Your First Visit

What happens during a massage therapy treatment?

At your first massage therapy session, you'll be asked to fill out a client medical history form. This will give the therapist the personal information about you that will guide them to give you the style of massage most appropriate for you. Don't hesitate to ask questions about anything which you're unsure, or any concerns you might have. If you're expecting something in particular from the massage, make sure this is told to the therapist.

For example, if you've been having a lot of tightness in your right shoulder, and you'd like some extra attention given to it, tell the therapist. If you prefer a lighter or deeper massage, make that preference known. The massage therapist will discover your tight and sore areas during the massage, and will prioritize the time spent on these areas, and may do less work on areas that don't need as much attention. Letting the therapist know ahead of time about these problem areas, lets them prepare to spend some extra time there.

Once you've finished with the intake, the massage therapist will give you some privacy to get undressed and get on the massage table. A drape, either a sheet or towel, will be provided. The therapist will advise you to start the massage lying on your stomach or on your back. If you're to start on your stomach, there will be a cushioned doughnut-shaped device at one end of the table. This is a face rest, and you should place your face in there. This allows you to be face down, and keep your shoulder and neck muscles relaxed. If you lay your head on the table and turn it to one side, the muscles in your neck and shoulders won't be in their relaxed state and won't be able to receive the best benefits of the massage.

Once you're undressed and under the drape, the therapist will come back into the room. For the most part, your work is done, and all you have to do is relax and enjoy. The therapist will undrape the section of the body that they will work on first, and apply oil to the skin. They will use a variety of strokes, some rubbing, kneading, vibration, percussion, whatever they think will work best for your muscles. Stretching, rocking, or pressure point work may all be added. If the therapist gives you directions for slow exhales, just follow along. If they stretch or rotate any joint, don't try to help. Just stay as relaxed and limp as you can and let the therapist move that part of your body.

When the therapist finishes with one area of the body, they will put the drape back over that part, and undrape the next section to be massaged. At some point, you may be asked to roll over under the drape, and the therapist will continue with the other side of the body. When the massage is over, you'll be left in private to get dressed again. The therapist will return, and this is a good time to tell them how you feel, if you have any concerns, settle the bill, and make your next appointment.

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