If you’re considering massage for the first time and aren’t sure what to expect, here is some helpful information to ease any of your concerns.
First, find a reputable massage business. Look for reviews online or ask friends who receive massage on a regular basis. If you are hoping to get an in home massage, you can always check the state government website or the American Massage Therapy Association website and search for licensed therapists in your area. Whether you’re calling a spa to schedule an appointment or your calling a private massage therapist who provides in home massage, ask how long the therapist has been doing massage. If your calling an establishment, I would suggest asking to be scheduled with a therapist that has been practicing atleast 3 or 4 years. Same goes for calling a private therapist. Of course, the longer they have been practicing the better. They have worked on a lot of people and have the knowledge, skills, confidence, and compassion to work with someone who is receiving massage for the first time. Also, when it comes to massage paying more for an experienced therapist is well worth the extra money. There are a lot of membership massage establishments that charge low prices for massage. Keep in mind the majority of massage therapists who work at these types of facilities are just out of school and have little experience. Because of the low massage prices, therapists are usually not paid well. A therapist who has experience is likely not going to work for the hourly rate they pay them. It makes a huge difference in the quality of massage you receive from someone who has been working in this field for many years.
So now you are ready to get your massage. When you first meet your massage therapist, inform them that this is your first massage. If you’re a little nervous, let them know. Any professional massage therapist will be happy to discuss everything and make you feel as comfortable as possible. Communication is really helpful so be vocal with your requests. Let the therapist know what you hope to achieve from your massage; stress relief, pain relief, help with a sore neck, etc. Also, let them know if there is anything you don’t want. For instance if you don’t like foot massage, let them know that. If you would like more attention on an area such as your low back, feel free to let them know that too.
Pressure is also a very important issue with massage. Some people prefer extremely deep work while others prefer a more light pressure. Keep in mind with this being your first massage, you may want to request a swedish massage. If you ask for deep tissue, it may not feel as though the pressure is too hard at the time, but the day after you may wake up and feel soreness. This can last a day or two, and depending on your level of physical activity, this is a possibility even if you start receiving massage on a regular basis.
What should you expect of your therapist? A professional, experienced massage therapist will do whatever they can to make you feel at ease. Once you are in the massage room and have discussed everything, your therapist will instruct you that they will be leaving the room so that you can undress and get on the table. First time massage clients usually prefer keeping their underwear on. Once your therapist leaves the room, you will undress and get under the top sheet on the table. They will probably tell you to start by laying face down although some therapists may have you start the massage laying face up. But again, anytime you’re not sure about something just ask your therapist. They will then leave the room for a few minutes (some may leave for too long and you’re laying there wondering where they went). But, when they are ready to reenter the room they will knock and ask if you’re ready.
Once the massage begins, if at anytime you feel uncomfortable or have a question ask your therapist. Communication during the massage is also very important. Especially if you’d like more or less pressure. If you are happy with the way the massage is going and don’t want to talk, let the therapist know that you would prefer it be quiet.
If at anytime you feel your therapist may be crossing any boundaries that seem unprofessional, you have every right to let them know you would like to stop the session. All personal areas of your body should be covered at all times. The therapist should only undrape the area being worked. The therapist should NEVER expose any personal areas of your body. It is very unlikely if you’ve done your research that you will run into this problem, but just be aware and you will be fine.
Once your massage has finished the therapist will let you know the session has ended and leave the room so that you can get dressed. Your therapist will meet you outside the door usually with a glass of water. People have asked if it really matters that you drink water after a massage. The answer is yes. It helps flush out your system and can alleviate some soreness as well.
I really hope this information has helped put you at ease and you feel more confident that your first massage experience will be great. We would be happy to answer any other questions you may have. If after reading this information, you went to have your first massage, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear about your experience.