If you have never received a massage from a professional therapist, you may find that you appear to be a little nervous and/or unsure about receiving treatment, or even the types of treatment available. Here are just a few guidelines of what to expect so you can get the best treatment for your money and to ease any anxiety.
First, you will typically be asked a few health-related questions in the form of a questionnaire for you to complete and sign. This allows your therapist to get to know your background and any past/present medical conditions, and it also contains verbiage from you to allow the therapist to provide you treatment. The questionnaire may also request you to list specific areas that you would like addressed during your treatment. This is solely done for the purpose of helping you get the best results from the massage and to protect you from any possible health risks. Your therapist will briefly review what you have written on the questionnaire and address any issues with you at that time.
Next, you will likely be taken to the massage room, instructed on how to lie on the table, instructed where to place your clothes, and then asked to disrobe (after the therapist leaves the room). This statement is what causes the most fear for those not used to receiving a massage from a stranger and discourages you from enjoying all the benefits a therapeutic massage can offer. For most massages, you will need to disrobe at least down to your underwear. (For females, removing your bra will allow the therapist to provide you the appropriate work to your back.) Prior to disrobing, the therapist will have left the room after providing you a few basic instructions. You will be allowed to undress to your comfort level at your pace. One thing to remember is that you do not want to take too long to disrobe as it will take time away from your therapeutic treatment.
Once disrobed, you will lie on the table, face up/down (however instructed previously), and under the top sheet. (A professional understands modesty and will uncover only the area being worked on, while keeping the rest of your body covered.) Once you have settled onto the table and are appropriately covered with the top sheet, you will let your therapist know that you are ready for them to re-enter the room with a simple verbal gesture. The therapist will then enter the room, check with you on your comfort, i.e., if the table pad is too warm or too cool, if the music is too loud or not loud enough, and re-address the areas of concern which caused you to request treatment. Bear in mind that although a massage may provide many benefits, i.e., the reduction of stress and anxiety, the increase in relaxation, and/or the ability for your mind just to be still and be quiet, a professional massage therapist has taken the time to educate themselves to address any areas of pain that you may be suffering.
Additionally, the lighting of the room will normally be dim, yet not too dim. Dim lighting normally helps provide for ultimate relaxation. Moreover, calming music will normally be playing. Your therapist may have an array of music to play, so if you do not care for the type of music playing, let your therapist know. After all, this is your time and your therapist wants you to achieve the relaxation you desire. In fact, you may request no music at all if you so desire.
Massage oils or lotions will be introduced to reduce friction and to increase relaxation during the massage. The oils should be warmed first in the therapist’s hands and then applied. (If you are allergic to any ingredients commonly found in lotions, be sure and let the therapist know ahead of time.) You also have the choice of either lotion or oil. Again, this is all about you so it is your choice. As you are most likely aware, oils may not be absorbed by your skin as thoroughly as lotions, but you will be given a towel to help remove any excess oil/lotion at the conclusion of your massage.
You should never feel pain during a massage. As you know, sometimes there is “good pain” and sometimes there is “bad pain.” You should never feel “bad pain” while receiving treatment; however, if there is a “knot” being worked on, you should feel nothing more than momentary discomfort while attending to the area. Your feedback is extremely important to your therapist and in you getting the most for your money and time. For example, let the therapist know if the pressure is too much or too light, if there is anything else that makes you uncomfortable, as well as notifying your therapist if they have “hit” the right spot whereby you may desire a little more time focused in that area.
Massage sessions normally last between thirty minutes to an hour and prices may vary. Specialty massages, like deep tissue, hot stone, reflexology, etc., will likely cost more than a Swedish massage. Massage can be a wonderful experience, whether you desire relaxation, stress reduction, assistance with a specific area, or for a health condition. Just remember that you should always be comfortable and in control of your massage. Also, remember to breathe deeply and rhythmically during your massage. This also helps to promote relaxation.
Lastly, I would recommend that you receive your treatment from a Certified/Licensed Massage Therapist. For piece of mind, a Certified Massage Therapist has been appropriately trained in providing you therapeutic massage, and is also insured by an insurance company specifically for those who provide bodywork. Requirements for maintaining certification and insurance is continued education. That means your massage therapist is deeply commited to their practice and in providing you the best and safest treatment available. If your therapist is not certified or licensed, why take a chance with your health?
Lastly, my clientele list grows weekly. I have just as many male clients as female. I am very fortunate as all of my clients feel extremely comfortable with me. Prior to coming to me for massage, I had been told by a few male and female clients that they did not “want to get rubbed on” by a male. Well, that’s all good and fine but rather closed-minded. After all, I provide therapeutic massage with your best interest in mind. I do not in any way consider our session to be a “date,” and neither should you. I am respectful of all people. I am non-judgmental regarding body shapes and sizes. I can safely and accurately state that those who may have felt a little uncomfortable coming to a male therapist at first do not feel that way any longer, and schedule their appointments with me quite frequently.