You’ve booked your first massage. Now what? Sometimes, the fear of the unknown stops us from trying new things, so I’ll run through what you can expect.

A massage appointment usually begins with filling out some forms. They might seem kind of nosy but the questions allow us to treat you safely. Previous surgeries, even if years ago, can affect your musculature and might be causing some of the pain you are currently feeling. Knowing that you take heart medication or blood pressure medication might change the way we perform the massage and be on the lookout for certain side effects to the treatment. Sometimes we will need to send you to your doctor to rule out another health concern before continuing massage treatment.

Your therapist will be assessing you from the moment you walk in the door. Do you walk with a limp? Are you visibly in pain? Do you have difficulty sitting or standing? What is your posture like while you talk with us? Depending on your concern there might be additional testing, such as checking the range of motion in a limb, or asking questions based on your health history.

A new requirement of our profession is obtaining signed consent for certain body parts. Your therapist will discuss which areas they will be working on and together you will determine if signing for consent is required. If not, you’re ready for the treatment.

The therapist will leave the room to let you get on the table. You will undress based on your comfort level and the areas to be treated. You may or may not be keeping your pants on, for example, or if you are not comfortable removing your bra, that is okay, too. Whether you are on your stomach or back, you will be covered with a sheet and usually a blanket. When working on each area, that area will be uncovered and recovered when moving on to the next area. If you require pillows to be more comfortable, please ask. Some therapists use pillows under the abdomen, some don’t.

You might be ticklish in some areas, fall asleep and snore, chat through the whole thing, or not say a word. We’ve seen it all and aren’t fazed by any of it. This is your time. We want you to enjoy it.