My Practice

What to Expect for Your First Massage

A massage is intended to be a calm and relaxing experience. But if it’s your first massage, you may feel a little trepidation. Don’t let that hold you back. With a little information about what to expect, you’ll walk into your appointment feeling like a confident pro!

Expect Communication

Expect a lot of questions at your first appointment. I’ll need to know a little bit about your health history and what your goals are for that session. It’s very helpful when the digital intake is completed before the appointment. It means we spend less time chatting. Your clear and honest answers will help perform the best massage possible for you.

We’ll talk about why you’re coming in for a massage and what your goals are for the session. Are you having pain? Do you need to relax?

I’ll walk you through the process so you’ll know what to expect. We’ll decide what to prioritize and how you should lay on the table (face up or face down, or on your side) before the massage. I’ll also explain how and when you should give feedback on things such has pressure and technique, and we’ll go over informed consent (which you can read more about here).

Expect to Dress or Undress to Your Level of Comfort

What does that mean exactly? Many people worry about having to be undressed for their massage.

Most massage techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, what you wear is entirely up to you. Simply put: you do what’s most comfortable for you. Whatever clothing you leave on acts as a boundary. I can work on top of clothing, but I will never go underneath. Many people are confused about the underwear situation. If you are comfortable doing so, it is appropriate to remove all clothing, including underwear.

I’ll leave the room so you may undress, get on the massage table (it’s super-cozy), and get comfortable under the draping sheet & blanket.

Movies and TV shows always show massage clients naked on a table with just a tiny towel for draping. That’s not what real massage draping looks like! I use sheets that cover your whole body. You’ll stay covered throughout the massage; I’ll only undrape the part of your body that I am massaging right then.

Expect More Communication

When I come back into the room, I’ll help you get comfortable with pillows or bolsters. Don’t be afraid to adjust and fidget as needed during the massage to stay cozy.

It’s great if you can let your body relax and sink into the table. If I need to move your arms or legs, or head, I’ll do the work! You’ll probably try to help me, but I’ll gently remind you.

It’s really important for you to tell me if any massage techniques I use cause pain. Pain is not okay. There may be a certain level of discomfort and ‘good ache’ if we’re working on a problem area. It’s important that you tell me about that, too, so we can tailor the massage to be most effective without causing injury.

I’ll check in with you as we go, but please speak up if you become too warm or too cool, if you are not comfortable on the table, or need another pillow, or if you just hate the music!

I’ll tell you when the massage is over and leave the room so you can slowly get up and dressed.

Expect Some Final Instructions

You should expect to feel mellow and relaxed after your massage. We’ll talk about how you feel and I may show you some self-care stretches or share some tips to keep you feeling great between appointments. We can also talk about how frequently you may want to get massage to keep on feeling great.

If we addressed pain issues, you may immediately feel a reduction in pain, or it may take a day or two before you feel that relief.

You can make the most of your first massage by knowing what to expect and asking all the questions you like so you can feel cozy before, during and after the massage. See you at your first massage!