Do you know what to expect at your massage?

Not many clients realize I have this “little” portion on my website. Mostly because they are looking to just contact me quickly, and some have been receiving massages for years so they might already know “the drill” (for lack of better words). Others are new to it and I believe it’s always good to know what to expect when you are first coming into something new. It will also make you feel more at ease.

What To Expect At Your First Visit

Much like visiting a doctor or dentist, I’ll need you to record any medical history, past/present injuries and other physical conditions I should be aware of in order to better serve you. This is done by simply filling out the Client Intake Forms which I will be happy to review with you if there should be any questions.

We will then go to the treatment room where a comfortable massage table dressed with a warm blanket and crisp, clean sheets awaits. Before we start the session, I will review major focus(es) you have and explain the treatment. Last, I will offer 3 different essential oil aromas depending on what you have going on. After I leave the room, you can disrobe to your level of comfort and lie on the massage table under the sheet and blanket (like you are getting into bed). During your massage session you will always be draped with the top sheet and an additional blanket is available for your comfort as well. I will only undrape the part of the body being worked on, ensuring your modesty is respected at all times.

Relaxing music will be playing unless you request something else or nothing at all. The room will also be quiet, with little or no outside distractions.

After giving you sufficient time to prepare, I will knock on the door and ask if you are ready to proceed before re-entering your room. Before beginning your session, I will remind you to let me know, at any time, if a technique or stroke being used is too deep or not enough pressure.

I will either perform a customized full-body massage (for general relaxation and stress relief) or focus on the specific body parts that you have requested.

After your session is completed, I will again leave the room so that you can rise slowly and get dressed. Before you leave, we can discuss how you are feeling and I will be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

After every massage session it is important to re-hydrate yourself with a couple glasses of water. One of the beneficial effects of massage is that toxic metabolic by-products are released from your muscle tissue into the system. Drinking plenty of water after a massage helps flush these waste products from your system; otherwise, they can re-accumulate causing soreness and stiffness.

Standard massage therapy sessions last one hour—with fifty minutes devoted to hands-on time. Five minutes preceding and five minutes following are reserved for the pre-interview and dressing processes.

What Are The Primary Benefits Of Getting A Massage?

  • Enhances general health and well-being
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Improves joint mobility and range of motion
  • Relieves muscle tension and headaches
  • Helps posture (due to restriction in muscles, joints and/or connective tissues)
  • Improves flexibility
  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Helps secondary pain (such as over-compensation for pain)
  • Reduces physical/mental fatigue and increases the level of endorphins
  • Improves blood circulation (bringing oxygen & nutrients to every cell of your body stimulates the lymphatic system in order to flush away cellular waste products)
  • Supports effective digestion and breathing
  • Increases attentiveness and learning
  • Promotes restful sleep

What Else Can a Massage Do?

  • Help repetitive strain injuries in muscles due to work, hobbies, or other activities
  • Help in recovery process for eating disorders (in conjunction with your health program)
  • Help uncover unconsciously held tension (finding knots you didn’t even know you had can help you take measures to relieve the tension before it becomes chronic)
  • Help “reconnect” mind and body
  • Relieves tired, tight or sore muscles, improves flexibility, and hastens recovery time athletes and fitness enthusiasts
  • Increases job performance (on-site/corporate massage)
  • Diminishes PMS symptoms
  • Improves medical treatment healing time
  • Helps to lower blood pressure
  • Helps to improve weakened muscles
  • Reduces stress and blocks pain during labor
  • Encourages weight growth in premature babies
  • Promotes better sleep and more focus in people with autism and ADHD

What Conditions (Contra-Indications) Would Prevent a Massage From Being Done?

There are three types of “Contra-Indications”:

TOTAL: When massage should not be performed at all
LOCAL: when massage can be performed but not over the affected areas
MEDICAL: When massage can only be performed once medical permission has been granted

When you have any of these TOTAL Contra-Indications, please do not book a massage:

  • Fever
  • Neuritis
  • Skin diseases
  • Contagious or infectious diseases, including any cold or flu no matter how mild it may seem
  • Under the influence of drug or alcohol—including prescription pain medication

These LOCAL Contra-Indications will allow me to do a massage but not over the areas affected by:

  • Varicose veins
  • Undiagnosed lumps or bumps
  • Bruising
  • Cuts or abrasions
  • Sunburn
  • Undiagnosed pain

If you suffer from any of the following MEDICAL Contra-Indications, massage can only be performed after it has been approved in writing by your physician:

  • Cardio-vascular ailments (thrombosis, phlebitis, hypertension, heart conditions)
  • Oedema
  • Psoriasis or eczema
  • High blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer
  • Neurosis or psychotic conditions
  • Heart problems, angina (wearers of pacemakers)
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Bell’s Palsy, trapped or pinched nerves
  • Gynecological infections
  • Recent operations or acute injuries
  • At-Risk Pregnancy or before 12 weeks gestation

Because it is non-invasive, relaxing and natural, massage is considered safe treatment for most people. The restrictions previously stated are in place to protect your health and well-being. I hope you understand and consider them as seriously as I do.

What Should I Wear?

Whatever makes you feel most comfortable. Massage is traditionally done in the nude and I am trained in draping techniques using towels and sheets to cover all areas for modesty. However, if you are more comfortable wearing some clothing, feel free to wear whatever you like. I will work within your comfort level.

Does Massage Hurt?

Massage treatment should never hurt, but you should realize there’s a difference between discomfort and pain. Some tolerable discomfort may occur depending on the type of therapy you and your therapist have arranged. Keep in mind that discomfort will not necessarily make you resist the pressure, and that’s a good thing!

You should always alert me if I have passed your threshold for pain though, because pain will cause you to tighten up and resist the pressure which I apply and is so beneficial. This will not lead to the results you desire.

What Should I Do During My Massage To Make The Best Of The Experience?

  • Breathe deep and regular. Do not hold your breath.
  • Consciously go through every body part from head to toe and relax it. Sink all your weight into the table. Your body should be limp with me left to lift the weight. (Do not assist.)
  • Allow yourself to release emotions. Do not feel embarrassed to laugh or cry.
  • If you wish to talk about the emotions you are feeling, do so knowing that conversations remain completely confidential. But remember I am instructed not to give feedback but to merely listen.
  • Always give feedback, letting me know if the pressure is too little or too much. Let me know if you are too hot or cold as well.
  • Be sure to let me know if something I am doing is working especially well for you or conversely if something is making you uncomfortable.

What If I Am Uncomfortable During My Massage?

Don’t hesitate to say something. Everything is adjustable. I will never be offended if you make a request to turn the heat up or down, add a blanket, adjust the table, pressure or even the music during your session.

What Should I Do After My Massage?

Once the session has ended, I will allow you to slowly bring yourself back from the relaxed state you are in, and dress. It might even be necessary to wake you by letting you know the session has ended.
Give feedback so that some alterations can be made to your next treatment for an even more relaxing experience.
If possible, try to schedule some relaxation time after your massage. It is also beneficial to drink at least two 8 ounce glasses of water and refrain from drinking alcohol in the hour following your massage.

What If I Need To Cancel?

To avoid being charged for the full amount of your session, please let us know 24 hours in advance if you will be unable to make your scheduled appointment, and so that we might reschedule it as quickly and conveniently as possible for you.

A series of regular massages can be helpful for problem stress or chronic pain. There can be a cumulative effect of building and maintaining better overall health—ultimately helping you to feel better and enjoy life more fully.

And then there are those who simply view massage therapy as a well-deserved treat for themselves!

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