If this is your first experience with massage, you might be wondering what to expect. The massage therapist will ask you a series of questions. The questions will/might include the reasons you are getting a massage, current physical condition, medical history, lifestyle and stress level, experiences with specific areas of pain, and whether there is any specific need you want addressed during the massage. First and foremost, the massage therapist needs to make sure there aren’t any conditions present that rule out having a massage due to any health risks. Second, the massage therapist needs to know what your needs are regarding the massage and to be sure that both parties are clear about what your expectations and goals for the session. Third, the information you provide helps the massage therapist determine what techniques to use and how to structure the session.
For maximal results massage is best performed on bare skin. The therapist will leave the room while you undress and knock before re-entering. You should take off only as much clothing as you are comfortable removing. Sheets and a blanket will be provided for draping during the massage. The therapist will uncover only the part of the body being massaged, insuring that modesty is respected at all times. You should also remove any jewelry or other articles that might interfere with the massage.
The massage takes place on a comfortable, padded massage table. The table may have extra attachments or cushions, such as a face rest (which allows you to lie in a face down position without turning your head and neck). If you don’t like using any attachments, ask the massage therapist to remove it or to not use it.
Expect a peaceful and comfortable environment for the massage. The massage therapist may play music during the massage. Some people find music playing to be relaxing, some find it distracting. If you don’t like music playing, ask the massage therapist to change the music or turn the music off.
Before the massage begins, the massage therapist may offer some advice that will improve the quality of your massage. A common one is to breathe, especially if a sensitive area is being massaged.
The massage therapist will use oil, which reduces drag on the skin while performing the massage. If you are allergic or sensitivive to some oils or lotions be sure to tell your massage therapist so you both can make sure the ingredients in the oil or lotion do not bother you.
Depending on your needs, the massage therapist will massage either the full body or only specific areas that need attention. It is possible to spend most of an entire session on only one area. If there is anything that does not feel comfortable or right or you do not like, you have the right to ask the massage therapist to stop.
After the massage is finished, you will once again be provided with privacy in order to get dressed. You may ask the massage therapist questions in regards to your treatment at any time during the appointment. The usual length of a session is an hour. A massage session on a table generally should be a minimum of 30 minutes and maximum of 90 minutes.