form a few days before your appointment via email/text. It is done online so you won’t need to fill any paperwork out at my office. Your clear and honest answers will help perform the best massage possible for you.

We’ll talk about why you’re coming in for a massage and what your goals are for the session. Are you having pain? Do you need to relax?

I’ll show you the massage room and walk you through the process. We’ll decide what to prioritize and how you should lay on the table (face up or face down, or on your side) before the massage.

Expect to Dress or Undress to Your Level of Comfort

What does that mean exactly? Many people worry about having to be undressed for their massage.

Most massage techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, what you wear is entirely up to you. Simply put: you can leave your underwear on or take them off. We can discuss during the intake process what you would feel comfortable with when it comes to areas that are to be massaged. You are in control of what happens with your body. Massaging the hips and lower back are a part of my massage but you decide if I will work on your hips and if it will be over the sheet or if I can expose a section of your hips to work on the skin. The upper part of your chest will be addressed (it has a lot to do with upper back tension) but I keep your breasts covered and work just above them. You will give me feedback when it comes to pressure and your comfort level and I adjust if I need to.

I’ll leave the room so you may undress, get on the massage table (it’s super-cozy), and get comfortable under the draping sheet & blanket.

Movies and TV shows always show massage clients naked on a table with just a tiny towel for draping. That’s not what real massage draping looks like! I use sheets that cover your whole body. You’ll stay covered throughout the massage, I’ll only undrape the part of your body that I am massaging right then.

Expect More Communication

When I come back into the room, I’ll help you get comfortable with pillows or bolsters. Don’t be afraid to adjust and fidget as needed during the massage to stay cozy. You can talk during the massage or stay quiet and enjoy the peaceful environment. I will occasionally ask if you are doing ok or if anything needs to be changed and I will let you know when it is time to turn over. Remember that this time is for you. I am just the facilitator. You have control over what happens during the massage.

It’s great if you can let your body relax and sink into the table. If I need to move your arms or legs, etc, I’ll do the work! This takes practice, you’ll probably try to help me. I’ll remind you. Stretching can be done passively (I’m doing all the work) or actively (you will help me). If I need your help with relaxing certain areas, I will ask (this comes back to the intake process and whether you would like to relax or are looking for more therapeutic techniques).

It’s really important for you to tell me if any massage techniques I use cause pain. Pain is not okay. There may be a certain level of discomfort and ‘good ache’ if we’re working on a problem area. It’s important that you tell me about that, too, so we can tailor the massage to be most effective without causing injury. My go-to for clients understanding pressure levels is this: If you are having a hard time breathing comfortably through a specific technique or area on the body that is being worked on, then the pressure is too much and needs to be adjusted. I take pride in being mindful of how your body is handling certain techniques or pressure and will ask how you are doing. You don’t have to wait for me to say something and please don’t hesitate to tell me because I will adjust what I am doing.

I’ll check in with you as we go, but please speak up with other little things as well. If you become too warm or too cool, if you are not comfortable on the table, or need another pillow, or if you just hate the music. Even if you need to use the bathroom, please let me know! They may seem like little things but every aspect of the massage is made to help you relax. If one thing is off, it takes away from the whole massage.

I’ll tell you when the massage is over and leave the room so you can slowly get up and dressed. Take your time getting up off the table as you may feel a little dizzy at first. I leave plenty of time between appointments so you don’t feel rushed. I will meet you back at the room with water (if you want it) and we will finish up with payment (if that’s needed) and, hopefully, reschedule for your next appointment.

Expect Some Final Instructions

You should expect to feel mellow and relaxed after your massage. We’ll talk about how you feel and I may show you some self care stretches or share some tips to keep you feeling great between appointments. We can also talk about how frequently you may want to get a massage to keep on feeling great.

If we addressed pain issues, you may immediately feel a reduction in pain, or it may take a day or two before you feel that relief.

You can make the most of your first massage by knowing what to expect and asking all the questions you like so you can feel cozy before, during and after the massage. See you at your first massage!

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