Frequently Asked Questions:
- Therapeutic assessment, manipulation, and movement of locomotor soft tissue to reduce pain and dysfunction. Restoring structural balance throughout the body allows focus on both prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal dysfunctions.
What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?
Your massage therapist will require you to fill out a medical history form. It is important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to meet your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list allergies, as he/she may need to use a different oil or lotion during the session.
Afterward, the therapist will ask you some general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. In some cases, a postural assessment may be done before the session begins.
Do I have to be completely undressed during my session?
No, you don’t. You should undress to the level you are comfortable. If you opt to leave clothing on, the therapist will adjust the session accordingly.
However, most people DO get completely undressed for massage therapy. This allows the client to receive the maximum benefit from the session as most massage techniques require no clothing. Please keep in mind that you will be draped with a sheet for the entire session and only the area being worked on will be exposed.
Your massage therapist will give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table. If you prefer to remain fully clothed, then we recommend exploring other types of bodywork such as Active Isolated Stretching, Thai Massage, or Acupressure.
Will I be covered with a sheet or towel during my session?
This is known as draping and depends on the therapist, the type of bodywork, and in some cases, the law. Most massage therapists will insist on proper draping and ask you to get underneath a sheet or blanket. Only the area being worked on will be exposed during your session. The genitals (men and women) and breasts (women) will never be uncovered.
Other forms of bodywork will use towels instead of sheets. However, this is a topic you should discuss directly with your massage therapist if there are any concerns, questions, or preferences.
What do I do while receiving massage therapy?
Relax and make yourself comfortable! If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, then he/she will either move you or ask you to move what is needed. If you are uncomfortable in a certain position, then adjust yourself accordingly.
Most people will shut their eyes during the session, while others prefer to talk. It is up to you as it is your session. Remember, your comfort is our goal.
Will the massage hurt? Will I be sore after?
It depends on the type of massage being performed and the depth at which the therapist is working. In general, a good rule of thumb is that you want to experience a “good pain.” This usually indicates that the physiology of the tissue is changing for the better. However, if the pressure is too much and is causing you to tense up, then it is negating the effects of the massage. Your therapist should warm up the tissues thoroughly before going into deeper work. It is a myth that a massage must hurt to be effective. It is simply not true. Our goal is to work with the body’s natural response, not against it.
Most people are not sore following massage therapy, but if there are any questions, please ask your massage therapist during your visit.
What if I get an erection during my massage?
Sometimes, it happens. Most men will avoid massage therapy for fear that this will happen to them. But there is no reason to be embarrassed. An erection is a natural response of the body upon activation of the parasympathetic nervous system which activates when you relax.
An educated and professional massage therapist understands this concept and it will not be an issue for him/her. If you are still extremely concerned, you may choose to wear more fitted underwear such as boxer briefs or compression shorts.
How much should I tip?
In general, you should think of your massage therapist the same way you think of your waiter/waitress at a restaurant. You should tip them on a percentage scale based on how well you enjoyed your session. Your tip may reflect your appreciation for their service. We recommend tipping them on the full price of a regular massage rather than the discounted price.
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