Before you receive your session, it is a good idea not to eat any large or heavy meals, sugar, caffeine, or other stimulants. You may also want to shower or bathe directly before your session, not only out of courtesy to your therapist, but also to help start loosening any tight muscles that you might have.
Before your first session begins your therapist will have you fill out a questionnaire regarding your medical history, physical condition, etc. Your therapist may assess any problem areas you may have by checking for restricted or painful movement, gently pressing for tender areas and observing your posture.
Your session will be administered in a peaceful and quiet environment. Your therapist will ask you to disrobe in your private therapy room and drape yourself with a sheet. The type of session that you will be receiving and the specific areas of your body that your therapist will be working on will determine your required state of undress. You may leave your undergarments on or take them off as you prefer.
Your therapist will be sure to respect your privacy during your session. The only area of your body that will be uncovered will be the area your therapist is working on at that time.
The areas of the body specifically not included in a session are the genital areas, the breast tissue on women and in most cases, the throat. If there are any other areas you would prefer not to include in your session, be sure to let your therapist know prior to the start of your session.
You will lie down on a comfortably padded massage table in a position explained to you by your therapist. Your therapist will take a moment to ensure that you are properly positioned, sufficiently covered and most importantly, that you are comfortable. Be sure to inform your therapist of anything that distracts from your comfort such as your position, the room temperature, lighting, etc. Remember that this is your time, so be comfortable.
If at anytime during your session you experience any pain, discomfort or uneasiness of any sort, immediately inform your therapist. Massage therapy, when administered on healthy tissue, is a very pleasurable sensation. In the area of an injury or muscular tension, massage therapy may, at first, cause some discomfort. When your therapist locates these areas on your body, it will be your natural reaction to tense and to hold your breath. It is very important that you consciously try to relax these areas and remember to breathe deeply. This will help to lessen any discomfort you might experience from these areas.
Conversely, if at anytime during your session your therapist works on an area or uses a technique you find particularly enjoyable, be sure to let your therapist know. Don’t wait until the end of your session. If time permits, extra time can be spent on that area or technique. Your therapist will appreciate your feedback and will know next time to be sure to include extra time for these areas or techniques.
As your session begins, close your eyes and allow yourself to relax as completely as possible. Focus your attention on your breathing, which should be slow, deep and even. Conversation, as enjoyable as it may be, can also be distracting to your relaxation and to the concentration of your therapist’s efforts. Please try to limit your conversation to feedback about your session.
Allow your therapist to move your limbs into various positions. Try to go limp, like a rag doll. You do not need to help. Your therapist is paid to take care of your body so all you need to do is relax. Again, this is your time.
Many people fall asleep during their session, an indication that their bodies are letting go of stress and tension. Should you fall asleep, your therapist will gently wake you when it is time to reposition or end the session. Feel free to nap.
Sometimes, as the body releases tension during a session, the mind can also release emotion that is associated with that tension. If you should suddenly feel joyful, sad or angry, do not be alarmed. Allow yourself to express these feelings by laughing or crying. At the very least, feel free to sigh or hum.
Contrary to some notions in our society, massage therapy is a healing art, not a sexual service. Any illicit or sexually suggestive remarks or advances will result in the immediate termination of your session.
After your massage, unless you have a condition that would prohibit it, you may want to drink extra water for the next 24 hours to help flush out the toxins released by your session. You may also want to take an Epsom or Rock Salt bath as well. If at all possible you may want to take the time to reap the full benefits of your session by taking a nap.
Be sure to ask your therapist any questions you may have about massage therapy in general or your session in particular.