What to expect for your first massage

Being someone that is around it every day, it just occurred to me that perhaps a good number of you are heading to the spa for your first-ever massage. It could be that you just received one of our gift certificates, and frankly...it makes you a little anxious heading into the unknown. You’ve heard great things, but you’ve got questions. So, for those of you who are professional massage newbies, here's how the experience will go down:

First, the receptionist will introduce you to your therapist and they’ll escort you to a small therapy room.  The therapist will leave so you can slip out of your clothes and get on the table. You’ll be given a chance to disrobe and this is often the most disconcerting element of the whole massage. How bare do you go? It’s really simple. You’ll strip down to just your undies. Ladies will want to take off your bra—it'll get in the way of the back massage and who can relax with underwire poking you anyway? Don’t worry..your therapist has been thoroughly instructed to maintain your privacy and modesty.  There will be a blanket, sheet, or a towel for you slip under for privacy. And unless the therapist tells you otherwise, you usually start stomach-side-down.

After you're settled, the therapist will slip back in and begin the heavenly process of making your muscles relax. If you want the pressure harder or softer, just ask—our therapists genuinely care about your level of comfort and are more than happy to accommodate your preferences. Some folks LOVE deep tissue massage and even feel that if the massage isn’t pretty intense...they’re not getting their money’s worth. Whether it’s your first massage or your hundredth, this is YOUR massage; have it YOUR way. If you’re like me, you may have ticklish feet...let your therapist know. You don’t have to endure anything you don’t like. 

From there, he or she will guide you—just try to release all the tension in your body and allow the therapist to manipulate your muscles. Usually at some point you'll flip over, and he or she will tell you (in hushed tones) when it's time. 

When it's done, your therapist will let you know and step out so you can put your clothes back on. When you get home, you can shower to rinse off the oils used in your massage, but it's not necessary if you'd rather not.

Finally, you'll head out to the receptionist area and pay. Oh, and as far as tipping goes, there's sometimes concern here. I've seen some people suggest 10 percent, while others go as high as 20. If you don't feel strongly either way, I say split the difference and go with 15 percent.

Oh, and don't be surprised if you're a little sore the next day—since massages bring oxygen to not-often-used helper muscles, sometimes those little areas get sore. Drink plenty of water to flush out the toxins that can be byproducts of muscular stretching (like after a workout) and you’ll be back to better-than-normal more quickly.  Keep in mind that sometimes areas where you have knotted muscles will be a little sensitive for a little while.

I hope this resolves your questions so that you can thoroughly enjoy your first massage. We hope to see you back soon and often!

bill
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Massage Center is an Associated Bodywork and Massage Professional Member
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