I realised the other day whilst I was working that not everyone has had the experience of having a massage before, and it can be a pretty daunting experience at first. The main thing to remember as a newbie is that it is your massage! You are paying out your hard earned money for this so ultimately I want you to be happy with your experience, and also to feel comfortable enough to ask questions or tell me what you want.
Before the massage
Before the massage begins, I always carry out a brief consultation. You can tell me as much or as little as you like; I'm not asking these questions to be nosy, I'm trying to get a feel for you and what you want to gain from the massage, as well as find out about any health conditions I need to be aware of, and any areas you want focusing on/avoiding. Everybody and every body is different; people come for massage for a whole variety of reasons, and I want you to get the most possible out of your appointment.
I will then come up with a plan for how I see your massage and will explain this to you clearly. If you have any questions or issues please do speak up and we can come up with an answer together. I will then explain how I want you to lie on the table, how much you need to undress and I will leave the room to give you a few minutes to get ready. When it comes to undressing, I want you to be comfortable. Most people undress to their underwear as standard, but if for example I will only be working on your back, shoulders, face and neck, you can leave your bottom half clothed if you want.
During the massage
During the massage I will check in on you about pressure and with any further instructions. Something I get asked about a lot is "should I talk to you during the massage?". My answer to that is that it's totally up to you; some people like a good old chat and some people want to just relax and enjoy! I tend to take a cue from the client; if you're obviously starting a conversation with me then I'm happy to chat, otherwise I am more than happy to leave you to your thoughts in silence. If at any time during the massage you are too hot/cold, uncomfortable, or unhappy with anything I'm doing, please speak up.
Once the massage is finished, I will leave the room again, and give you time to slowly get ready. I always encourage clients to take a few minutes and not rush getting up and dressed again, take some time to enjoy the benefits of a massage! When you are ready I'll come back in for a brief chat, which may include some stretches or self massage techniques to use at home. If you have any feedback (likes, dislikes, physical feelings) for me I am always happy to hear it; it helps me grow as a therapist and will benefit you at your next session.
After a massage
After a massage it is common to feel sleepy, spacey, dozy, relaxed, calm, emotional, or a whole mixture of any of the above. Please take a minute to fully come round before you drive or cycle off. You may also be a little red in the areas that were worked on, or may feel a little stiff/sore the next day, particularly with deep tissue work. This is perfectly normal and should ease in time.
It is recommended that you avoid alcohol, caffeine and heavy exercise for a few hours afterwards as massage can dehydrate you, so my number one post massage tip is drink plenty of water!
I hope this all helps and clears up any worries or confusion, but as ever, please feel free to get in touch with any questions.
See you on the table