Last week we talked about choosing your massage therapist. Today it’s about what to expect upon your first and subsequent visits. When you arrive for your massage (check to see if your therapist wants you there earlier than your appointment time. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me if you arrive early because I’ve got time before and after built-in (each company/therapist has their own preferences.) Be prepared to fill out an intake form. These are important because they provide information for us to make your session the best it can be. Honesty is the best policy. Don’t be embarrassed to disclose all medications or surgeries, we keep this information private. We go by the HIPAA act, and won’t go around discussing your business. There may be times we may want to discuss your issues with another professional, but we will get your permission to do so. This trust is the foundation of our relationship with you. If you don’t feel safe in our office, then you’re not going to get the best results with your massage. If you can’t trust, don’t go!
Your therapist will review your intake form with you and give you instructions before the massage starts. Do you need to go to the bathroom? Now’s the time. When you come back in, you can dress down to your level of comfort. What exactly does that mean? It means whatever is comfortable for you. Some people prefer to take everything off, versus other people that like to leave their underwear on. Also, depending on what type of work you’re getting (like shoulder work) you might be able to keep your pants on as well. Ask your therapist what she/he recommends if you’re unsure.
After undressing you will get on the table (facing up, or facing down with your face in the face cradle) and get under the sheet. Per NC law, you must be covered at all times. Don’t say you get too hot and you don’t want to wear anything, that will not fly. It’s a sheet or a sheet with a blanket, your coverage is to make you comfortable and for your protection.
Now enjoy your massage. Feel free to ask questions, give feedback to your therapist regarding pressure. Feel free to talk if you’d like, or be completely silent. It’s your choice. After your massage is over, your therapist will exit the room while you get dressed. She will discuss any findings that you need to be aware of and set up your next appointment. When all is done, you’ll pay for your massage.
Isn’t that easy? I’ll say it takes a bit of courage to walk in to get your massage. But be proud that you are being proactive in your healthcare. Know that you are worthy to have the hour or hour and a half just for your own self-care. It’s allowed and proven to benefit your everyday life.
Now, go book your massage!