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What to Expect from Your Massage Session

            Even if you’re not new to massage, trying out a new therapist is always a little nerve wracking.  So, here’s a little something I put together to help clients understand a little bit about how I work.
            As with most massage therapist, you’ll begin by filling out a health form.  The questions on the form are pretty basic.  I limit the questions to just things about your health I need to be aware of to work safely and effectively.  Some people have confusion about why this information is necessary for a massage.  First and foremost, it is necessary for your safety.  For instance, if a client has diabetes and has impaired circulation it would be important for a massage therapist to be aware of this.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that the client can’t have a massage, but the therapist may need to tailor the pressure of the massage to avoid causing tissue damage.  I have worked with clients with diabetes in the past that developed peripheral neuropathy as a consequence of the diabetes.  This means they have difficulty sensing touch, usually in the lower legs and feet.  They have still been able to receive massage, but I exercise extreme caution when I’m massaging the lower extremities so I don't cause tissue damage.  This is just an example of why the health form is necessary.
            After you’ve filled out the health form and we’ve reviewed it together, I’ll ask you some questions about what you’d like out of your session.  You may have a specific issue you’d like extra attention to (like the shoulders and mid-back from sitting all day at a computer) or maybe you just want to relax and let go of some stress.  At any rate, this is your time and your money, and the session should be exactly what you want and need.
            After we have come to an agreement about your session, I’ll show you to the room and leave you to get comfortable on the table while I step out and get washed up.  How much (or how little) clothing you remove is completely up to you and your level of comfort with undressing.  Clothing that you choose to leave on shows me your comfortable boundaries.  For instance, if you choose to leave your underclothing on then I’ll know to forego working on your gluteal muscles. 
            There are some specific values that I have for a massage session that are absolute:
·      The amount of time you schedule for a massage is the amount of time you actually spend on the table.  Filling out forms and chit chatting about the session are not part of this, therefore, a one-hour massage is 60 minutes of massage.
·      I schedule enough time in between clients so we are never rushed and I never run behind schedule.
·      I limit the number of massages I do in a day—my last client of the day receives the same quality massage as my first client.
·      My linens are always fresh, sanitized and professionally cleaned.
·      I am prompt.  I always arrive well ahead of our scheduled appointment and am ready and prepared when you come for your massage.
·      I never cancel or reschedule an appointment for convenience sake.  I honor my commitments.  I only reschedule in the event that I am actually sick.
·      I don’t work sick.  There’s nothing worse than a therapist hovering over you coughing, sniffing and sneezing.
·      My phone is always turned off during massage sessions.  You always have my full and complete attention to every detail of your massage experience.
·      Conversation is limited.  This is your place and time to relax.  I may ask for feedback on the massage periodically, but for the most part, I respect your intent to be quiet and peaceful.
·      Each client is appropriately and modestly draped with a cover sheet throughout the session.
At the conclusion of the session I’ll generally ask for feedback on your experience to ensure we have met our goals for the session.  This is also when you pay for your session and of course every client receives a complementary bottle of water.
My way of doing business, of crafting a massage session has evolved over time from both my experience as a therapist, but also as a consumer of massage myself.  I know what a good massage experience feels like, what a bad massage experience feels like and what GREAT massage experience feels like…and I strive to give my clients a GREAT massage experience each and every time.
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