What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?
If this is your first visit you will be required to fill out a health intake/consent form. Afterward I will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you.
It is important to list all health concerns and medications so I can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so I'm aware if you need to use a different oil or lotion during the session.
Do I have to be completely undressed?
You should undress to the level you are comfortable, I will work around the clothes you left on as best as I can. Some people leave their underwear on, others do not. Those that have low back issues I work on your glutes. It is easier to work on glutes without underwear, but I can always work around them if you are not comfortable with taking them off. You will be fully draped at all times.
I will give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table.
Do I have to cover myself with a sheet or towel?
This is known as draping and this is a must. Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape/sheet, I will only uncover the part of your body being worked on. The genitals (women and men) and breasts (women) will never be uncovered.
What do I do during a massage treatment?
Make yourself comfortable. If I need you to adjust your position, I will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable.
Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It's up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.
Will the massage hurt?
This depends on the type of massage and the depth of the strokes. A light, relaxing massage that doesn't probe very deep into the muscles, shouldn't hurt. With that being said, there is a 'feels good' hurt and an 'ouch, stop it' hurt. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the 'feels good' hurt range.
Pain can be an indication that the muscle is possibly injured or inflamed and pressure should be adjusted. Also, pain can cause you to tighten up and negate the relaxing effects of the massage. The most effective and deepest massage always works with your body's natural response, not against it.