What to Expect At Your
(Information Provided by The American
Massage Therapy Assc.)
If you havent had much experience with massage therapy, you
might be wondering what to expect. This article will give you some
ideas about what takes place during a "typical" massage
If its your first time seeing the massage therapist, he or
she will likely ask you some questions. The massage therapist might
ask about the reasons you are getting a massage, current physical
condition, medical history, life style and stress level, experiences
with specific areas of pain, and whether there is any specific need
you want addressed during the massage. First and foremost, the massage
therapist needs to make sure there arent any conditions present
that rule out having a massage due to any health risks. Second,
the massage therapist needs to know what your needs are regarding
the massage and be sure both of you are clear about what your expectations
and goals for the session are. Third, the information you provide
helps the massage therapist determine what techniques to use and
how to structure the session.
Next, you will be asked to remove your clothing or leave them on depending on the treatment. The therapist
will either leave the room or otherwise provide privacy while you
undress. You should take off only as much as you are comfortable
removing. A sheet or towel is provided for draping during the massage.
The therapist will uncover only the part of the body being massaged,
insuring that modesty is respected at all times. The draping also
keeps the person receiving the massage warm. You should also remove
any jewelry or other articles that might interfere with the massage.
The massage takes place on a comfortable, padded massage table.
The massage therapist will tell you what position to lie in on the
table. The table may have some extra attachments or cushions, such
as a face rest (which allows you to lie in a face down position
without turning your head and neck). If you dont like using
any attachments, ask the massage therapist to remove it or not use
Expect a peaceful and comfortable environment for the massage.
The massage therapist may play music during the massage. Some people
find music playing to be relaxing, some find it distracting. If
you dont like music playing, ask the massage therapist to
change the music or turn the music off.
Before the massage begins, the massage therapist may offer some
advice that will improve the quality of your massage. A common one
is to breathe, especially if a sensitive area is being massaged.
The massage therapist may use oil or lotion, which reduces drag
on the skin while performing the massage strokes. If you are allergic
to some oils or lotions, be sure to tell your massage therapist
so you both can make sure the ingredients in the oil or lotion do
not bother you. Some massage therapists will use a powder instead
of oil if you are allergic.
Depending on your needs, the massage therapist will massage either
the full body or only specific areas that need attention. For example,
general relaxation or stress reduction sessions usually include
all the major areas of the body, while a session for a localized
injury, pain, or tightness will be focused on a specific area. It
is possible to spend most of an entire session on only one area.
If there is anything that does not feel comfortable or right or
you do not like, you have the right to ask the massage therapist
After the massage is finished, you will once again be provided
with privacy in order to get dressed. If there is time to do so,
you may ask the massage therapist any questions you have. The usual
length of a session is an hour. A massage session on a table generally
should be a minimum of 30 minutes and maximum of 90 minutes.
An exception to the above description would be a seated massage.
In this case, you sit in a specially designed massage chair. The
chair supports the front of the body, which allows access to most
of the body. You remain clothed and oil or lotion is not used. Seated
massages are usually shorter sessions that typically run from 10
to 30 minutes. Since the chairs are highly portable, seated massages
can take place in a variety of settings, including the workplace.
Please let your massage therapist know in advance if you need to
cancel your appointment. Many massage therapists require a 24 hour
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After your massage ...
- It is important to increase your water intake after a massage.
Massage helps to remove lactic acid from your muscles, and extra
water will ensure that these toxins will be flushed from your
blood stream, not reabsorbed in your muscles.
- It is not uncommon to feel some soreness after a massage, especially
a clinical massage. If there are any areas with redness, swelling,
or heat, apply an ice pack to the area for 15 to 20 minutes. This
will help reduce inflamation and the area will heal more quickly.
- Massage is cummulative therapy. Yes, one treatment can make
you feel great, but massage is most effective when maintnance
treatments are recieved at least every four to six weeks.
- Follow your therapists advice and reccomendations. Stretching
exersizes and self-care are going to make your therapy more complete,
and your results longer lasting.