What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?
Your massage therapist may require you to fill out a health history form. Afterward the therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition and to see if you have any presenting complaints.
It is important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.
Are there any medical conditions that would make massage or bodywork inadvisable?
Yes. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Depending on the condition, approval from your doctor may be required.
Must I be completely undressed?
Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped during the entire session.
Should I talk during the massage?
Although some people prefer to talk throughout the massage, don't feel like you have to make conversation with the massage therapist. Feel free to close your eyes and relax, which is what most people do.
Deep tissue massage and sports massage are just some of the types of massage that require more feedback. The massage therapist often works on deeper layers of muscle and will want to ensure that the pressure is not uncomfortable.
Be sure to speak up if :
The room is too hot or too cold
You experience pain
You have any questions related to the massage
There's anything you forgot to mention during the consultation
For preventative care or stress management massages, one massage per month is common. For injury relief or to relieve debilitating chronic tension, weekly sessions may be necessary. If you have a question about the frequency of your massages, please bring it up with your therapist
What about tipping?
Gratuities are always appreciated but never expected. If you are happy with your treatment, the industry standard for tipping is 10% to 20% of your total service charge.
What if I get an erection during my massage?
Some men avoid massage for fear this will happen to them. Or, they get a massage but are unable to relax because of this fear. But there is no reason to be embarrassed. Sometimes men get an erection during a non-sexual, therapeutic, full body massage. Touch administered to any part of the body can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can result in a partial or complete erection. An educated, professional massage therapist understands this and it will not be an issue for him/her. If you are still concerned, I recommend wearing more fitted underwear (briefs or boxer briefs) which provide more support than traditional boxers.
Note: If the therapist feels that the session has turned sexual for the client, male or female, he/she may stop the session to clarify the client's intent, and may decide to end the session immediately.
I have fibromyalgia (or arthritis). Is massage safe for me?
Yes! Regular massage of muscles and joints can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis or fibromyalgia. In fact, regular massage therapy can relieve pain and stiffness, and improve range of motion, hand-grip strength and overall function of the joints. Before getting a massage, please be sure to discuss you specific issues with your therapist so that he or she can customize the treatment to your needs.