This post lists some common questions that people ask before they go in for their first professional massage. These are from the AMTA’s (American Massage Therapy Association) website and I have made some additions in italics.
Do I need to remove all of my clothes? No. It’s your choice. Remove clothing to your level of comfort. (AMTA) If you are comfortable recieving a massage with your clothes off, the massage therapist will step out of the room while you take off your clothes and get under sheets to protect your modesty. The therapist will only uncover what they are working on.
Will wearing clothing affect the benefit? No. If you wear clothing during the massage, make sure the massage therapist can move the parts of your body you expect to be massaged through your clothes. Remember, chair massage is given without removing any clothes. (AMTA) Wearing clothing will prevent the massage therapist from using techniques with massage lotion or oil. You may also remove all but your underclothing.
Will it hurt? It shouldn’t. Give the massage therapist complete and accurate health information and let your massage therapist know your needs. (AMTA) A massage does not have to hurt to be beneficial. If we wanted to hurt you we would become dentist.
What should I do if I experience discomfort? During the massage session, tell your massage therapist if you have any discomfort, whether it is from the massage or from any distractions related to the environment, including amount of pressure, speed of movement, room temperature, music volume or lighting. (AMTA)
Do I need to talk? Some people like to talk during a massage session, while others remain silent. Sometimes talking can be a way of unburdening oneself or opening up. Sometimes being silent can be a way of concentrating or letting go of thoughts. (AMTA) Some therapist may ask questions during the massage regarding what you are feeling or more history about your body or pain.
What if I fall asleep? Some people do fall asleep. If you do, your massage therapist will wake you at the end of your session. Most people feel invigorated by massage. (AMTA)
Do I need to leave immediately when my massage is done? Take your time. Sit up slowly and drink plenty of water. (AMTA)
This is a pretty good depiction of a massage. If you still are unclear about what happens on a massage table ask a massage therapist, post a question in the comment section of this blog or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading, PJ Harris LMP http://www.pjharris.com/