I’m Supposed To Do What?!
Over the years, I have seen many therapeutic massage clients.
I’ve had the privilege of knowing them, treating them, and encouraging them to live a healthy lifestyle. There are those (men and women) who come to me, knowing the process, and they are completely comfortable.
And then there are the beginners. The ones who have no idea how to get a massage. And it’s not like being a beginner in a yoga class…you know…where you can just slip in and pretend like you know what you’re doing.
No, when you come in for a massage, and one minute you’re in the bright waiting room filled with information about essential oils and the benefits of going to the chiropractor, and the next you’re alone in a dark room with a strange table and NO IDEA WHAT TO DO…you might start to panic..just a little.
Well, I have been in the business of massage for a long time, and I know that the idea can be a little uncomfortable.
But I hope to be able to shed light on a form of treatment that has helped countless people – completely naturally, I might add, and it can help you too.
By the end of this article, it is my hope that you might be a little less apprehensive…and you never know…you might become addicted to the natural high of feeling good!
Read on to find out exactly what to do!
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When you first come into contact with your chosen massage therapist, he/she will probably ask you a series of questions, or ask that you fill out a form indicating what your profession is, what physical activities you perform on a day to day basis, how much water you drink daily, and if/where you are experiencing muscle pain and tension.
The therapist has probably already watched intently as you walked in the door, and will probably be looking at you rather closely as you are speaking to one another….don’t be freaked out.
The therapist is only trying to evaluate your posture. She needs to analyze how you walk, stand, and sit, so that she can correctly address the areas that may be very tense.
Ok, so here is where new clients are a little uneasy. The therapist has performed the consultation and has informed you that she will be right back; she closes the door to the room, and you’re left alone.
In a small dark room. With a robe. If you’re lucky. Haha, I’m kidding. But really, once she has left the room, what now?
The room has a table in it on which the massage will be performed. This is where you will need to lay down.
There should be a set of sheets on the table, both for hygienic purposes and modesty. Something important to remember: WE ARE PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE.
We will strive to maintain your modesty, and we will only see the areas that we are working on, such as back, neck, legs, arms.
If you are working with a Licensed Massage Therapist, you have nothing to worry about and I can assure you that the purpose for your visit is strictly therapeutic.
Phew, now that we have addressed the elephant in the room! I hope you are more at ease.
Now, if your therapist has instructed you on what garments should and should not remain on, follow instructions.
In my practice, if a woman leaves her bra on, or if a man leaves his shirt on, the massage will likely be much less effective because of the clothes inhibiting long, smooth massage strokes and not to mention the oil that will stain the garments.
A massage is meant to be soothing as well as physically relaxing, so it is quite necessary to be able to fluidly move, and not have certain clothing articles obstructing the movement.
If you are unsure as to whether you are supposed to undress, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Your therapist has likely heard every question and concern known to man on this subject, if she is experienced, and will happily answer any questions you may have.
After you have disrobed, you will need to climb onto the table (most likely in the face down position), depending on the exact instructions you are given.
There will be a place to put your face, and you will want to pull the sheet and blanket up over yourself so that you are covered. Once you are in this position, take a moment and…RELAX!
There is probably soothing music playing, and your therapist will be in shortly. Take a deep breath and clear your mind. This is a treat!
Once the therapist has begun the massage, you can feel free to speak to him/her, or just remain silent and relax. I have talked small talk, given advice, gotten advice (from regular clients whom I am totally comfortable with), helped people through crisis’ occurring outside the massage room in their homes, and just laughed and had a good time.
Each session is completely different and you, as the paying client, are entitled to do either.
Keep in mind, always ALWAYS tell your therapist if something is uncomfortable. If she is working on your back and it seems to be painful, do not hesitant to speak up.
Massage is meant to be a very communicative process. Nothing should be so painful that you can no longer enjoy the massage.
As previously noted, your therapist should make every effort to maintain your modesty.
We are NOT doctors, and we undoubtedly do NOT want to see everything doctors see. Plain and simple.
In essence, all that is required of you is to lie there and relax. If your therapist needs you to move or flip to the opposite side, she will assist you, or turn her back to maintain modesty.
She will let you know if you are to adjust, and if not, you are free to relax.
Don’t Worry-We Aren’t There to Judge
Please Please PLEASE do not lie there and worry about what we might be thinking. This is a common problem.
I have had people say to me, “I can’t get a massage, I’m too heavy.” Or, “I can’t let you work on my legs, I haven’t shaved.”
These sorts of superficial things are assuredly the last things I am thinking about when performing a massage.
Everyone deserves to feel good, feel less pain, feel good about themselves.
Honestly, I couldn’t care less if you have shaved your legs! I have two small children…I forgot the last time I shaved mine!
We therapists are there to help you. We want you to be able to walk around and do your day to day things without constant pain.
Don’t take away from your own experience by over-analyzing.
What To Expect Towards The End
Like all good things in life, the massage must come to an end, and if you were able to relax, it probably felt like 5 minutes instead of 60.
Your therapist will leave the room- and this is your cue to get up and get dressed, as tempting as a nap may be.
She will probably explain what areas were troublesome, what you can be doing at home to assist in the treatment, and what to expect to feel like for the next few days.
Most of the time, payment is received after the session, so expect to pay at this time. Also, schedule another appointment if recommended. Your health is important!
Hopefully you have had a pleasant first massage, and, on the off chance that you didn’t, remember that there are a ton more massage therapists to try. Don’t give up!
Over the course of several months, you might notice a big difference in the way you walk, feel, and function. After all, after one massage, you’re hooked!!
Thanks so much for reading, and I hope this helps those of you who are a little apprehensive about getting a massage!
Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below!
Have a blessed and beautiful day,