Have you ever received a massage? Most people would agree that massage is pretty awesome. If you are new to massage though, I would suggest reading up on my post about massage for first-timers HERE. So what can you expect when you come to my office for the first appointment?
First, I like to conduct a thorough intake. So please arrive about 10-15 minutes early to fill this out. When setting up your initial appointment, I'll either send you an online intake form to complete, or have you fill out an intake form when I see you at the office. Some have asked why I need an intake if I just massage the body. Well believe it or not, there can be many contraindications (or massage no-no spots) that massage can make worse. I need your address and contact information because a) It's required by NYS law and b) your contact info is important for me in case I need to contact you.
It is also important to list all recent surgeries & injuries you may have sustained. Listing medications gives me a better idea of how to work on you. On the subject of medications, never take a pain killer/muscle relaxer before a massage. Those medications dull your pain receptor sensitivity, which is needed when I assess with pressure in massage. In other words, too much pressure to an area that is "numbed" from the medication can cause damage and more pain once the medication wears off.
Once you have completed my intake, I'll direct you to my office where we can go over personal history. I'll ask what your goal for massage is. Is it a chronic back ache? Neck pain? Need to relax? I want to make sure the massage is tailored exactly to your needs. I may perform some assessments on your range of motion and look at your posture after discussing the intake. After assessment, I'll give you a brief summary of what I plan for the massage, and make sure that it meets your expectations. Nothing is worse than not having your needs met!
After discussing our massage plan, it's time to get on the table! I work on clients either clothed or no clothes. I perform a lot of myofascial release and structural alignment massage which does not require you to take off clothes. If you're nervous about taking off clothes, I suggest you wear a sports top or t-shirt and shorts for this appointment. I work on many of my athletic clients this way.
For clients taking off clothes, I always emphasize about undressing to your comfort level. Some clients leave underwear on, while some clients take off everything. Of course, I will not be in the room when this happens, and will be washing hands/getting ready for the massage. Before I leave the massage room, I'll either tell you to get under the sheet & blanket face up or face down (depending on what our goals for the massage are). You will always be 100% draped on the table, and I will only undrape the areas I'll be working on. At no time whatsoever will genitals be undraped. My goal is to make sure you are comfortable.
During the session, I emphasize on communication. Even though I am the professional, you are the boss. If there is something I am doing that you do not like (for example: too much pressure) please let me know. If you want me to spend more/less time in an area let me know. I enjoy educating my clients, so I'll explain if I need to work in areas of the body you are not used to (such as abdominals). If you are acting inappropriate during our session, I will stop the massage and expect full payment.
At the end of our session, I'll leave the room while you get dressed. When I come back, I'll assess how you are feeling, and see what progress we made. I'll suggest stretches & exercises for areas that may need it. If you came to see me for chronic pain, I'll recommend a follow-up appointment for either later in the week, or following week. You can pay by cash, check, debit/credit cards. I never expect tips since I'm a healthcare provider, but I tell all my clients that if they liked the massage, let their friends & family know.
I think that pretty much covers what to expect when you come in for a massage. If you have any questions you can contact me by phone or e-mail HERE. Would you like to set up an appointment? You can do that online HERE. Hope to see you soon!