Not sure what to expect in my first Massage Therapy session? Read on to find out…
Before your massage:
Make sure you arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to fill out your paperwork (a simple intake form) and pay for your session.
In the days before your massage, make sure you’re drinking enough water. If you arrive dehydrated your body will be more sensitive and you might feel uncomfortable (like you just worked out) for a couple of days after your massage.
Don’t eat directly before your massage, wait 1-2 hrs.
Wear comfortable clothes - you may be asked to perform a couple of simple movements before your session.
Your first session will include a brief interview (usually takes 3-10 minutes but in complicated cases can take up to 30 min). This is an important part of your first session so that you and your massage therapist can determine a treatment plan that will most benefit you. The interview usually includes :
Going over your health history and intake form. The therapist will ask you a few questions related to the reason you’ve scheduled your appointment. For this part of the interview, they will also need to know which medications you are taking and why. They may also take your blood pressure or other measurement.
A few movements to assess your general mobility and/or any areas of concern.
If applicable, certain tests (called orthopedic tests) to determine the specific cause of your pain or discomfort.
An explanation of the session you will receive and how to disrobe (depending on your treatment plans you will be asked to partially or completely disrobe depending on your comfort level - the therapist will leave the room while you disrobe and hop on the table.)
An opportunity to ask any questions you might have.
Signing your permission for treatment and/or to treat sensitive areas (if applicable to your treatment plan only).
During your massage:
Let your massage therapist know if the pressure is too much, too little or if you feel uncomfortable for any reason. They will gladly adjust the massage so that you get the most benefit and leave feeling happy and taken care of.
Draping: A registered massage therapist will never expose genitals or breasts (except in for breast massage which requires special consent) or any other area you identify. Only the area the therapist is working on will be exposed.
Be sure to breathe! Full deep breaths in and out. This will prevent your muscles from tightening up, will re-establish the connection between body and mind, and relieve any stress, anxiety or tension in the mind that you may have arrived with.
Expect calm, relaxing music.
Your massage therapist might have a heating pad or extra blankets on hand to keep you comfortable. Be sure to let them know if you ever feel too hot or too cold and they’ll make any necessary adjustments.
Essential oils: Massage therapists will sometimes offer you an essential oil to complete your session or provide a full aromatherapy service. If this is the case do not be shy to let them know your preference for oil or if you’d rather not use an oil at all.
After your massage
YOU WILL feel better than when you arrived. The massage therapist will leave so you can re-dress and will come back to offer you water, and see how you feel.
Check out my post on Post-Massage Care to learn what kind of benefits you can expect after your session and some some simple to-dos to hold the glow.