Your First Massage
Self care are two words that are more prominent in recent years. Caring about your body on the inside and out is such an important step to living a long and healthy life and now more than ever, people are taking matters into their own hands. We are all working to become the best version of ourselves. Therefore, I urge everyone to dedicate time in their busy schedules to practice some self love and one of the best ways to do this is Massage Therapy.
Here is what to expect on your first visit:
Before the Appointment
When scheduling your massage appointment it can be tempting to place it right after another activity, but this will make you feel rushed. When you are in a rush, it will take much longer to relax and be receptive to the massage session. You will want to schedule your time so that you can arrive in a relaxed state, and not be in a hurry. You will also not want to eat right before your massage, so that your body is not processing food during the session. Also make sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids.
Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your appointment. If you book online you will need to complete and sign 3 forms: Policy form, COVID waiver, and the Massage Intake Form as accurately as possible. If you call, email, or text requesting a massage and one is booked you will need to provide your full name, email address, and phone number. You will also need to provide credit card information to hold your reservation. Your credit card will not be charged unless there is a breach in policies, i.e. Cancellation of 48 hours or less and No Shows/No Calls. You will also receive an email or text with links to the 3 forms that need to be filled out prior to your massage appointment.
The beginning of the appointment will involve review and discussion of your health and history provided on your massage intake form. The Intake form has questions that ask about your:
Your amount of pain
How you normally treat your discomfort, and what increases the pain
Your general contact info
Then there will be a discussion concerning your massage session, what you would like to work on, and what to expect. This is a good time to ask questions, and find out about the style of massage that you have requested. It will also give the therapist a good chance to gauge your discomfort and find which areas need to be worked on immediately. Your therapist will also complete a physical assessment, i.e. posture, range of motion, palpation of areas of concern, etc., When you are ready your therapist will leave the room and you may undress to your level of comfort and lie down under the blanket and sheet-face up (supine) or face down (prone) with your face in the face cradle, depending what was discussed with your massage therapist and how they would like to have you start.
Your first massage therapy session
You may ask your therapist to make changes to help you feel more comfortable, such as if you are cold, are sensitive to smells in lotions/creams/essential oils, you like certain music, you would like lighter pressure or deeper pressure, you would like to avoid certain areas of the body, i.e. face/scalp, abdomen, feet. Your massage therapist will only undrape the areas that are being treated therapeutically, they may also add more draping, i.e. towels, for the best draping and comfort for you.
To get the most from the session just try to relax, let your thoughts wander, and do not focus on stressful thoughts. Some practitioners recommend that you focus on the feeling of the massage to clear your mind. If you are having trouble or tension in your muscles, then let your therapist know as they may need to change their technique. It is normal to experience differing emotions and it is okay to speak, but you may benefit more if you let your worries go and become in tuned with what is going on in your body. Some clients find that they were not aware of discomfort, pain, lack of mobility until they have a massage. Becoming aware of what is happening with yourself physically helps you become mindful of yourself as whole.
After the massage
After the session the therapist will exit the room. Take your time to get dressed and ready to go, then when you leave the session room you will want to get some water, as this will help you hydrate. Once you are done, try to take the rest of the day off to receive the full benefit of the massage. The benefits of massages will be more advantageous if you get a massage regularly. As you get more comfortable with the process you will find that you are more relaxed, and even energized after your massage session.
Finding and selecting a professional massage therapist for your first massage therapy experience
There are enough unknowns when it comes to your first massage session, so find a skilled massage therapist with a solid reputation to ensure that your experience is a positive one. Two popular directories of massage therapists are Vagaro Massage and Massage Book. Take a look at the business and individual therapist profiles and read massage therapist reviews from verified customers to find a good match. Once you’ve found a therapist you’re comfortable with, checking their availability and booking with them online will get you started on your path to your first massage. In the end the best way to find the massage therapist that your resonate with is to try several out.