Feeling awkward about your first massage? Why? Have you heard stories of therapists digging their elbows in deep, leaving clients too sore to move? Some who think they know what's best but don't actually listen or pay close attention to how your body responds?
One client who has chronic migraines told me before a massage, "I'll kill you if you give me a headache." It was the slowest and most cautious massage I've given, and the client loved it! If you're considering your first massage, consider these tips. Take a look at the policies page to learn more.
Truthfully tell the massage therapist when something feels uncomfortable - pressure, massage techniques, temperature, face cradle, etc. Though I tend to be intuitive, I can't read minds. It's better to ask for something different rather than lie there in discomfort. Don't want to use the face cradle at all? We can work around that.
I practice active listening, without judgment, to better understand you and your needs and to create a strong therapeutic relationship. On the topic of judgment, I don't care if you haven't shaved today, if you're overweight or your feet smell (if you'd like, I can start with a warm towel peppermint foot wrap). If you have a communicable disease, I do expect you to tell me.
You'll benefit the most by relaxing fully into the present moment. Let thoughts pass without ruminating on them and notice what you're feeling in your body. Breathe fully and deeply, and imagine any tension dissipating with your exhale.
Anytime I move you around, whether it's for secure draping, to get to a different area or for a Phenomenal Touch technique like "neck drool," give your weight to me and try not to help. One of the goals of massage is to release tension - the more like a rag-doll you are, the easier that will be. Again, if anything hurts or feels uncomfortable, do tell. I know it can more irritating than helpful to be told, "just relax!" so I'll do my best to help you drop into a Zen state without that useless statement.
The style of massage I do most often - a blend of Swedish, deep tissue orthopedic and Phenomenal Touch - involves direct contact with the skin. I leave the room for you to undress in private to your level of comfort, and get under the sheets fully covered. I modestly uncover one area at a time to work on. If you need specific work on your glutes, it helps to remove your underwear, but it isn't necessary. If you prefer to be fully clothed, wear something that's comfortable and easy to move in, like athletic wear.
Intuitive energy healer, massage therapist and somatic coach in Asheville, NC, bringing you insight and inspiration on healing and conscious living. Formerly in Boulder, CO.