Everything you ever wanted to know about massage but were afraid to ask…
What happens on my first visit?
You will be required you to fill out a form detailing your health history and personal details. We will then ascertain what you want to achieve in your massage, be it relaxation, some deep tissue work or a focused remedial work on a specific area. I will ask some general questions to establish if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. Occasionally I may perform physical assessments and testing to evaluate your condition and to see if you have any presenting complaints.
It is important to list all health concerns and medications so I can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so I am aware if I need to use a different oil during the session.
You should undress to the level you are comfortable. For a full body massage, most get undressed to their briefs. However, if you will be more comfortable during the session you may leave your bra or shorts on. I will work around the clothes you left on as best as I can. If removing all your clothes makes you too nervous and unable to relax, then you are not getting the optimal benefit from the session.
I will give you privacy to undress and cover with a towel on the table.
If you prefer to stay fully clothed, then I recommend you explore the many other types of massage that are performed clothed.
Do I have to cover myself with a sheet or towel?
This is known as draping and is required by my industry associations code of ethics. All qualified, association therapists should insist on draping. Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape, I will only uncover the part of your body being worked on.
The genitals (women and men) and breasts (women) will not be massaged or uncovered. If I am going to work on a woman’s abdomen, a second towel or sheet will be used to cover the breasts so the main sheet or towel can be moved to expose the abdomen.
What do I do during a massage treatment?
Make yourself comfortable. If I need you to adjust your position, I will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, let me know if you need to change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable.
Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It’s up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.
Will the massage hurt?
This depends on the type of massage and the depth of the strokes. A light, relaxing massage that doesn’t go very deep into the muscles, shouldn’t hurt. With that being said, there is a ‘feels good’ hurt and an ‘ouch, stop it’ hurt. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the ‘feels good’ hurt range.
Pain can be an indication that the muscle is possibly injured or inflamed and pressure should be adjusted. Also, pain can cause you to tighten up and negate the relaxing effects of the massage. The most effective and deepest massage always works with your body’s natural response, not against it.
I will always work within your own pain threshold, regardless of the type of massage you are having.
How often should I have massage?
“Some is better than none.”
What does that mean? Well, it varies from person to person. If you are just looking for some occasional relaxation, then a session every 3-6 weeks may be fine for you.
However, if you are looking to address a specific condition, then it is recommended to go more frequently at first and then slowly taper down to a maintenance schedule. I always discuss a treatment plan with you when you first come. If you have something specific to treat, I always recommend having a second to see the rate of your recovery and then recommend further treatment as may be required.
Can I talk during the massage?
Sure, if you’d like to talk go right ahead. The important thing to remember is that this treatment is all about you relaxing and enjoying the experience. I prefer to discourage talking hoping that you will relax, to aid the healing process, and help you feel better.
In many instances, people may feel more relaxed starting off talking, and as the massage progresses, enter quiet states of relaxation.
The important issue here is that there are times when you need to speak up. If you are ever uncomfortable; with the pressure of massage, position you are lying in, area i am massaging or temperature of the room, you should let me know immediately. If something is not working for you – speak up! It’s your massage!
Do I have to listen to your music?
No. While many therapists play slower, quieter, ‘new age’ type music, you can choose to have different music or no music at all. Studies have shown that music at under 60 beats-per-minute has a calming, relaxing effect on the body and therefore can enhance your experience.
However, while this may be true, any music you like to listen to while you relax can be listened to while you get a massage. If it relaxes you and you enjoy it at home, why wouldn’t it do the same during your treatment? I use Spotify most of the time, so please just let me know.
How will I feel after my visit?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience a significant decrease or freedom from long-term aches and pains. Many feel a little slowed down for a short period and then notice an increase of energy, heightened awareness and increased productivity which can last for days.
If you received a deep massage, you may be slightly sore the next day – much like a good workout at the gym. Sometimes a hot shower, or a soak in the tub can ease this soreness. Sometimes deep work around the head and neck muscles can make you feel light-headed and may induce a headache. This usually eases after an hour or so.
After your session you should increase your water intake a bit. Just a glass or two more than normal is usually fine. This helps keep your body’s tissues hydrated and healthy.
How many sessions will I need?
Honestly, its hard to say. Every person is unique and every condition is unique to each person. It may take one session or it may take several. We will be able to talk more specifically about this after your first session when I have had a chance to evaluate your body’s tissues.
When should I not get a massage?
In my opinion there are few conditions which would prevent you from enjoying massage. You should not book a massage if you have a fever, cold/flu, or contagious skin infection. That’s it.
There are many other conditions in which I will need to adapt my techniques (i.e. arthritis, osteoporosis, herniated disc) or avoid an area completely (i.e. cuts or burns). With some conditions it is a good idea to get an approval from your physician before you receive massage (cancer, certain heart conditions, pregnancy). This doesn’t mean you can’t get massage. But its always better to err on the side of caution. Please advise me when booking if you have any condition you’re not sure about.
What if I get an erection during my massage?
Sometimes it happens. Yet, most men avoid massage for fear this will happen to them. Or, they get a massage but are unable to relax because of this fear. But there is no reason to be embarrassed.
Sometimes men get an erection during a non-sexual, therapeutic, full body massage. Touch administered to any part of the body can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can result in a partial or complete erection.
An educated, professional massage therapist understands this and it will not be an issue for them. If you are still concerned, I recommend wearing more fitted underwear (briefs or boxer briefs) which provide more support than traditional boxers.
Note: If the therapist feels that the session has turned sexual for the client, male or female, they may stop the session to clarify the client’s intent, and may decide to end the session immediately.
I’m not sure I’m comfortable with a stranger touching me
It is not uncommon for first-time clients to be apprehensive with the personal nature of massage therapy. Most clients lose this apprehension within the first few minutes of treatment. Massage therapists are trained professionals who respect your feelings and go out of their way to allow you to feel comfortable.
Are you eligible for private health insurance rebates?
Yes. Most health care extras cover include remedial massage therapy and some even have online billing. I do not have HICAPS for on the spot rebates however.
Do you offer massage gift certificates?
Yes I do! A therapeutic massage is a great way to show someone how much you care. For details please ask.