Massage Therapy - What To Expect
WHERE WILL MY MASSAGE OR BODYWORK TAKE PLACE?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room with soft music to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.
WHO WILL PERFORM THE MASSAGE?
The session here will be conducted by a state licensed, trained professional. What about a gender difference between you and the therapist? No need to worry, read on about proper draping and professionalism.
MUST I BE COMPLETELY UNDRESSED? WILL I BE COVERED?
Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed: however, you may decide what amount of clothing you prefer to wear for your comfort. The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table and cover yourself with a clean sheet. You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.
WHAT PARTS OF MY BODY WILL BE MASSAGED?
You and the practitioner should discuss the desired out come of your session. This will determine which parts of your body require massage. A typical full body massage will include work on your head, neck, shoulders, hands, arms, feet, legs, and back. Although massage can involve close contact, you will not be touched on your genitals or breasts.
WHAT WILL THE MASSAGE OR BODYWORK FEEL LIKE?
It depends on the technique used. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes, which will help to calm the nervous system and to relax exterior muscle tension. Jojoba (pronounced "ho ho ba”), a special skin conditioner, may be used here to permit your muscles to be worked on without causing excessive friction to the skin. As the body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to address specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting, but you should communicate immediately if you feel discomfort for any reason so that another approach may be taken. You are in control of your massage therapy session at all times!
WILL I FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE ABOUT THE MASSAGE THERAPIST SEEING MY BODY?
Licensed massage therapists are trained professionals, their job is to make you feel better, not to judge you. They see a wide variety of shapes and sizes and work with each client as an individual. Since massage is an affirming experience, it may even help you come to appreciate your own body more. What if I happen to know the therapist personally? If you have a concern, feel free to convey it, but that should not be a problem. Reread the first sentence of this question and remember, confidentially is paramount in massage therapy!!
HOW LONG WILL THE SESSION LAST?
The average full body massage session lasts approximately on hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage, such as neck, shoulders, and back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60 or 90 minute session for optimal results. Allow relaxation time prior to and after the session. On the first visit to any massage therapist, it would be helpful to arrive 10-15 minutes early to allow time for filling out a health history form and for any questions you might have.
WHAT SHOULD I DO DURING THE MASSAGE SESSION?
Make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you, (such as reposition a leg for better angle) or will tell you what is needed. Many people just close their eyes and completely relax, but feel free to ask the practitioner questions and give feedback: (pressure too hard/too soft, room too warm/too cold, etc.)
HOW WILL I FEEL AFTER THE MASSAGE OR BODYWORK SESSION?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity, which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended that you drink plenty of water following your massage.
ISN’T MASSAGE A LUXURY? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Even if massage were just an enjoyable experience, you deserve it. But it is more than a luxury, massage can promote health by relaxing chronic muscular tension and pain, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture and may reduce blood pressure. Consider massage as an investment in yourself, it can pay off by improving your capacity to take care of others, to fulfill your responsibilities, and to lead a more satisfying life.
ARE THERE ANY MEDICAL/OTHER CONDITIONS THAT MAKE MASSAGE OR BODYWORK INADVISABLE?
Before you begin your session, the practitioner will ask you some general health questions. It is important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor’s care, or pregnant, you might need a recommendation or approval from you doctor, if you are 17 or younger, a parental consent form must be signed.
THANK YOU for considering massage therapy. Please be assured that quality, safety, integrity, and confidentiality are at the foundation of my practice.