Receiving Your Massage

You have made the decision to have a massage and now you feel anxious about what happens next. The first step upon arriving is completing a “Client History Form”, often referred to as an “intake form”. This is all the basic information on how to contact you and includes information about any major health problems you have, medication you are taking, allergies and recent accidents or injuries. Information of this nature is confidential and necessary to insure that the massage therapist will discuss with you any concerns you have about the upcoming session. It is important that you are comfortable during the massage and that you know your options. Here are some commonly expressed concerns of newcomers to massage:
  • Modesty: In standard massage session you will be draped with a sheet. Genitals and women’s breasts should be covered at all times. Covering you with a sheet provides you with a safe and secure environment in which to relax. Many clients chose to keep their underwear on – that is okay!  You should only undress to the level which you are comfortable. A professional massage therapist will respect your choices and work with you. If this is your first massage, expect the therapist to explain “draping” to you. You will be given privacy in order to change out of your clothing and become comfortable on the massage table.
  • Talking: Talking during a massage session is optional. Some people prefer silence, especially during a massage for general relaxation. Always feel free to give the therapist feedback on anything causing discomfort. The therapist may request feedback from you, especially when addressing a specific problem.
  • Oils: Oil, lotion, or other lubricant is commonly used to enable the therapist’s hands to slide over the skin without causing chaffing or pulling hair. Inform the therapist of any allergies you have which might be aggravated by the lubricant used.
  • Make- up and Hair: Massage of the face, scalp or neck may result in disturbing your makeup or hair style. Let the therapist know if this is a concern. They may modify their technique, be more careful, or simply skip the area altogether.
  • Pain: Whether you feel any pain during a massage depends on many factors, including your physical condition, the reason for the massage, your pain tolerance and the therapist’s technique. Discuss this before the massage and give feedback to the therapist during the session. Tense muscles are often sore and may hurt a little when massaged. Sometimes there is delayed soreness after a massage. Take a hot shower or bath and drink plenty of water to help remove waste products flushed out during a massage.
  • Style: Many massage therapist combine several different styles. The most commonly used modality is Swedish Massage.

The most important thing to remember is that this is your time.
Above all, be comfortable with the therapist. It is all about you and your comfort -whether it is the music, the temperature, the stroke or the pressure applied. Keeping an open dialogue and letting your therapist know what feels good, and what does not, will create a relationship of lasting trust.

“Be an active participant, ask questions about things you do not understand; make your wishes known and let it be known if you are uncomfortable at any time. Above all, be comfortable with the massage therapist – feel respected, pampered, safe and comfortable at all times.”