Here’s the lowdown on what to expect when you get your massage at our center, including before, during and after your session. We also discuss the use of heat and ice and other considerations regarding your massage experience. If you are having any discomfort, you may want to read our Pain, Therapeutic Massage and Deep Tissue Massage pages.
The day of your massage, you may find it helpful to eat lightly: more fruit and vegetables than heavy foods like meats, heavy gravies, cheesy pastas or milk products. Also, we recommend that you do not drink alcoholic beverages before massage because that can put a strain on your liver.
Please do not apply perfume, cologne, or products with strong smells before your massage. Those smells can be very strong in the confines of a massage room.
Ladies – we would rather have you make a leisurely trip to our center, so please don’t rush to shave your legs. We don’t care. We probably didn’t shave our legs before your massage either.
If this is your first visit with us, try to arrive a few minutes early because we have a short intake form for you to complete. If we are busy finishing another massage, you may find a clipboard with a short intake form ready for you on the counter. The form will ask you to list medications, past/present illnesses, surgeries, injuries, purpose for your visit with us, emergency contact information and will ask a few healthstyle questions to help your therapist understand you better.
If you have scheduled a massage, but become sick, please call to reschedule. See Should I have a massage if I am sick? on the FAQ page.
Before you get undressed, your therapist will discuss with you the reason for your visit. Be sure to be specific about areas of tightness or soreness. If old injuries are bothering you, please mention them because your therapist may be able to help with the discomfort.
Your therapist will give you instructions about undressing and whether to lie face up, face down or on your side. You will be given time to undress after the therapist leaves the room. You may leave your underwear on if you wish. Ladies are asked to remove the bra so it is easy to work on your back. You will lie under a sheet and will be covered by it during your massage. Your therapist will uncover only the area being worked – back, legs, arms . . . private areas will be covered at all times. Some people prefer to keep their clothes on during massage. That is alright with us – just let us know.
Please let your therapist know if the temperature is not right, you need a bigger or smaller pillow, if you don’t like the music that is playing – whatever. This is your time and we want you to be comfortable.
It is up to you whether or not you want to talk during your massage. It is okay with us if you want to talk throughout your massage – or want to relax and be quiet. Some people fall asleep and even snore – that is okay also.
Feel free to ask any questions or give feedback about what the therapist is doing. Your therapist may periodically ask you questions about pressure or areas of pain or tightness. Please let the therapist know if any part of the massage is uncomfortable, whether it be a sore spot, too much pressure or you don’t like having a particular area worked (i.e., tell your therapist if your feet are ticklish or you can’t stand to have your face touched).
Your therapist will tell you when your massage is over and will leave the room so you can get dressed. Take your time getting off the table, particularly if you are taking medications that may cause a drop in blood pressure. You may want to sit on the side of the massage table before standing up. If you check your cell phone before leaving the massage room, we prefer you return calls after you check out of the reception area. There may be other clients waiting for their massage, so please don’t use their time to catch up on calls.
When you return to the reception area, your therapist may have some specific follow-up instructions or suggested exercises. If you want to make another appointment, you may do it at this time. We accept checks or cash; sorry, no credit or debit cards.
We have water in the reception area. For years, therapists have been telling people to drink lots of water after massage to clear out toxins and prevent soreness. Some recent research indicates that drinking water after massage may do neither. You may be thirsty after your massage and we want water to be available for you, so enjoy!
Once in a while, because the soreness has been worked out of the muscles and they have returned to better tone, there may be some residual tenderness the day after your massage. This too, is normal, and will pass. There is a difference between soreness and pain. If you experience pain, please call us so we can make some recommendations for you.
Caffeine, artificial sweeteners, the lack of certain minerals, or side effects of certain medicines can sometimes cause muscle soreness, cramping or spasms. If you are already experiencing these difficulties, you may want to consider eliminating caffeine and artificial sweetners. Talk to your physician, pharmacist, or appropriate health care professional about the possibility of mineral deficiency or side effects of medications.
Use of Heat and Ice
For tight, sore muscles, moist heat (ie, microwave pack or wet compresses) may be helpful. Never use heat longer than 15 minutes at a time. If heat feels too hot, it probably is – allow it to cool. Moist heat allows muscles to relax. Remember that heat causes tissues to swell, so if you are already experiencing swelling, heat may not be your best choice.
Many people don’t care to use ice, but it can be effective in reducing swelling and relieving pain after trauma. If pain is not due to a fracture or arthritis, you might try putting ice in a plastic bag, then wrapping the bag in a cloth (such as a wash cloth) for 5-10 minutes. Ice is especially beneficial for sinus soreness when used gently around the eye sockets and under the cheekbones for a couple of minutes, followed by a warm, steamy washcloth.
With both ice and heat, it is important not to injure the body by too much exposure to either, so check your skin periodically. Heat and ice should be used with caution in young children, elderly persons, and those with diabetes or other medical conditions that require physician supervision.
Other Considerations for Massage
You may find that you are either very relaxed and ready for a rest after your massage or very energized and ready for activity. Respect what your body needs!!! Massage will often give you more “life” and you may experience greater clarity in your thinking once your stress level is lowered.
If you come for therapy for a painful condition and feel better after massage, remember to slowly resume activities that were too painful before your visit.
Your therapist may have given you some stretches or exercises to help treat or prevent painful or sore muscles. Only YOU can DO those exercises!
Gentle exercise, such as T’ai Chi, Qigong, or Yoga, will prolong the benefits of your massage, as well as add to your flexibility and energy level.
If you have any serious medical problems, please check with your physician.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 219-879-5722.