What to Expect

According to research, approximately 22% of the population receives massages. As a result, many of the people coming for a massage are first-timers. Here is a brief idea of what to expect when you come for a massage at A Hands-On Approach.

Pre-Massage

Massage sessions are scheduled by appointment only. I will only be at my massage offices when I have clients scheduled. Therefore, walk-ins will not be accepted.

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. Upon arrival at either location, please wait in the reception area. I maintain my own schedule and clients so I will know when you are due to arrive. You may wait briefly depending on whether or not there was a client before you. Arriving early gives me time to go over your medical history, current problems you may be having, and your activity level to determine what treatments will be most beneficial for you.

Your Massage Session

Clients will be covered by a sheet and/or blanket during their entire session. Prior to the beginning of your session, you will be asked to disrobe to your level of comfort and lay on the table under a sheet. If you are female and your treatment includes back massage, you will be asked to remove your bra for easier access to the back muscles. The removal of underwear is at the discretion of the client. Any clients who are uncomfortable wearing only underwear may wear loose fitting gym shorts. You will also be asked to remove any jewelry with the exception of rings. Your privacy will be honored throughout the session. Only the body part being treated will be exposed. The rest of the body will be covered appropriately. The therapist will leave the room both before and after the session to allow you privacy getting on and off of the massage table.

The duration of your actual massage will be the length of time you scheduled. If you are scheduled for a one hour massage, that is the amount of time you will actually be receiving treatment. Consequently, you will want to block out approximately an hour and a half of your time for this appointment. This will include the early arrival, review of medical history, disrobing and getting dressed again after the session.

The massage experience itself will vary from client to client. This being said, there are consistent features of every massage. You will be lying alternately face up and face down on the massage table. When you are lying face down, there will be a face cradle which enables you to lie comfortably without twisting or bending your neck. You will also have a bolster pillow placed under your knees or ankles to make you as comfortable as possible. If, for any reason, it is uncomfortable for you to be on your front or back, massage while side-lying is possible. All sessions will begin with gentle touch moving to deeper work as the session progresses. Different techniques will be applied based on your medical history and needs discovered through the course of treatment.

Conversation is optional. Your massage experience is tailored specifically to you and your goals. You are not expected to carry on a conversation throughout your session. In fact, some clients have been known to fall asleep. If, however, you are more comfortable talking, I am always happy to do that. While casual conversation is optional, please keep in mind that communication is key to maximizing your massage experience. If I encounter areas I feel need additional attention, I will discuss this with you. I will also inform you of what I am feeling so that you can understand the choices I am making as a therapist. As a client, it is your responsibility to inform me if you are ever feeling pain as a result of your massage. Deep techniques can at times be uncomfortable, but you should never be in pain. I will check in with you regularly to make sure my pressure is acceptable to you.

Post-Massage

The effects of massage therapy are extensive. One result of massage is to increase blood flow to your muscles and to decrease areas that have limited blood flow due to tightness or spasm. By increasing blood flow, pain can be reduced as waste products and toxins produced by your muscles are flushed out. Research has proven that blood pressure and blood sugar levels are lowered by massage. Therefore, if you are diabetic, you may wish to wait until after your massage to take your insulin. You will also want to get off the table slowly as you may feel slightly light-headed at the end of your massage. Massage also increases a sense of relaxation and well being. Finally, it is possible that you may feel a bit sore for a day or two after your massage. Any deep massage work is the equivalent of working out to your muscles and can cause the type of soreness you would typically experience after exercise. Drinking water can help minimize any soreness that may result from massage.

What comes next? At the conclusion of your massage, you will be given a bottle of water to take with you. Drinking water is essential to helping your body rid itself of the waste products and toxins flushed from your muscles during the massage. You will also be asked to pay for your massage and schedule your next appointment. Keep in mind if you plan on making repeat visits, purchasing a value package will help you save money.