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What to Expect in a Massage

Massage therapy involves manipulating soft body tissues in your muscles, tendons, and skin by a trained professional with his hands, fists, and fingertips. While most people get a massage for relaxation, other reasons to seek massage therapy may include:

  • Relief for anxiety and stress.
  • To decrease pain and muscle soreness.
  • To relieve headaches and fibromyalgia.
  • A way to increase self esteem.

When choosing a masseuse, look for proper credentials, a pleasant and comfortable setting, and someone who is highly recommended. Here are some things to expect when you go for your first massage:

  1. Your therapist will interview you, asking your reasons for getting a massage, your medical history, your current physical condition, lifestyle, stressors, and your expectations for your massage therapy.
  2. You're left in private to undress and lie on a comfortable massage table, with plenty of blankets and towels available in the room with which to drape yourself at your comfort level.
  3. Respecting your modesty, your masseuse will never uncover parts of your body without first asking your permission.
  4. Your masseuse will knead and massage parts of your body discussed in your interview, for a predetermined length of time.
  5. The therapist will leave the room at the end of your massage, allowing you to dress in private, at your leisure.
  6. When you enter the reception room, your therapist or a receptionist will offer you something to drink, such as water or tea, to help flush waste products from the body.
  7. It is quite acceptable to tip your masseuse upon leaving.

A good massage therapist will always conduct an interview after your massage session to discuss findings and recommendations for future visits. He will help you to realize that the benefits of massage therapy are cumulative, and will help you schedule subsequent appointments to fit your schedule. Additionally, he may offer products for your purchase for home use in between massages, such as oils, lotions, aromatherapy shower products, and heated wraps. He will instruct you in their uses.

You should allow some quiet time after your massage to reflect on your mental and physical status. You may feel relaxed and renewed, but you may also feel clear and invigorated. Introspection is recommended for at least a few hours after a massage.

While massage therapy may help you feel more relaxed and stress-free, it is merely a tool for managing your health, but should never replace medical treatment and exercise.

 

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