Congratulations on scheduling your first massage therapy session!
Massage is a beautiful way to take care of your body and mind. If you’re feeling a little nervous about what to expect for your first massage session, don’t worry. We’ll do everything possible to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the process. This article outlines everything you need to know to make your first massage a positive experience.
What is massage therapy?
Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues in the body to improve a person’s health and well-being. Massage is scientifically proven to promote relaxation, stress reduction, pain relief, and injury recovery.
At Simply Attuned, your massage therapist uses various techniques such as Swedish massage, therapeutic (deep tissue), lymphatic, prenatal, and clinical massage to achieve different goals. Depending on your therapist, additional add-on services are available, including cupping, dry brushing, hot stones, advanced pain management with CBD, and more.
What to expect BEFORE your first session
When you schedule your first session with Simply Attuned, you will receive a Client Intake Form via email. Complete this form before your first session as it asks for important information about your medical history, including any injuries or conditions you are experiencing or have experienced in the past, family history, and any medications you are taking.
This information is necessary for a couple of reasons. First, some conditions may be contraindications for massage therapy. Your massage therapist will review your intake form prior to your session and reach out with any concerns. Secondly, the health history information you provide helps your massage therapist customize the session to your specific needs.
What to expect DURING your first massage therapy session
Simply Attuned is located on the lower level of the Old Post Office Building in Neenah at 307 S. Commercial Street, Suite 013. Our office is at the base of the stairs on the Commercial Street side of the building.
Your therapist will greet you when you arrive and discuss your goals for the session. They will also answer any questions and then show you the private massage room. Inside the room is an area where you can place your belongings during the massage.
Next, your massage therapist will leave the room so you can undress to your comfort level. You may choose to undress completely for your massage, but many choose to leave underwear on or they wear loose-fitting clothing throughout the session. The choice is yours. Once ready, get onto the massage table under the sheet and blanket provided.
Tip: If you don’t want to undress completely, that is fine. However, if you are wearing a bra, your massage therapist can provide a more relaxing and fluid massage if you remove it for the session.
Once you are on the massage table and covered, your massage therapist will return to the room and begin the massage. At Simply Attuned, we use washable massage creams or lotions rather than oils, which can be difficult to remove from clothing. Massage lotions are different from skin lotions as they take longer to soak into the skin and help your therapist’s hands glide smoothly over your skin. If you remain clothed for your session, your therapist will appropriately modify the use of massage lotion where necessary.
The massage will start with long, smooth strokes to warm up your muscles and help you relax. The pressure of the massage will vary depending on your preference and the goals of the massage. If you feel uncomfortable or the pressure is too intense, don’t hesitate to speak up and let your massage therapist know. We want you to be comfortable.
During the massage, your massage therapist will use a variety of techniques, such as kneading, rolling, and static pressure to help your muscles relax. They may also use their elbows or forearms to apply pressure where needed. Don’t worry if your joints crack or pop during the massage. This is normal and indicates that your muscles are releasing tension and allowing your joints to return to their natural position.
During the massage, your massage therapist will check in with you to ensure the pressure and techniques are comfortable. You can also communicate if you need more or less pressure or if there is a specific area you would like us to focus on more.
What to expect AFTER the massage
After the massage, the massage therapist will leave the room so you can get dressed. Take your time getting up and off the massage table, as you may feel a little lightheaded or dizzy. Drinking plenty of water after your massage is also important to help flush out any toxins released during the massage. Find complimentary water and snacks in the waiting room following your massage.
While we do our best to work with your muscles rather than forcing them to respond to the therapy, you may feel a little sore the next day if you receive a therapeutic massage to release tension or active trigger points–especially if you’ve been holding the tension for a long time. However, mild soreness is normal as your body adjusts and the inflammation that had been surrounding the tense muscles diminishes. Any soreness you feel should pass within a day or two. After the soreness passes, many customers report feeling better than they’ve felt in a long time.
How to make the most of your massage
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience.
- Drink plenty of water: Starting the day before your session, it’s important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Doing so ensures you get the most out of your massage. Water helps our muscles to release tension and your body will respond much more easily to massage therapy if you are well hydrated.
- Arrive early: Plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early to give yourself time to talk with your therapist and get settled in. Rushing in at the last minute can increase stress and anxiety, detracting from the benefits of the massage.
- Communicate with your massage therapist: Speak up if you’re uncomfortable or the pressure is too intense. Let your therapist know if you need more or less pressure or want us to focus on a specific area. As therapists, we strive to ensure you have a positive experience, so don’t be afraid to speak up.
- Rest and relax: During your session, try to relax and let go of any stress or worries. If relaxation is your primary goal, try to avoid conversation and focus more on being present with your body. Massage therapy is a great way to reduce stress and promote relaxation, but it can be difficult to fully let go if you’re feeling anxious or worried. Try to focus on your breathing and the sensation of the massage therapist’s hands on your body. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your attention back to your body and the present moment.
- Be open to the experience: Massage therapy can be a transformative experience for many people, but it requires an open mind and a willingness to try something new. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of massage or techniques to find what works best for you.
- Take care of yourself before and after the massage: Massage therapy can have a cumulative effect on the body, but it’s important to take care of yourself between sessions. This may include stretching, staying hydrated, taking a few deep breaths, and getting enough rest.
Your first massage therapy session can be a wonderful experience that promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and improves your overall well-being. By knowing what to expect and following these tips, you can make the most of your first massage and set yourself up for a positive experience.
Remember to communicate with your massage therapist, focus on relaxing, and take care of yourself before and after the massage. With a little bit of preparation and an open mind, you’ll be able to reap the many benefits of massage therapy.