What to expect at your massage appointment

If you’ve never had a massage before you may have quite a few questions.  That’s normal and to be expected.  If your questions aren’t answered here please contact me and I’ll be glad to discuss anything else with you so you can feel comfortable and ready to relax when you come in.

Welcome and health review

Plan to arrive a few minutes early so we can go over your health information and plan your massage.

On your first visit you will need to fill out a brief health intake form.  There are some health conditions that massage can actually make worse.  Neither of us wants that, so let’s make sure there is nothing to prevent you from getting a massage.  In some situations you may be able to get a massage but certain areas need to be avoided.

On each visit I will ask if there are any significant changes to your health.  We will then discuss the reason you are here today.  If you need pain relief I will customize the massage to address your needs.  If you want more time in one area, or want an area not massaged, let me know and I’ll adjust the massage for you.

We’ll talk about the purpose of your massage today.  Are you in pain?  Do you need to relax?  What is your goal for today’s massage?  I want to know what will make this an excellent massage for you.  I want you feeling great when you walk out the door.

We’ll head back to the massage room where I will give you some …

Simple Instructions

If you are here for pain relief or just tight muscles in general I’ll be using some outstanding pain-free techniques to reset muscles back to normal that work in just a seconds or a few minutes for an area.  You will be fully clothed except for your shoes.

After resetting your muscles we may do some regular massage.  If we didn’t do any muscle resets, the following is what you can expect.

I’ll let you know if you should start face up or face down, depending on what you would prefer worked on first.  I’ll show you the top sheet that you will be under.  You will be draped during the whole massage except for what I am working on at the time.

You can wear whatever you want for your massage.  I want you to be relaxed and that can’t happen if you are thinking about clothes.  The purpose of taking any clothes off is for your benefit.   Since massage is working on your muscles and other soft tissue it’s more effective to work with nothing between my hands and your skin.  It’s not essential though.   I have techniques that allow me to work effectively while keeping your clothes on.  Don’t let clothing be an issue that keeps you from massage.   I can work around things.  Wear what you want – don’t make your choices based on what other people do.  It’s just us and I won’t be telling anybody about you.

Read more about what to wear here.

The massage room will be a comfortable temperature with relaxing music playing.  You can even bring in your own music if you want.

I use unscented lotion to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin.

After making sure all of your questions have been answered I’ll leave and let you get onto the massage table.  I’ll go wash my hands and get ready.  I’ll knock on the door to make sure you are ready for …

Your Massage

I’ll slide a bolster under your knees or ankles, depending on how you are starting on the table.  It provides some support and helps you stay comfortable.

I’ll check on the temperature with you and adjust it as needed.  It doesn’t matter to me at all so speak up if you want it warmer or cooler.  I’ll check with you a couple of times through the massage.  Feel free to speak up anytime you would like a change.  I want you to be relaxed, which is hard to do if you are too warm or too cool.  I have a table warmer that I can adjust or turn off and have a blanket in a drawer I can pull out anytime.

A typical massage will start with you face up.  I’ll begin with some work on your face (temples and jaw) and scalp.  I’ll move on to your neck and shoulders from there.  I’ll progress to your hands and arms and then the front of your legs.  I’ll let you know when it’s time to turn over, and I’ll hold the sheet so you can turn over without being exposed.  I will then work on the back of your legs and your back.  Of course if you need something different this will vary.

Settle in and let your body sink into the massage table.  If I need to move an arm or leg as we go, I’ll do the work.  Stay loose and limber – this can take some practice.

I try to use enough pressure to help but not so much that it hurts and will leave you sore the next day.   I’ll ask a few times how the pressure feels.  Please speak up anytime if the pressure needs to be adjusted.  I may be the expert in how to perform the massage but you are the expert of your body.  I want your massage to be great and that won’t happen if the pressure is too hard or too light.  I get massages too so I know what it’s like to be on the table.

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.

You can talk or not talk during the massage.  You are not here to entertain me so if you want to let your mind wander or even sleep that’s fine.  Ask questions if you want but don’t feel like you are obligated to have a conversation through the massage.

A legitimate massage has nothing to do with sex.  Your private areas won’t be exposed or touched.  I’m a medical professional who is here to work on your muscles to make them feel and work better.  Nothing more.

You will be amazed at how fast an hour goes and the massage comes to an end.  I’ll take out the bolster and let you know we are done.   I’ll leave the room.  Take your time getting up and getting ready.  Then come out and we will…

Review and make a plan

You should expect to feel mellow and relaxed after your massage.  If we addressed pain issues, you should immediately feel a reduction in pain, and you may feel better the next day.  If you are ever very sore following a massage, (it’s rare, but it can happen) please call me so we can discuss the best course of action, and so that I can make notes to adjust your next massage.

I’ll ask a few questions on how you are feeling and how effective the massage was.   Let me know what was good or could be improved so I can make  your next massage even better.

After making the payment for your massage (I accept cash, checks, and debit and credit cards) we can plan your next visit.  Most people stay busy and time gets away from them so it’s better to schedule your next appointment before you leave.  We can change it later if needed, but it’s better to do that than let many months go by between massages.  I have found that the people who get regular massage get more out of them than occasional massages.

I want to see you leave with a contented smile on your face and you feeling great.  You will be looking forward to coming back and I will be looking forward to helping you again.

I hope you enjoy your massage and I will do all I can to help you.  Click here to schedule online or contact me to schedule your appointment.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

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