What to Expect from Massage Therapy

Your first Massage therapy Visit……

What is a typical massage therapy session like?

Each massage is tailored to meet your specific needs.  You can schedule a session for 30 or 60 minute increments.  The techniques used to manipulate the muscles in a massage are most effective when applied directly to the skin.  For this reason, you are asked to disrobe (undress) to your comfort level & lay between two sheets on the massage table.  The therapist will step out of the room for you to disrobe before the session & for you to get dressed again after the session.  For the entire duration of the massage, you will always be covered by a sheet.  One area of your body is exposed at a time to allow the therapist to fully work that musculature & then re-cover the area before moving to the next section of your body.  If at any time you are uncomfortable with the massage, the techniques being used, the part of your body being worked, the amount of pressure being applied by the therapist, the temperature of the room, or anything else, please do not hesitate to speak those concerns to your therapist immediately.

At no time should you feel uncomfortable, exposed, or nervous.  The massage time is for you & helping your body.  It is your time & is intended to meet your needs & comfort level.  Questions are encouraged of you before, during & after your session.  This can be a time of awakening for you & your body awareness.

Frequency of Massage

There are many reasons people choose to receive a massage.  The greatest effects of a session are felt when your body can develop a routine for the work.  As a guideline, receiving a massage therapy treatment once a month is the minimum.  Depending on your daily activities, routines, lifestyle & stress level, massage therapy is helpful more often – your therapist will make recommendations specifically for you.

When first beginning to receive massage or starting a new routine of it, more often is better to start (an example of an effective schedule might be one session each week for 4-6 weeks, then every other week for 4-6 weeks, & then spacing it out to once every 3rd week & then once a month).  This allows your body to realize you are changing the way you care for it, & you are going to continue to keep it this way.  When you receive a massage once a month, after not preparing your body in the way, it takes your body 6-9 months to realize you are changing a routine.  Therefore, rather than allowing your body to adapt & adjust , it is relaxed then stressed, then relaxed & stressed & relaxed & stressed & it develops the idea.  Following a more frequent routine with your treatments allows your body to relax & recover, relax, recover, relax & handle life better.

Each person’s body will respond differently to massage.  The routine is a base for you & your therapist to discuss what is the best plan for you, your life & your body.

Will massage therapy hurt?

Massage therapy should be comfortable & not hurt.  Occasionally there is mild aching when the massage therapist applies pressure over “knots” & other areas of muscle tension.  There may be some pain associated with the treatment, but if the pressure is too strong for you, let the massage therapist know.  The treatment should be at your comfort level.

How will I feel after a massage?

Most people feel calm & relaxed after a massage treatment.  Occasionally, people experience mild temporary aching for a day or so.  Drinking extra water the day before, the day of, & the day after your massage will prepare your body’s tissue to release toxins & recover quickly.  Your massage therapist may recommend drinking more water, or the application of heat or ice after treatment to enhance recovery.

Massage Precautions and Tips

Massage therapy is not recommended for certain people and/or conditions:

  • Infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds
  • Immediately after surgery
  • Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor
  • People prone to blood clots.  There is a risk of blood clots being dislodged.
  • If you have heart disease, check with your doctor before having a massage
  • Untreated high blood pressure

 

Massage will not be done directly over bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, tumors, abdominal hernia, or areas of recent fractures.

Additional Tips for Your Massage Therapy Session

  • Do not eat a heavy meal before the massage
  • If it’s your first massage at our office, arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete the necessary forms, or print the form yourself from your own computer, complete & bring it into the office on your first visit.  Otherwise, arrive 5 minutes early so you can have a few minutes to relax & begin resting before your massage.
  • Use the restroom prior to your scheduled treatment time so we can begin promptly.