What is the first appointment like?
I will begin by asking general health questions. This will enable me to provide you with a massage unique to your needs. You will be given privacy to prepare yourself for the massage. For a full body massage most clients undress completely though you may choose not to. You will relax on a padded table under a sheet and blanket. During the massage, only the area being worked on will be uncovered. I typically begin a massage session with relatively gentle pressure to calm the nervous system and begin releasing superficial tension. Gradually I work deeper to address specific areas.
What should I do during a massage?
Make yourself comfortable. If I need to adjust your position, I will either move you (i.e. lift your arm) or tell you what is needed. Otherwise change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable. Many people just close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. The desire to sigh or to take a deep breath is a sign that you are relaxing. It's your massage, so do whatever feels natural to you. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.
How long is a session?
An hour is a common session length. This gives time for a deeply relaxing full body massage or more in-depth work on a particular area (i.e. back, neck and shoulders). A half-hour can be an excellent introduction to massage therapy with plenty of time for work on a specific problem area or the entire upper or lower body. An hour and a half to two hours is enough time to address the whole body, with special attention to any problem area.
How will a massage feel?
Massage on healthy tissue feels good. The normal response is to slow down and breathe deeply. In fact, deep natural breaths can actually help you relax. The saying "no pain, no gain" is not true for massage therapy. The most effective and deepest massage works with the body's natural responses, not against them. Massaging in the area of an injury however, may cause some discomfort, which usually lessens after a few minutes.
What should I expect afterwards?
Massage therapy can be profoundly relaxing, affecting all your body's systems. After a session, most people feel rejuvenated. Many experience freedom from aches and pains that have built up from tension of repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling very serene, people often experience an increase in energy that can last several days. Sometimes you may not feel dramatic results right away. Watch for changes over the following days, such as pain relief, increase mobility, or reduced stress.
This type of health care is best used as a maintenance system. The effects of your massage session can be increased with simple stretches, many of which I can teach upon request. The best results from massage are maintained when implemented on a regular basis. It is important to remember we are solely responsible for our own health care. My role as massage therapist, is as a facilitator in your wellness process.