At Great Bear Spa, we recognize that some of our newer clients might feel a little uncomfortable or apprehensive before their first massage, and we'll do our level best to alleviate these feelings as much as possible.
Feeling prepared and knowing what you're in for can go a long way in making you feel more comfortable with any first experience. To that end, we wanted to share with our first-timers what to expect during an initial massage therapy session.
While we perform a wide variety of massage therapy techniques, there are certain things you can expect to happen before, during, and after any first massage therapy session.
Before Your Massage
To start, arrive about 15 minutes before your appointment time so you can meet your therapist, get yourself oriented, and participate in the initial interview. Make sure it's a good time for you to have a massage; if you're sick, for instance with the flu or a skin irritation, it would be best to reschedule for a time when you feel better.
Arrive well hydrated – drinking enough water is a good idea at any time, and especially before a massage! Also, make sure you haven't eaten directly before your appointment.
One of the first things your therapist will do is sit down with you to conduct an initial interview. We'll ask you questions about your health history. Do you have any medical conditions? Are you taking any medication? What are your areas of concern? What is your pain or discomfort level?
Be honest – massage can affect various body systems, and we need to know if there are any areas or techniques we should avoid. Don't worry, all the information you give us is confidential. You will need to sign a privacy form and a consent and disclosure form before your session begins.
Once the initial interview is complete, and the forms are signed, your therapist will give you a breakdown of what procedures and techniques will be used during the session. Please free to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have.
The therapist will then leave you so that you can get undressed in privacy. Many people are uncomfortable with this part, but if it helps, the only areas that will be exposed during the massage are the ones the therapist will be working on.The rest of you will be covered by a sheet or a large towel.
During Your Massage
During your session, you'll lie on a massage table, covered by a sheet or towel. If you are uncomfortable, say so – we can adjust your position, turn up the heat, or turn down the music, for instance.
You may feel a little awkward or uncomfortable at first – that's normal. Try to focus on the feel of the massage, and try to keep your mind as clear as possible. Remember to breathe, even when a sensitive area is being worked on – don't hold your breath. Keep your muscles as loose and relaxed as you can.
After Your Massage
When your session is complete, the therapist will leave so you can get dressed. Take your time getting up off the massage table, especially if you're feeling a little light-headed, which is not uncommon.
Depending on the type of massage you have, your feelings after your session may vary. You might feel anything from serenity and relaxation to excitement and energy. You may feel relief from muscle tightness, but you may also feel sore from the pressure of the massage, especially if you don't get massages regularly. In these cases, it's important to get some rest before getting back to work or other daily responsibilities.
We hope that this overview of what to expect has helped to ease your anxieties about getting your first massage. At Great Bear Spa, it's important to us that all of our clients have comfortable and pleasant experiences in our clinic.