At your first massage therapy session, the practitioner will ask you about any symptoms you may have (like low back pain) and will also ask questions about your medical history.
The practitioner may also initiate a discussion about what you expect to achieve from the massage session.
Make sure it is a good time for you to have a message. Reschedule your visit if have a fever, skin irritations (such as poison ivy or sunburn), or if you are trying to stabilize your medication (because massage can affect the dosage needed).
In the days before your massage, drink plenty of water.
Do not eat just before your message.
Give yourself enough time to arrive on time and relaxed. If you are rushing and arrive stressed, it will take longer to get into a relaxed state.
The massage therapist will review your health history and ask questions. Because massage can affect multiple body systems, such as the cardiovascular and nervous systems, be honest with the massage therapist about your health. You should also let the therapist know about any pharmaceutical drugs or botanical medicines you are taking because massage can enhance or reduce the effect of pharmaceutical drugs, such as blood pressure medication. Knowing your history allows a therapist to determine if there are any reasons you should avoid massage or a particular technique.
The massage therapist will ask you questions to better design a session that meets your needs and goals within the time allotted. Let the therapist know what areas of your body you would like worked on, if there are any areas to avoid, and if you have any techniques that you would like to use or avoid. If you are concerned about undressing, discuss it with the therapist, who should be able to offer you some options. Don’t be afraid to discuss any apprehensions or concerns. All information you give is confidential.
The therapist will outline what will happen in the session and then leave the room so you can undress to your comfort level.
When you are ready, lie down on the massage table and cover yourself with the sheet or other draping on the table. The therapist will knock before re-entering.
Make sure you are comfortable and let the therapist know if you are not. Tell the therapist if you are cold, want to be covered, don’t want an area of your body touched, don’t like the music, or are experiencing discomfort with the technique or how it is being applied. Remember, you are in charge, and can ask for changes or stop the session at any time.
Be as open to the process as you can.
Relax and try let your thoughts go. One way to do this is to focus on how the touch or technique feels.
Remember to breathe, as this helps you relax. Sometimes people hold their breath when a sensitive area is massaged, but it is best to breathe through it.
In the same way, tightening your muscles during the massage is counterproductive. If you can’t seem to relax your muscles, let your massage therapist know. They may need to adjust the massage technique.