What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?

First what I want to share with you is that I am here to assist you in your well-being, no matter what service you choose or we choose together for your healing path. If it is to be massage therapy I will first require that you fill out an intake form that offers information to better assist me in assisting you. At the first visit I also spend a bit of time to clarify and understand what I see on the intake to better establish the correct direction for your session(s), including if massage is appropriate. If it is to be bodywork/massage then in some cases I may begin your time on the table assessing and testing to evaluate your presenting situation.

This all takes place in the treatment room. I have a table that adjusts (by motor) to height needs. The room temperature can be adjusted to your needs, as well as the table can be heated for you. There is soft music, low lights (unless more light is needed for assessment), and warm towels for your feet and back, along with soothing aromatherapy (only essential oils, not fragrances)

What do I wear during the massage?

This depends on the primary technique being used in your session. In some cases you may not have to undress or it is minimal. However, in most cases you undress for a full body massage down to the level of your comfort. Most people undress completely, though some opt to keep their underwear on. At the time you undress I step out of the room and after you have undressed you will get under the sheet and blanket on the table. You are covered at all time expect for the area being worked on.

What do I do during a massage therapy treatment?

Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she or he will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. If you need to adjust your position at anytime to make yourself more comfortable, do so. Example: If I need to move that arm briefly I will do so and return it to your chosen position when I am finished with work in that area. Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It’s up to you. I follow your lead, though I interact more if it is more remedial because I need your feedback. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.

How will a massage feel?

That depends on the type of bodywork/massage being used. The foundation of most massage sessions is the Swedish techniques.  This can be gentle, firm or deep beginning with long slow strokes called effleurage to help begin to relax, though I usually begin most clients face up and begin to work the neck and shoulders first. Most people begin to relax immediately as this area is often feeling the most stress. Even with a gentle massage, pressure will gradually increase when working on specific areas of tension. A light lotion, cream or oil is used. I tend to use a warming oil around the neck and shoulders. The lotion, etc., reduces friction to the skin. If there is excessive discomfort please speak up. Sometimes, with bodywork there is mild discomfort, but there should be no pain.

How will I feel after the massage therapy treatment?

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. Some experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity, which can last for days. Drinking water following the session helps you feel hydrated. Massage therapists also often recommend a hot Epsom salt bath that enhances the relaxation effects of massage because of the high magnesium content.