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What to Expect When You Get a Massage

Many people aren’t sure what to expect when they schedule their first massage. But we assure you there is nothing to be nervous about! Although no two massages are alike, there are some things that are typical to each session. Generally, a session will take place in a quiet, comfortable room. It may be dimly lit. Soothing music is often played to help you relax.

The Therapist will Assess Your Massage Needs

After introducing themselves, your practitioner will ask why you are seeking massage therapy, and inquire about any injuries or medical conditions you may have. They may also ask additional questions to gather information that can help improve your overall experience. Be honest with your practitioner – their role is to ensure that you have the most pleasant and successful session possible.

Let Your Therapist Know What You’re Feeling

The massage therapist will then excuse themselves so that you can disrobe to your level of comfort. You will then get on the table – either face up or face down – under the sheet, towel or cover provided. During your session, you will be draped (covered) at all times, and only the area being worked on will be exposed. A typical full body session includes your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, shoulders, glutes and abdomen. You may request that a therapist spend additional or less time on a specific area.  Oil or lotion is often used, so be sure to tell the practitioner if you have any preferences or sensitivities.

During the massage, please make sure to communicate with your therapist about the pressure he or she is applying.  Though many massage therapists can tell when they are using light or deep pressure, it is always good to let them know how you feel.  If you want more or less pressure, be sure to communicate that—the massage is all about you!

When your massage session is complete, the practitioner will leave the room so that you can get dressed. Sit up slowly and take your time getting dressed. 

After Your Massage

Make sure to drink plenty of water. Book your next session according to your practitioner’s recommendation.

Over the next few days, you may experience soreness if you requested a deep tissue massage.  To alleviate discomfort, apply an ice pack to the area.  Let your massage therapist know about the discomfort you experienced and consider requesting less pressure during your next session.

Therapy Terms and Techniques

There are many types of massage, so each experience varies. Learn more about techniques and terms.