What to Expect During Your First Massage Session.
Updated: Jan 4
Booking your first massage session can feel a bit nerve-wracking, especially when you don't know what to expect. I have had a lot of first-timers on my massage table, and I have heard many common questions and concerns about what to expect and what to wear. These concerns are so common, that I have decided to write a blog for those clients to feel empowered and at ease. After all, your massage session should be a relaxing, comfortable, and empowering experience! So what should you expect during your first massage session? Well, I can't speak for every Massage Therapist, but I can explain what to expect during your first session with me. So where do you begin? Book your first session!
What Massage is Right for Me?
At Hideaway Retreat, the primary sessions are priced for time, not for the modality. What is a modality? I would compare a modality to massage as being the same as a genre is to music. Different massage techniques have different benefits, and different effects psychologically. If you want to see a Massage Therapist due to stress, you may want to choose to book RELAX ME. If you are coming for pain relief, you may want to try to book RESTORE ME. If you want the best of both worlds, I would recommend booking RENEW ME.
Many first-timers to the massage industry assume that massage is all about pampering themselves. It is an unfortunate misconception because massage therapy has so many wellness benefits as well. I have had many elderly clients who are convinced that their youthful skin and joint health is due to CONSISTENT Massage Therapy being incorporated into their healthy lifestyle. I had one client who told me that she was the only person in her friend circle that hasn't had a knee or joint replacement! I could go on and on about the benefits and importance of massage, but that's not the intent of this blog. It is just something I encourage my first-time clients to research.
If you want your first experience to focus more on pampering yourself, that is still a great place to start! I would look into the RELAX ME and add enhancements, or look into the Specialty Massages that I offer.
Booking your first appointment can feel a bit overwhelming when you don't know what to expect during your session. So keep in mind that we can discuss what is the best modality for you at your appointment. So book for the amount of time that you'd like, and don't stress too much about the details just yet! The biggest regret people have when booking a massage is assuming that 50 minutes is a long time! Most people wish they would have booked a longer session. I think an 80 minute is a happy medium; However, some people feel more comfortable booking a shorter session their first time - but don't say I didn't warn you when you're sad that it is over so soon!
After you book your appointment, you will be emailed a confirmation with the date and time, and an intake form that needs to be completed before your appointment. An intake form is just to gather general health information so that the Massage Therapist can make sure the treatment is safe, and in your best interest. This form is a legal requirement and must be completed and signed before a session can begin.
What Should I wear?
If you are coming in for a Thai Table, or a Thai Mat massage session, It is best to wear loose-fitted, gym, or yoga clothing. These massages do not use lubricants such as lotions and oils, and stretches are incorporated. You'd feel more comfortable in something that will keep you covered, but also something that would not decrease your range of motion. If you forget to wear loose-fitted clothing to this session, I can provide a clean pair of fisherman pants to wear.
If you are coming in for any other massage or bodywork session, you can wear anything since you will be undressing for the massage.
It is important to note that just because you will be undressing, you will be fully covered during the massage with a sheet and blanket. I will go into more detail about this shortly.
What Can I Expect When I Arrive?
When you arrive at your appointment, you will have a chance to use the restroom before the session begins. Once we get into the session room, we will have a consultation regarding your goals, health history, and any possible contraindications found on your intake form, if applicable. This is a complimentary consultation, and not part of your massage session time. During this process, I will ease any additional concerns, and answer any lingering questions you may have. You may also opt-out of massage on any part of your body. I will also demonstrate with draping once more.
After the consultation, I will step out of the session room so that you can undress to your comfort level. Some clients feel comfortable in underwear; some prefer to be in the nude. Some clients prefer a bra; some can't wait to take it off. The main objective is that you feel comfortable, relaxed, and safe in your environment. Your breast/chest and bottom will never be exposed and is not something that can be requested to have massaged! I will provide therapeutic techniques to hips and glute areas if given permission. This is a professional massage and not an exotic one. Your abdomen will also never be exposed or massaged unless specifically requested. This applies to both men and women.
After you undress to your comfort level, you will lay on the massage table UNDER the blanket and top sheet. I will make sure you have plenty of time to undress and settle in before I re-enter the room to start your massage. As an added layer of modesty, I will crack the door and ask if you are ready before walking in.
What Can I Expect During the Massage?
Once you are on the table, I will come in and the session will begin. It's important to note that you will be fully draped the entire time, aside from the area I am working on. For example, if I am massaging your back, the sheet and blanket will be folded near the top of your hip above the glutes to expose your back for the massage. Once I am finished with massaging an area, I will cover it with the sheet and blanket, and move to the next area to be massaged.
[ Just to reiterate, areas that are NEVER exposed during a massage are breast/chest and front and back private areas. The abdomen also remains draped during the entire session, unless abdomen work is specifically requested. ]
After the massage session is over, I will announce that I am stepping out of the room and you will get dressed. Once you are finished dressing, you will crack the door open as an indicator that I can walk back into the room. I will come in with a bottle of water, and we will go over the session for feedback and for payment if you chose to not pre-pay for your session.
I hope this article was beneficial to you as a prospected client. I will be posting an article about the benefits of incorporating massage therapy into your lifestyle, its benefits, as well as more in-depth articles relating to the different modalities of Massage Therapy.