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 some 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. To make the intake process as quick and painless as possible, I use a Google Form (yes, it's HIPAA-compliant!). You'll find a link to the intake form in your confirmation email after booking your first appointment. 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. There's no 'right' answer here - it truly is what you're comfortable with. If you're very hesitant to undress at all, please reach out to me before the appointment. There are techniques I can use while you're fully dressed. Most of my sessions, though, do incorporate cupping. The area in need of cupping does need to be exposed.
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.
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. If I'm performing a stretch for your legs or glutes, I'm also assessing your passive range of motion to determine which muscles may need more attention. The more you can let your leg be a 'limp noodle', the better I can perform my assessment.
It’s really important for you to tell me if any massage techniques I use cause pain. Pain is not okay. For the kids in the back, let's repeat that again: Pain is not ok. 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. On a 10 point scale, where 0 is a complete absence of pain and 10 is excruciating pain, I aim to work no higher than a 5-6. At this level, you're aware of the work I'm doing, but feel comfortable answering questions, you're not holding your breath or clenching anywhere. When pain rises above a 5-6 out of 10, the nervous system will start to protect itself, which will be counterproductive to what we're trying to accomplish.
I usually work to where there's resistance in the body - sinking through superficial muscles (if they let me) to access deeper layers. If this becomes too intense, please speak up! I'm not a mind reader.
I’ll tell you when the massage is over and leave the room so you can slowly get up and dressed.
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 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! You can easily book online right now.