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What happens during a massage?

 

When you first arrive to my studio, you'll be asked to fill out a client questionnaire form. This will give me personal information about you that will guide me with the style of massage most appropriate for you. Don't hesitate to ask questions about anything which you're unsure, or any concerns you might have. If you're expecting something in particular from the massage, make sure you tell me. For example, if you've been having a lot of tightness in your right shoulder, and you'd like some extra attention given to it, tell me. If you prefer a lighter or deeper massage, make that preference known. I will discover your tight and sore areas during the massage, prioritize the time spent on these areas, and may do less work on areas that don't need as much attention.

 

Once you've finished with the intake, I will give you some privacy to get undressed and get on the massage table. A drape, either a sheet or towel, will be provided. Please lay on your stomach or on your back. If you're to start on your stomach, there will be a cushioned doughnut-shaped device at one end of the table. This is a face rest, and you should place your face in there. This allows you to be face down, and keep your shoulder and neck muscles relaxed. If you lay your head on the table and turn it to one side, the muscles in your neck and shoulders won't be in their relaxed state and won't be able to receive the best benefits of the massage.

 

There will also be a pillow on the table. This will be used for your ankles and knees. If you're lying face down, the pillow goes under your ankles, so you're not hyperextending your feet while lying that way for an extended period of time. If you're lying on your back, it goes under the knees to prevent any hyperextension of your knee joint.

 

Once you're undressed and under the drape, I will come back into the room. For the most part, your work is done, and all you have to do is relax and enjoy. I will undrape the section of the body that I will work on first, and apply oil to your skin. I will use a variety of strokes, some rubbing, kneading, vibration, percussion, whatever I think will work best for your muscles. Stretching, rocking, or pressure point work may all be added. If I give you directions for slow exhales, just follow along. If I stretch or rotate any joint, don't try to help. Just stay as relaxed and limp as you can and let me move that part of your body.

 

Every therapist has their own style of massage, strokes they like to use on different parts of the body, and prefer to work on different areas of the body in a particular order. One therapist may start you on your stomach and begin the massage with your back. Another may start you on your back and begin with your feet. So for a first visit with any massage therapist, don't be alarmed if their style and direction is different from another therapist you've seen.

 

When I finish with one area of the body, I will put the drape back over that part, and undrape the next section to be massaged. At some point, you may be asked to roll over under the drape, and I will continue with the other side of the body. When the massage is over, you'll be left in private to get dressed again. If a towel was used for a drape, you can wipe off any excess oil with it. I will return, and this is a good time to tell me how you feel, if you have any concerns, settle the bill, and make your next appointment.

 

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