Knowing what to expect during your massage session can help relieve nervousness and unnecessary tension. Let’s walk through the steps of your first massage session.
As a new client, we will go through an intake process where we discuss your past and present medical health. We will talk about medications, injuries, places of soreness or tension. We may discuss how you spend your day (at a computer, standing to work, carrying children, etc.) and what kinds of activities cause you discomfort or soreness. In addition, your massage therapist will ask you what your goals are for the session: are there particular areas you’d like addressed, and how you’d like to feel at the end of the session. It’s very common for clients to hold their tension in a particular area. Some hold tension in their neck and shoulders, others in their low back – two of the most common places tension is manifest. All of this information is confidential, and it is used to create a treatment plan based on your needs and requests.
Before we start the session, we will discuss preferences for essential oils, lotions, oils or creams, and I will communicate a general treatment order. I will also describe how to get on the table, and whether we’ll start with you face up or face down. After I leave the room, you will undress to your comfort level and lie on the table underneath the top sheet. Undergarments may be taken off if you are comfortable.
When the massage therapist returns to the room, the session will begin. Each session is unique, and planned in response to your needs on that particular day. A common session flow is described below. .
A common flow consists of starting with you face down on the massage table. After some gentle strokes and rocking motions over the sheets, the back is undraped and work begins on your back – from the low back up to the shoulders. When done with your back, the arms are undraped one at a time and massaged. After the arms, the legs are massaged one at a time. After the back of the body has been massaged, the massage therapist will assist you in turning over, holding the sheet over you for privacy. On the front of the body, often the starting area is at the legs the therapist then moves up the body to the arms and the shoulders/chest – undraping only the area to be worked. Generally the session ends with massage at the head and neck.
At the end of the session, the massage therapist will leave the room so you may dress. Afterwards, we discuss the session and how you feel with the work that was done. It is extremely important to drink extra water following a massage. By working the muscles, massage releases the lactic acid and other cell wastes that build up in the body. Drinking water helps to clear that waste from the system. After a massage, people sometimes feel dizzy or euphoric, others may feel some soreness in areas that were points of focus for the massage, some may even experience a slight headache. Most people, however, leave a session feeling relaxed and calm. Any discomfort you experience at the end of the session should last no longer than 24-48 hours.