Have you ever wondered what to expect from a massage? Whether you’re looking to get a massage for relaxation, stress relief, or pain management, there are certain things you can expect from the experience. If it’s your first time getting a massage, or you’re considering trying one, read on for a comprehensive guide to set your expectations and make the most of your massage.
What Goes on During a Massage?
There are a couple of things that will happen during a professional massage that are normal and nothing to worry about. To give you a look through of what goes on during a typical session, here are some of the things you can expect:
Before a Massage Therapy Session
When you book a massage therapy session, the first thing you’re going to do is to fill out a health intake form. This is to ensure that the massage therapists know about any medical conditions or allergies that you have. So it’s a good thing to come a few minutes early so you can ensure that you’re going to receive the best and safest treatment possible.
Once you’ve filled out the paperwork, the massage therapist will then perform a simple posture analysis to determine exactly where your pain is coming from. It’s also the time when you tell your therapist about the pain, discomfort, or any other areas of concern you may have. They will also ask if there are any areas that you would like them to avoid or focus on during the massage. You don’t have to feel shy or embarrassed about anything because the therapist is there to help you feel better, not to judge you. A great professional massage therapist would aim to develop a therapeutic alliance with you – meaning they want to work with you to help you feel better.
During a Massage Therapy Session
After the posture analysis and consultation is complete, you will be escorted to the massage room and asked to lie down on the massage table. You will be given a chance to undress and get comfortable under the sheets. Once you’re ready, the therapist will knock before entering the room to begin your massage.
Now it’s time for the massage to begin! The therapist will begin by gently massaging your back, neck, and shoulders with a light oil or lotion. This is to help relax your muscles and prepare them for the deeper pressure to come. As they work, they will also check in with you to make sure that the pressure is comfortable.
The therapist will massage the areas that were identified as being problematic. As they work, they will also check in with you to make sure that the pressure is comfortable and that you’re not experiencing any pain. The therapist will start the massage with light strokes to begin the relaxation process. As the therapy session progresses, they may use different massage techniques such as deep tissue, trigger point, or Swedish massage. The type of massage and pressure used will be based on your specific needs and what you’ve discussed with the massage therapist.
It’s also good to note that full draping is required by law, so you will always be properly covered during the session. Only the area being worked on will be exposed at any given time. If some things are bothering you like the music, temperature, pressure, or anything else, don’t hesitate to tell your massage therapist. They’ll be happy to make adjustments to ensure that you’re as comfortable as possible.
After a Massage Therapy Session
Once the massage is finished, your therapist will give you some time to rest and rehydrate so you can get up and get dressed. They will also provide you with detailed, personalized aftercare instructions on how to prolong the massage’s effects and manage your pain outside the treatment area. To get the most out of the benefits, it’s best to adhere to following aftercare guidelines.
It’s not uncommon to feel a little bit sore afterwards, especially if it’s your first massage session or if the therapist worked on some deep knots. This is normal and should go away within a day or two. If you’re feeling the pain that lasts longer than that or is more intense than what you would consider to be normal, be sure to follow up with your therapist or doctor.
A massage can be a great way to relax, relieve pain, and reduce stress. But it’s important to know what to expect before you book a session. Some people think that a massage is just someone rubbing your back for an hour, but there’s actually a lot more to it than that. Not all massages are the same, and the type of massage you receive will depend on your specific needs. So now that you know a little bit more about what expectations you should set, go out and book your massage appointment already! Your body will thank you.