Never had a massage before? Well, good on you for being brave and trying something new! It’s important to know that the term “massage therapy” encompasses a wide range of treatment styles and approaches – so the first thing to do is decide what kind of massage you are looking for.
Do a bit of research, ask around for recommendations and feel free to try out different therapists, to see what works best for you.
Once you’ve made that appointment – here’s what you can expect:
On your first visit, you’ll be asked to fill in a new client form which provides your therapist with some basic contact details and health history information. To get the most out of you session, you’ll be asked about your health, lifestyle, and your goals for the treatment.
It’s important to remember that it’s your massage – so be clear about why you’ve come and what you’re hoping to get out of it!
Typically, you’ll undress a part of your body (or wear loose-fitted clothing) and will be treated lying on a massage table. This depends on the area being treated and your comfort level, and can be modified to suit your needs.
Depending on preference, massage balm is generally used to reduce friction on the skin – alert your therapist if you might be allergic to any ingredients.
The pressure applied can be strong and deep, or gentle and shallow depending on the problem and the muscles which are being targeted. With deep tissue treatments, it’s normal to feel sore for up to 72 hours afterwards.
At all times, you should feel comfortable and safe, so it’s important to give your therapist feedback and speak up if the pressure, or any other part of the experience, is not right for you.
After your massage, try to stay well hydrated (water is best!), and don’t plan anything too strenuous for the rest of the day. Give your muscles a really good chance to rest and digest all that good work you’ve just paid for!
A well-trained remedial massage therapist should have an excellent understanding of anatomy and physiology, and be able to offer you advice regarding home-care and corrective exercises.
Ask plenty of questions – it’s your opportunity to learn as much as you can about what’s going on with your body!