Most people go to a commercial place for a massage. Such as a health club, spa, wellness center, or a specific massage clinic. It’s also becoming more common for people to be referred to a hospital, medical center, or rehabilitation center. There are plenty of locations that carry out massage therapy.
You pretty much know what to expect from all of these commercial options as far as the professionalism and location. Even if you’re booking a private massage, it’s going to be just as you imagine. A room with soft lighting, a nice ambiance, and a professional therapist.
Yet, I’m always speaking with people who say they have never had a massage because they are either unsure what to expect, or are nervous and scared of what they do expect.
I’m writing this article to let you know that there is nothing to be worried about. Absolutely nothing. A massage will change your life for the better, it’s worth putting aside whatever concerns you have and just going.
This is what to expect from your first massage. Hopefully, this article will make the thought of booking a session, and even the experience a lot less daunting, more enjoyable, and a successful one that starts a new healthier lifestyle.
What to Expect from Your First Massage
Before You Have a Massage
First, you must make sure you are ready for a massage and it’s the right time. If there are any reasons why you shouldn’t have a massage, such as health issues – don’t have one. I have outlined some general contraindications here to look through.
Keep yourself hydrated and drink plenty of water the days leading up to the massage. Don’t load up on water or eat a big meal on the day before you have it, but don’t be distracted by hunger either.
Always arrive a few minutes before your appointment. You may need to go over some paperwork and answer some basic questions if it’s your first time. Being late not only looks bad, but you will be in a flustered mood which isn’t exactly conducive for a relaxing massage.
Be Aware of Your Health History
If it’s your first appointment you will typically be asked some questions about your health. This is for your own benefit, to make sure there is no risks or potential for you to suffer any injuries as a result of a massage.
Some of the areas of your health history that you will probably be asked about will include:
- Any concerns you have.
- Any existing medical conditions.
- Your own tolerance to pain and discomfort.
- What you do to manage your pain.
You will be asked to sign some forms. These are formalities that cover everyone in the event of issues coming up. Often known as a Consent and Disclosure form. It’s all standard practice and nothing to be concerned about.
During Your Interview for Your First Appointment
You will be asked some questions by your massage therapist. This is to check your health history and ensure you’re safe and healthy to have a massage. Nothing to worry about, just some simple formalities.
Massages have an effect on several body systems, and there are some potential links to health conditions. So always be open and honest, it’s for the best.
You will be asked about any medications too. So take a note of the names if you find it hard to remember what your meds are called.
While you’re with the therapist of the person asking the questions this is the time for you to ask any questions you may have too. If there is anything you’re unsure about or want to question, go ahead.
You will then be told what’s going to happen and how they do things at the establishment you’re at. So there should be no surprises coming up.
The therapist will typically leave the room and give you a minute to undress and get on the table. There will be a sheet for you to cover yourself with, then the therapist will knock and check you are ready before coming in.
During the Massage
You will be laying on a massage table with a sheet or towel covering you. Always make sure you are completely comfortable, if not, speak up before the massage starts.
Also if there are any particular areas you do not want to be touched, make this clear. You should always be catered for how you want, and a therapist is there to make sure you’re 100% comfortable.
They may be using a diffuser too. Again, you should be welcome to ask for any oils or scents you enjoy to make the experience even better. You’ll find out better over time what you enjoy.
How Draping Works
One of the big concerns for people having their first massage is being embarrassed by nudity. You will always have a drape over you, and you only cover/uncover what you are comfortable with.
Typically the therapist will only expose the areas that are working on, and will continually keep you covered up. There really is nothing to be embarrassed about, therapists are professionals and have seen it all!
You Can Listen to Music
Most people listen to music while they are having a massage. Often the therapist has music on, but you’re fully entitled to ask them to either turn it off or change the type. While I don’t want to tell you what to listen too it’s better to keep the tunes to something chilled out of course.
After the Massage Is Finished
When the massage is complete, the therapist will leave the room to allow you to dress in private. This also gives you a few minutes to get yourself together, you may be very relaxed and a little sleepy.
It’s a good idea to drink some water afterward to hydrate yourself. This also helps the overall process of clearing toxins from your system.
Ideally, you will have some time to relax, and will not be rushing right back to work or some other busy schedule. Take the opportunity to have some quality rest and relaxation time. That’s one of the reasons for the massage, right?
Everyone feels differently after a massage. You may be relaxed, tired, renewed, energized, it’s hard to say. So take a moment to see how you feel, and discuss this with your therapist on the next visit.
That is it. This should be everything you need to know if you’re going for your first massage. I’m sure you will have a fantastic experience and not look back. Most people just wish they had gone sooner!
I’m a MA, (CMT) Certified Massage Therapist, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Reiki Master — I’m a licensed massage therapist with over 10 years of experience in the industry.