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What to Expect at Your First Massage

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/22/2006 | Self Improvement
Are you a little nervous about having a massage? You're not alone. Many people are concerned about what happens during a massage. Questions like, Will I have to undress? Do I have to talk? What if I feel uncomfortable? and other questions are common. Here are some answers and suggestions for making your first massage a wonderful experience:

WHAT WILL I BE ASKED?

The massage therapist is likely to ask you about your health; what problems you are looking to treat as well as any conditions that may make certain techniques unsuitable or even unsafe.

Along with health related questions you will also be asked about your preference for comfort. The massage should not make you feel over exposed or uncomfortable. Your massage therapist may also ask you about your preference for scented oils or other options.

While questioning you about your health the massage therapist should also explain the procedure he or she will be using. They should ask you about your sensitivity to determine how deep the massage should be. If you are treating a sore area you may find the massage slightly uncomfortable but otherwise you should not feel pain or discomfort during the massage.

WILL I HAVE TO UNDRESS?

Exposing the area of your body that is being treated will help the therapist to work more efficiently, however, it is not mandatory to undress. While it is preferable to drape the areas not requiring exposure with a sheet it is possible for the therapist to work on you while you are fully dressed. If you do not feel comfortable without clothing be sure to opt for clothing that is not tight or restrictive as it will interfere with the treatment.

Your massage therapist will give you privacy to undress and provide you sheet or towel to drape over you, both for warmth and privacy. Only the areas worked on will be exposed.

WHAT WILL I HAVE TO DO?

For a typical Swedish massage you will be asked to lie down on a special massage table. This padded table may also have various bolsters to make your position more comfortable. The therapist may ask you to move into a new position for better accessibility to the treated area.

If you are uncomfortable at any time you should tell your massage therapist so you can shift your position or use bolsters to make your position more comfortable.

WHAT WILL THE MASSAGE THERAPIST DO?

Depending on where the massage is being performed and the amount of time available the therapist may dim the lights, play soft music and even light candles.

Oil is often applied to reduce the friction of the massage and you may be asked for your preference of scent. The massage therapist should help you remove the oil before putting your clothes back on so they do not stain.

If you prefer not to talk during your massage you should mention that to the therapist. They will still need to ask you to shift from time to time or ask if the procedure is comfortable but you do not have to converse if you prefer not to.

A good massage therapist should make you feel comfortable enough to ask any questions you have about the procedure and respect your privacy and level of comfort while treating you. Ask for recommendations and meet with the therapist to discuss their methods before booking your appointment.