by Anna Eckstein Burns, LMT
If this is your first massage, you probably have a few questions regarding what to expect during your first massage.
When you come in for your appointment, arrive a few minutes early to fill out a simple medical intake form (this gives the therapist an idea of what is going on with your body). You'll be provided with a drink of water, and your therapist will escort you to your massage room. There the therapist will ask you if you have any specific massage needs for that day (sore neck, tight hamstrings, headache), so he or she can address these issues to make you feel better. The therapist will leave the room, and ask you to undress to your comfort level. He or she will then give you a few minutes to undress, and only re-enter the room after knocking first, to begin the massage.
Know that you will, as per New York State Law, always be draped, lying on a heated table, under a sheet (and blanket for chilly days). The only thing sticking out will be your head! When we need to work on an area, the therpaist will uncover it (arms, legs, and back), but only one arm or leg at a time.
Your therapist will start the massage using a light to moderate massage pressure, using cream or oil, and only increase the pressure he or she is using at your comfort level, after asking you first. Please let your therapist know how you are feeling. All people are different. If the pressure is too light, ask the therapist to use more pressure. If it is too deep or painful, ask the therapist to use less pressure. So your massage is just as you would like it to be! An eye pillow may be placed over your eyes so you can shut out the visual world for a little while and relax. Soft music will be playing throughout your massage. You can choose to lay there quietly or talk to your therapist. It's up to you!
After your massage is over, the therapist will thank you, and leave the room. At this time, you will lay on the table for a couple minutes until you are ready to get up and get dressed. Your therapist will be waiting for you in the reception area with another sip of water (it is important to increase your fluid intake after your massage, to flush any toxins removed from your muscles and keep your now softened muscles hydrated). You can pay your therapist at this time (tipping is always appreciated but optional), and schedule your next appointment.
Try not to schedule anything after your massage if you can, so your body can asorb and relish in all of the beneifts of your massage therapy treatment!
Thank you for taking this time for yourself!!!