What to expect if it's your first massage.
How much of the scheduled time will I receive massage?
Included in the scheduled time is a short history for an initial visit, or an updated history for subsequent visits. If you are receiving manual therapy treatment for an injuy, muscle restriction or imbalance/dysfunction, there is range of motion evaluation prior to the therapy, massage, trigger point therapy, application of hot or cold therapies, as well as stretching and relaxation techniques. Instruction in homecare activities including stretches you can do at home.
Where will my massage take place?
Your massage takes place in a private room with only you and your therapist present. There is adequate room to secure your belongings. There is soft lighting, and music, as well as a slight therapeutic aroma. Any of these can be altered to suit your taste. You will lie on a soft, comfortable, (heated in winter) table with sheets and a light blanket.
What will I wear during the massage? What areas are massaged?
Will depend on the type of massage you are receiving and your personal preference. If you are receiving a therapeutic massage, the areas that are being treated will need to be exposed down to the skin for best results. In addition, muscles that surround that area or contribute to the movement of joints in the affected area will need to be exposed. If you are receiving work to your shoulders and neck, you can leave on clothes from the waist down. You are free to choose how much clothing you remove so you are comfortable throughout the massage.
If you are receiving a relaxation massage, you undress to your level of comfort, realizing that any area that is left clothed, will not receive any massage At no time during your massage will your modesty be compromised and never more than one area exposed at a time. Appropriate draping is always used throughout the massage. Most people undress completely, but the choice is always yours.
You will be asked your preference regarding having your head, feet and abdomen massaged. Remember, your therapist does this everyday and makes no judgement about an individuals choices or the condition of the above mentioned.
What kind of lubrication is used?
I primarily use an oil blend that I have personally formulated. It is a combination of sesame, coconut and sunflower oil, either unscented or with a slight scent of lavender. I have a commercial lotion available and am developing a basic lotion, scented and non for those who prefer lotion.
For therapeutic work, I have developed a series of oils that work to relax tight muscles and one to reduce inflammation. I created these in varying strengths and are used based on the needs of the individual.
I use these oils for two reasons. First, it makes it a lot more comfortable for the client if the oils can get to the muscle first and exert thier relaxing effects on the muscles. Secondly, it lets me work faster, which means results are faster for the client. If the muscle are relaxed, I don't have to spend 10 massage minutes warming up the muscles getting them to loosen up a bit before the "real" work can begin.
The carrier or base oils I use are all food grade oils, personally blended, made fresh about every 10 days. Each carrier oil used in the blend have their own qualities. Some because they absorb rapidly and are hydrating, and have a non-greasy feeling. There are many, many oils to choose from, with just as many benefits. Care is given to ensure that all oils used are free from foul odours and rancidity.
What will the massage feel like?
Again, depending on the type of massage being done. Relaxation massage involves, long, sweeping strokes with a slight to moderate amount of pressure, some gentle stretching of the extremeties and or joints.
Therapeutic massage involves deeper strokes, trigger point therapy, and a more resistive stretching technique. The pressure will always be within your comfort level. This massage requires active participation from the individual and is not a "zone out" type of massage as is relaxation massage.
Will I be sore after the massage?
You could, depending on many factors.
- The type of massage you received, not as likely with relaxation massage.
- If you have had any type of therapeutic massage previously, you are usually less sore.
- How stubborn your condition is, or how long it's been present. Weeks vs. months/years.
- How well hydrated your muscles are prior to the massage.
Increasing your water intake before and after a massage keeps soreness in check. I always tell my clients, its similar to performing therapeutic massage on a raisin or a grape, which one do you think will feel it more? A well hydrated muscle "bounces back" faster than a raisin muscle. They just kind of feel and stay "smushed'.
If it's been years, or, never, since you had a massage, it's likely your body hasn't experienced this kind of treatment before, its new and unfamiliar so little "aches" may occur.
Soreness is always short term and should resolve within 24-48 hours. It is similar to the feeling you have after a moderate work out at the gym. If soreness occurs, you can always apply ice to the affected area.