What should I expect from my first massage session?
The first thing we'll do is go over your health intake form to make sure I am up to date on all your health needs and/or concerns. It is important to let me know about any medications you are taking and any allergies you might have so I can conduct your therapeutic massage session safely. Please let me know if there are specific areas (i.e. neck & shoulders, low back) you would like me to focus on during your massage as well as if there are any areas you do not want me to massage for any reason.
As soon as we're done with your intake I will show you to the treatment room, explain how to situate yourself onto the table and then leave the room to give you a few minutes to do that. After giving a knock on the door and hearing from you that you are ready for me to come back in the room, I will re-enter the treatment room and begin your massage.
The rest of the session depends on your areas of focus and how you would like to map out the time we have to massage. To give some examples of how the time in a session might be spent: 60 minutes is usually enough time to work on 2-3 areas of focus and incorporate them into a full-body massage, depending on the severity of the issues; 30 minutes is usually just enough time to work on 2-3 areas of focus; 90 minutes is enough time to work on up to 2-3 areas of focus as well as give a thorough full-body massage. You might prefer a deeper pressure in a specific area of focus and a lighter pressure in other areas we massage. Some clients like to talk during part or all of their massage and some clients like to rest their mind and remain silent; I will occasionally make a request for you to change position on the table or to give me feedback while I massage a specific area but will do so in a quiet, unobtrusive manner. I may also encourage you to try and rest your mind if conversation seems to have a tensing effect on your session.
Remember, this massage is all about you so please do not hesitate at any time to tell me what you need. I want to be sure to address and include it in your session!
Do I have to get completely undressed?
After I leave the room to let you get on the table, I ask that you undress to your comfort level and lay underneath both the top sheet and blanket on the table. Some clients like to remove all clothing, some clients like to leave their underwear on. It is entirely up to you to determine how you feel most comfortable and able to relax. For women, I do recommend removing your bra so I am able to get the best access when treating your shoulders and back.
I will only uncover areas of your body as I am working on them and my competency in proper use of draping technique ensures that private parts (genitals, breasts, gluteal cleft) will remain unexposed throughout your entire massage.
Will it hurt to get massage?
Ever heard the term "no pain, no gain?" This does not necessarily apply to your massage treatment. It depends entirely on what you would like from your session.
During the first few minutes of your massage. I will start with a light pressure to assess and warm up your muscle & connective tissue. As I begin to increase my depth of pressure I will remain in close verbal communication with you to be sure it is still helpful and not harmful. This process may be repeated when moving to other areas of focus during your massage. It is important to strike a balance between applying enough pressure to release contracted muscle fibers and keeping pressure light enough so that you are physically able to relax.
After a Deep Tissue massage, it is common to be sore later in the areas we worked on. This should not last longer than a day or two and is similar to the soreness you may feel after a hard workout. Taking a hot shower or soak may help ease this soreness. Drinking plenty of water during the next 48 hours after treatment will also help to reduce the effects that sometimes occur after receiving a massage, such as experiencing a headache or flu-like symptoms. Being well-hydrated prior to treatment may also help to preemptively ward off these symptoms.
What if I have a question or need something during my massage?
If there is ever a time before, during or after your massage treatment that you need to tell me something or ask for clarification on anything during your session, I welcome you to please let me know.
Need more or less pressure in a specific area or overall? Want some different music? Have a question about something we are working on or how massage works, in general?
Just ask, it's okay!
How often should I get massage?
I recommend getting a massage once per month to stay on an effective maintenance schedule. If you have a specific issue that needs to be addressed, we may start with more frequency at first and then taper your visits to more of a maintenance schedule as your condition improves.
Whatever your calendar and budget will allow, I encourage you to schedule for massage with some sort of regularity. This will nurture your muscle memory and keep the surrounding connective tissue pliable as well as increase the efficiency of your massage sessions and help to preserve the work we do. This way, we will not have to "fight fires" each time you come in or repeatedly spend time breaking down all the built-up tension that occurs in the muscle & connective tissue when you are not on a regular maintenance routine with massage. Stretching is also a big factor in making the most of your massages as it will help you to retain flexibility and muscle length in between your sessions.
If you need help determining what might work best for you I am always available to help you develop a plan custom to what you need. Let me know!