Quick Links: Massage Types, Policies and Procedures, Massage Booking

What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?

You will be required to fill out a Client Intake Form. Afterward, the therapist 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 determine if massage is appropriate for you.

Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition.

It is important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.

What is included in the session time?

A session consists of massage, time for you to dress and undress and time to communicate with the therapist to make your massage truly customised. This is done to ensure each and every massage session you receive meets or exceeds your expectations.

How early should I arrive for my massage?

New clients should arrive 10 minutes prior to their massage to fill out paperwork and meet with their therapist prior to their treatment.  Returning clients should arrive 5 minutes prior to their session.

When should I not get a massage?

There are a few conditions which would prevent you from enjoying massage. You should not book a massage if you have a fever, cold/flu, or contagious skin infection. That’s it.

There are many other conditions in which your therapist may need to adapt his/her techniques (i.e., arthritis or osteoporosis) or avoid an area completely (i.e., cuts or burns). With some conditions, it is a good idea to get approval from your physician before you receive massage (cancer, certain heart conditions, pregnancy). This does not mean you cannot get a massage. But it’s always better to be cautious.

Your therapist can advise you about your specific needs.

Should Massage Hurt?

It’s a myth that any form of massage therapy (even deep tissue massage) must be painful to be effective. Pain during a massage isn’t a sure sign that the massage is helping. In fact, pain can cause muscles to seize up, making it harder for the massage therapist to ease tense areas.

Certain techniques, like trigger point therapy, usually cause soreness. Correcting a soft tissue problem (such as adhesions, tight attachments, and trigger points) can also cause some discomfort. However, if you don’t have a soft tissue condition, a massage shouldn’t cause soreness or pain

Open communication with your massage therapist is key to a massage that meets your needs. If you have an injury or chronically tight or painful areas, be sure that your therapist is aware of it before the start of the session. If the pressure is too intense, tell your massage therapist immediately so he or she can ease up.

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How Much Clothing Should I Remove?

Typically, a massage therapist will ask you to undress to your level of comfort. Many people prefer to keep their underwear on during a massage, while others prefer to be nude. It’s up to you.

Women usually remove their bras to allow the massage therapist to work on the back and shoulder area without getting massage oil or lotion on the bra.

If your problem area is your low back, hips, buttocks, or groin, tight-fitting or large underwear can sometimes get in the way of massage work. You can ask your massage therapist before getting changed.

Should you choose to remove your underwear, a massage therapists must ensure that you are always properly covered by a sheet or towel.

The massage therapist will leave the room so that you can remove your clothing and lie on the massage table (usually face down) under the top sheet. You shouldn’t worry that the massage therapist will walk in on you; they should knock and ask if you are ready before entering the massage room.

How much clothing you remove also depends on the type of massage you’re getting. If you prefer keeping your clothes on, opt for massage styles like shiatsu or Thai massage, which are usually done fully clothed.

Should I Make Conversation?

Although some people prefer to talk throughout the massage, don’t feel like you have to make conversation with the massage therapist.

Many people close their eyes and try to relax. Your massage therapist should take the cue from you.

Deep tissue massage and sports massage are just some of the types of massage that require more feedback. The massage therapist often works on deeper layers of muscle and will want to ensure that the pressure is comfortable.

Be sure to speak up during a massage if you:

  • Feel too hot or cold
  • Are in pain
  • Have any questions about the massage
  • Forgot to mention a health issue during the consultation

What If I Fall Asleep, Snore, or Drool?

Falling asleep during a massage is very common. Many people go into a massage stressed and sleep-deprived and feel so relaxed that they fall asleep on the massage table. Your therapist won’t judge you if you snore during the massage.

When you wake up, you may notice a little drool on your face or on the massage table. It’s common and has to do with your positioning on the massage table. You don’t have to do anything about it, but you should feel free to ask for a tissue.

What If I Need the Restroom?

Going to the bathroom before the massage begins is ideal, but if you need to urinate during the massage, be sure to let the massage therapist know. Holding it for the duration of the massage isn’t comfortable or conducive to relaxing.

If it happens at a spa, there is usually a robe that you can slip on to walk out to the restroom. In a medical setting or clinic, you’ll likely have to put your clothes on to go.

What If I Get an Erection or aroused?

It’s normal for men to sometimes get an erection during a non-sexual, therapeutic massage. There’s no reason to be embarrassed if it happens to you. Gentle touch anywhere on the body can activate the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in an erection. A professional massage therapist will understand that and simply ignore it.

What If I’m Ticklish?

Let your massage therapist know if you’re ticklish before your massage begins. Usually, firm, slow pressure (and avoiding certain spots) can keep you from feeling ticklish during a massage

What If I Need to Pass Gas?

From a massage therapist’s perspective, it is far better to pass gas during the massage (often a sign that you’re relaxed) than to clench your gluteal muscles during the massage to hold it in. Passing gas during a massage is normal and nothing to feel embarrassed about. If you’re really uncomfortable doing it, you can always excuse yourself to go to the bathroom.

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