Congrats! You’ve finally booked that very first massage. You’re probably looking forward to some relaxing you time.
If you’ve never paid a professional to rub you down on a table before, you may have some questions. It’s natural to be a little nervous for your first time getting a massage.
Keep reading so you know what to expect before you hit the spa for your first time getting a massage.
The Benefits of Massage
Massage therapy has a multitude of health benefits. The Mayo Clinic lists many benefits of massage therapy which include:
- Increased circulation and blood flow
- Reduced stress and tension
- Reduced muscle pain
- Decreased anxiety
- Lowered heart rate and blood pressure
- Improved immune function
- Decreased myofascial pain
- Help with digestive disorders
Massages can have an effect on some medications. If you’re in a testing phase with any medication, it may be best to schedule your massage after dosing has been determined. Always ask your doctor or primary care provider if a massage is safe for you before you schedule one.
If possible, drink extra water in the days leading up to your massage. You’ll need to hydrate extra afterward, too.
Be careful not to get too waterlogged in the hour leading up to your massage, especially if it’s 90 minutes. If you do need to take a potty break, tell your therapist and they will accommodate.
Try not to eat in the 30 minutes leading up to your massage. This will keep your tummy comfortable. Being too full or hungry may distract you or make you uncomfortable.
Your Comfort Level Is Priority
Once you arrive at your massage destination, you may be offered a robe or simply shown into the massage room. Always undress according to your comfort level.
Maybe you’re not comfortable going totally commando for your first time getting a massage. Discuss your comfort level with your massage therapist and they will work around it.
Most people remove all clothing, some keep only underwear on. If you’re getting a Swedish massage, bra straps will be in the way.
Talk About It
Your massage therapist will come in and ask you a few questions before you begin. It’s very important to disclose any underlying health conditions, medications, pregnancy, and/or previous injuries.
A professional massage therapist is likely trained in different types of massage. By getting an honest health history, they can select the type of massage that is best suited for you.
Your massage therapist may also ask about personal preferences. Do you like deep pressure, are you ticklish (in case they will be working your feet). This is the perfect time to tell your massage therapist if there are places you don’t want to be touched.
Make sure to mention any allergies to food and/or medication. The massage therapist will take this information and determine which oils or products (if any) they will use.
After you discuss your health history and preferences, the massage therapist will leave the room. This is your time to get on the table and snuggle under those warm, cozy blankets! Most massages start with you lying face down.
After knocking, the massage therapist will enter. Always keep in mind, you are in charge. If there’s something you don’t like about the music, temperature, or environment, speak up.
Kindly tell your massage therapist if you are uncomfortable in any way. Your first time getting a massage should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
You may also talk to your massage therapist during the massage, but you don’t have to. Massage therapists will probably respond but don’t expect them to start a conversation.
Some types of massages may require your massage therapist to interact with you more. Most traditional massages, however, don’t require you to chat unless you want to.
After applying oil, your massage therapist will begin the massage. They will use proper draping throughout the massage. Draping means they are only exposing the part of your body they are massaging.
This practice is a boundary set in place to keep you warm and maintain your modesty. Massage therapists may work your glute (tushy) muscles one at a time while massaging your legs and hamstrings. If this makes you uncomfortable, just say the word.
Massage therapists should never expose your genitals or women’s breasts. Draping laws are set in place to protect you and your massage therapist. They are a great boundary to keep your experience positive and comfortable.
After your massage is finished, your massage therapist will step out of the room so you can get dressed. If you’re at a spa or larger facility, you’ll likely take care of your bill at the front desk.
Most places allow clients to tip their massage therapists. If you’d like to give a tip, anywhere from 10% to 20% is acceptable. If you’re in a medical facility (like a physical therapy office) tipping is usually not necessary.
If you’re able to relax somewhere for an extra 20 min or longer take advantage of that time. Don’t rush back into work or errands if you can help it. Take a shower, drink plenty of water, and let your body rest.
It is common for some people to experience mild soreness for a day or two following a massage. This is especially true if you’ve had a deep tissue back massage.
Enjoy Your First Time Getting a Massage
Your first time getting a massage should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Try to focus on breathing and keep your mind in the present.
Remember that you are in charge of your massage experience. Great communication with your massage therapist is the key to a relaxing and successful massage experience.
If you found this info helpful, be sure to check out more articles on beauty, travel, and other fun topics.
Adobe Stock royalty-free image #106777013, ‘Woman having massage in the spa salon’ uploaded by Valua Vitaly, standard license purchased from https://stock.adobe.com/images/download/106777013; file retrieved on March 26th, 2019. License details available at https://stock.adobe.com/license-terms – image is licensed under the Adobe Stock Standard License.