Humble Hands Massage

'Helping the body to heal the soul'

First Massage Session

What to Expect from Your First Massage

How is a chair massage different from a table massage?

Some people prefer a chair massage as their first massage experience. Chair massage uses a special chair-like platform on which a client kneels comfortably while the upper body is fully supported. Chair massage is different from the more traditional table massage in that chair massage is generally shorter in duration (fifteen minutes or so), is performed without oils or lotion on a fully clothed client, and includes mainly the neck, shoulders, and upper back.   

The section below describes a typical table massage session, though some information will also apply to a chair massage session.

What happens when I arrive for my first massage?

When you arrive at Humble Hands Massage, your massage therapist will greet you and bring you to the treatment room.   You will be asked to fill out an intake form, which is where you will record your medical history and any physical conditions your massage therapist should be made aware of.   Your massage therapist will review the intake form with you, and together you will determine the goals of the massage session. These goals could include anything from focused deep-tissue massage as prescribed by your doctor, to stress relief and a heightened sense of well-being.

Where will my massage session take place?

Your massage session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room.  Soft music may be played to help you relax.  You may also ask for the room to be silent. You will lie on a padded table especially designed for your comfort. The table will have sheets and a blanket for warmth, and an extra blanket is available at your request.

Who will perform the massage?

Your session will be conducted by a professional massage therapist who has received at least 1,000 hours of formal training and is licensed by NYS.  Although no two massages are exactly alike, you may request a certain technique or modality.

Must I be completely undressed?

Most massage techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear.  You should undress to your level of comfort. A space is available in the room to store your clothes and other belongings.  You will be properly draped during the entire session.

Will the massage therapist be present when I disrobe?

Your therapist will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet. After a few minutes he or she will knock on the door to ask if you are ready before entering the room.

Will I be covered during the session?

You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable.  Only the area being worked on will be exposed. Please notify your therapist if there are any areas you would not like worked on before the massage session.

What parts of my body will be massaged?

You and your massage therapist will discuss the desired outcome of your session.  This will determine which parts of your body require massage.  A typical full-body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders.  You will NOT be touched on or near your genitals (male or female) or breasts (female).

What will the massage feel like?

It depends on the techniques used.  Many massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which is often a baseline technique.  In a general full-body massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension.  As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension or pain.  Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin.  The oil also helps hydrate your skin.  You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken.  Massage is  most effective when your body is not resisting.

Are there different kinds of massage and bodywork?

There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic  strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more.  Ask your massage therapist about the methods he or she uses.

How long will the session last?

The average full-body massage session lasts approximately one hour.  A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial, more focused massage session, such as neck and shoulders, or just the back, or legs and feet.  Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation.  Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session.

What should I do during the massage session?

Make yourself comfortable, relax, and enjoy! Your massage therapist will either gently move you or tell you what is needed (such as lifting your arm) throughout the session.  Many people just close their eyes and completely relax.  Most massage therapists like to talk about what they do, so feel free to ask your therapist questions about massage and bodywork in general or about the particular technique you are receiving.

How does the massage session conclude?

After the session is completed, your massage therapist will give you water to drink , then  she will leave the room so you can get dressed.  

How will I feel after the massage session?

Most people feel very relaxed.  Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension, injury, or repetitive activity.  After an initial period of feeling "slowed down", people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days.  Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your session.

- Adapted from
Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals
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