New to Massage? Here are some tips for your first session
Before I had my first my massage, I had a lot of questions. Like, 'Do I take off my bra?' and 'Do they massage everything? What if I don't want them to?'
I really didn't know what to expect, and not knowing made me uncomfortable. If you've never received a professional massage before, you may have some questions, too. Hopefully these tips will answer some of them and put you at ease.
Of course, different massage settings may have slightly different practices for draping (covering the body) and other steps of the massage process. This is how we do it at Bliss Yoga, and it seems to be standard protocol for most therapeutic massage settings. I understand from experience that the prospect of undressing and letting somebody else work on you is daunting. Know that our primary concern is your comfort, before, during and after the session.
~ Zoe, Owner & Certified Massage Therapist
When you call to schedule your massage:
Let the therapist know how long a session you would like (we offer 30 to 90-minute sessions) and what type of massage you are interested in.
Feel free to ask questions about the therapist's style of massage, cancellation policy or other concerns you may have.
Before you arrive:
Avoid eating a heavy meal right before your massage, and drink some water to be sure you are well hydrated.
Arrive at least 10 minutes early so you have time to complete any intake paperwork, discuss your needs or concerns with the therapist, and settle in before your massage. Our New Client Intake Form is available if you'd like to fill it out in advance. Then you can just relax and enjoy the peaceful space when you arrive.
When you arrive:
You will be asked to fill out an intake form that will ask about medical conditions and medications so the therapist can better know your needs.
Tell your therapist about any concerns or issues you may have. Be specific. If you have a "bad back," does that mean you want extra time spent on a sore area or that you've had a spinal fusion and you are not to be bent or twisted near the fusion?
What are your goals for the session? Feeling tired and stressed and need to rejuvenate? Looking for pain relief for your aching neck and shoulders after working on the computer all day? There are many reasons people seek the benefits of massage therapy, and sharing your specific goals with your therapist will allow her to customize your session to your needs.
A typical full body massage will include work on the head, neck, shoulders, arms, back, legs and feet. Hip, gluteal, abdominal and even face massage may also be included, depending on your needs and preferences. If there is an area you do not want massaged, let your therapist know and she will avoid it.
It's a good idea to use the restroom before your massage.
During your massage:
After you discuss your intake form and goals for the session, your therapist will leave the room so you can undress to your level of comfort and get settled under the sheet/blankets on the massage table. It is entirely up to you whether you undress completely. Many people are more comfortable leaving underwear on.
Your therapist will return a few minutes later and enter the room after checking to see you are under the massage sheet.
Usually, your therapist won't talk much except to check on your comfort. This is to allow you to become deeply relaxed.
During the massage, you will be kept draped except for the area being worked on. If your therapist is working on your leg, for example, that leg will be uncovered by the sheet, but the rest of your body will be covered.
As the massage progresses, let your therapist know if you become too warm or cold or you want more or less pressure. Each person perceives pressure and temperature differently, and your therapist can adapt to your needs.
After your massage:
Take your time getting up. You may feel slightly groggy or disoriented if you were deeply relaxed. Don't be afraid to ask for help getting up if you need it.
Drink plenty of water afterwards. Massage moves a lot of blood and lymph around in your systems and can free up toxins and cellular waste products that need to be excreted in the urine.
You may feel a little sore for a day or two afterwards if you had a lot of deep tissue work done.
If possible, plan to take it easy for a few hours after your massage to enjoy the maximum benefit of the massage. A relaxing massage in the evening, followed by a hot bath can help you fall asleep if you have insomnia.
People often ask about tipping. It is customary to tip massage therapists 15-20%.
Hopefully these tips answer your questions and give you a sense of comfort. If you have any other questions about massage, the techniques we use, what would be most effective for your situation, etc, please give us a call at (812) 250-9642, or Contact Us via this site or email.
When you're ready, take a look at our online calendar and book your appointment.
You're just a step away from a relaxing, renewing massage.