After years of hearing about the benefits of massage, you’ve decided to take the plunge and made your first ever massage appointment. Now what? This blog post is designed around you as a new client: frequently asked question, easing anxieties and providing information about what to expect before, during and after your massage.
YOUR PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCE BEGINS AT THE FRONT DESK
Not all therapist are alike in their approaches and techniques and there are no two clients who are exactly the same in the goals they are trying to accomplish with their massage. Choosing a therapist for you is a task our front desk is brilliant at. If you have already made your appointment, you may have noticed our wonderful front desk staff asked you a number of questions. This questioning process is designed specifically for the benefit of the client and therapist. Elements can hand pick the perfect therapist for you; customizing the massage that is best for you. You may learn more about your therapist and all the therapists at http://elementsmassage.com/alderwood/our-therapists
ON MASSAGE DAY
We ask you check-in for your massage 10-15 minutes early. This way you can fill out the intake form, use the restroom and be ready for your therapist to greet you. Every minute during a massage is important and since the therapists do not normally extend sessions, we want to make sure to give you every minute of your massage.
IN THE MASSAGE ROOM
Welcome! When you are in the massage room, it is extremely important to communicate to your therapist what type of massage you are looking for: relaxation, tension or pain relief , or a combination. You might have areas that need focused treatment too. You cannot give us too much information. We will also double check with you as to what pressure you prefer: light, medium, or deep. If you do not know, then express your uncertainty and we will check-in with you multiple times during the massage and alter our pressure to your liking. Never be afraid to let us know if our pressure is too deep or too light. After all the information is gathered, we will consult with you about our recommended treatment for your massage to meet your goals.
*Check out the blog about Communication With Your Therapist for helpful ideas and information!
These are the steps I give to all my new clients to prepare for the massage after the consultation:
- Please make sure your cell phone is on vibrate or, preferably, silenced.
- Get undressed to your comfort level. About half of clients leave their underwear on and half do not. Items we ask you to remove that are often overlooked are socks and jewelry. If you have medium to long hair, we ask that you pull it up. Hair ties are available for you hanging under the mirror.
- Lay under the blanket and sheet either face down with your face in the face cradle or face up with your head on the table (not on the cradle). Your therapist will let you know whether face up or face down is preferred.
DURING THE MASSAGE FAQs
“Ok so I’m basically naked, how much does a therapist see?”
When hearing about massage, not much is discussed about draping. We, as therapists, only see what we undrape to massage. We expose one body part at a time, tuck or drape the sheet to keep that area exposed and also keep you comfortable and covered. During your massage, we untuck or undrape and cover you back up as we continue with each body part throughout the massage.
“Did I shave my legs for this? No really, did I?”
Everyone has insecurities and many clients come in worried they didn’t fully prepare for their massage or the way they look is undesirable for a therapist. Let me assure you, we do not see these insecurities. We do not pay attention to unshaved legs, acne breakouts, un-pedicured/dirty feet or the multitude of the other body insecurities we as humans have. We are concerned with what is under the skin: muscles, tendons, ligaments, bone, circulation, etc. You are welcome just as you are!
“To speak or not to speak? That is the question.”
Our job as a therapist is to take your lead on talking. If you begin to talk then we will be happy to chat with you; however, if you would like to relax and choose to be silent, that is ok too. Never feel bad if you prefer silence. Both silence and conversation can be part of a client’s therapy.
“How do I turn over and stay covered?”
Aboutn halfway through the massage, you will be asked to turn from either your back to your stomach, or vise versa. Your therapist will hold the sheet/blanket. Then you will turn over toward your therapist so you don’t accidentally roll of the bed. We are experienced to make sure you stay covered during this portion of the massage as well.
“What do I do during the massage?”
For the most part, nothing! Your job is to relax. Relaxed muscles are happy muscles and these happy muscles are easier to manipulate, relax, stretch, etc. Your therapist may even move your arms, legs, or neck around to do stretches. This is your time to continue to do…nothing. Rest assured, if we need your assistance with a stretch or a movement of a body part, we will make sure to ask.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END
After your massage, we will leave the room for you to get dressed. After you are dressed, go ahead and open the door. We will come back in the room with a bottle of water and our home care recommendation. One massage is not going to solve years of muscular or circulation problems and home care is critical to continue your healing. Your therapist will inform you how to make the most of your massage and when a future massage visit is recommended. Take your recommendation card to the front desk and they will do the check-out process and schedule your next visit. Lastly, take that card home and perform the stretches and other tasks the therapist recommended.
YOU ARE NOT JUST ANOTHER CLIENT
Although we see many clients in a day, your healing is important to us. We take time to chart down your concerns, goals with massage, pressure you prefer, what we did during your massage and what is best to do during your next massage. These notes are reviewed before you come in each time so no matter what therapist you see, your healing goals will be addressed.
If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to write them down and bring them in with you. We want your massage experience to be everything you thought it would be and more, that’s “The Elements Way”!