How to Prepare for Your Massage
Getting the most out of your massage requires one major factor: you have to feel relaxed. At my practice, I want clients to experience the full benefits of bodywork, and that means feeling comfortable with themselves and with me. So, here are a few things you can do to prepare for your session that will maximize your comfort and minimize any embarrassment.
The day of your massage, just get to a hygiene level you’re comfortable with. Don’t worry about un-polished toenails or un-shaved legs. Lots of massage recipients benefit from having a warm shower before their session, but that’s not a requirement.
If you have an open wound or anything similar, it’s best to cover it with a sanitary bandage and make note of it on the intake form I give you when you arrive. If you have a non-communicable skin disorder (for example: acne, psoriasis, or eczema), that’s another thing to note on your intake form so I can better accomodate you and prevent any discomfort. If you have a communicable skin disorder or open sores, talk to your doctor before scheduling a massage appointment. You need to be cleared with them before you come see me. Other than these basic things, there is nothing you should worry about. Each of my clients has a unique body with particular needs, so remember that as you prepare for your appointment.
Eating & Drinking
It’s best not to eat a heavy meal before receiving a massage, as massage often stimulates your digestion. You want to be comfortable throughout your session rather than preparing to jump off of the table! However, you certainly don’t have to fast the day of your massage either. I recommend eating lightly that day, having a snack before you come in, and drinking plenty of water both before and after your session. It’s also best to avoid dehydrating things like alcohol and caffeine before your massage, as massage can make you thirsty on its own. If you can’t survive without your caffeine fix, I’d recommend trying a cup of lightly-caffeinated tea – green or oolong teas are great choices.
When dressing for a massage, think of what you’ll want to slip into afterwords. Rather than wearing tight-fitting clothing and uncomfortable shoes, I recommend loose-fitting, cozy clothes that won’t disrupt your feelings of relaxation. At the very least, it’s good to bring alternative footwear if you have to spend the time before your session wearing tight shoes or high heels. Wearing heels can offset your balance, creating more tension for your newly-relaxed muscles, so I suggest relatively flat and supportive shoes to keep your muscles relaxed for as long as possible. You’ll also be dressing down to your level of comfort during the massage, so if you’d prefer to wear a bra and underwear during your session, make sure they’re breathable and comfortable. The rule for massage is just to think comfort.
When You Arrive
It’s always best to arrive about 10 minutes early for your massage. This ensures you have enough time to fill out an intake form and discuss any questions or concerns with me. When filling out your intake form, answer all questions to the best of your knowledge. The most important things for me to know are: what medications you’re taking (if any), what your allergies are, and anything relevant to your medical history. It’s a good practice to just be honest. Trust between a therapist and a client helps both get the most out of the session. And don’t be afraid to speak up about any fears or concerns you might have. I’m always open to answering questions or explaining what I’m doing.
After you’ve filled out your form and we’ve discussed what you want out of your session, I’ll leave you to get undressed to your comfort level and instruct you what position to lay in. Once you’re ready for me to come back, say so, and the session can begin! If you want to learn more about what the actual session will be like, please visit my “What to Expect During Your Session” page.