Massage Preparedness pt.3: The Appointment

You’ve got some referrals, seen reviews and have chosen a massage therapist or establishment you want to visit. Scheduling an appointment is as easy as giving a call or sending an email. As you are setting up your appointment you can choose your date, time, massage modality, length of massage (usually ranging from 30 min-90 min), for most massage establishments you can choose a male or a female therapist to work with, and of course letting the therapist or establishment know of any special considerations for your appointment, i.e. physical limitations, health condition, or even if a minor is to receive a treatment. The big day is here what do you do now? Keep in mind this is an appointment, so be punctual. Life happens and that is understandable but, please communicate with your massage therapist/establishment if there is a problem with your arrival time for the appointment. Sadly sometimes being late is unavoidable and re-scheduling happens. Being on time for your appointment is very helpful as you may need to fill out an intake form or take part in a welcoming ritual to the establishment. Overall being on time is the first step to an enjoyable experience. Heading back to the massage room is usually the time when a therapist will ask basic questions like, “Do you currently or in the past have had any injuries or surgeries?” or “Are there any health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure that I need to be aware of?” or “Are there any physical limitations I should be aware of?”  These questions are to provide a snap shot of your health in order to make sure the therapist does not hurt you and can give a massage tailored to your needs and make a your experience better. In a basic massage room there will be a massage table with clean linens, some times soothing music playing, oils/lotions, and relaxing lighting. The different massage modalities may require the client to dress down to their comfort level in order to work with oil/lotion, or stay completely dressed as techniques can be applied with little or no oil/lotion for the session. When you are ready for your massage different techniques will be applied at different pressures ranging from light to heavy. Make sure you communicate with your therapist about pressure, areas of concern, areas to avoid, whether or not you are ticklish, and other concerns that can be as simple as room temperature. Communication will be the key to working on areas that need attention. Relaxation, stress relief, mobility gains achieved. After the session therapists will suggest you to drink water. There are many beliefs surrounding water after a massage but a little to wake you up from  your massage is always inviting. There may be recommendations of self-care or even product suggestions that your massage therapist might give. Remember if you aren’t sure do some research for yourself. Upon checking out the question of gratuity comes up.  A few easy ways to gauge the amount of gratuity to give would be, Did the massage therapist listen to you? Did they work on the areas of concern? Was the pressure adequate? Did you enjoy your experience? Then just like gratuity in a restaurant ranging from 15-20% is appropriate but you be the judge. After the massage session you may want to consider booking another appointment. One of the biggest compliments is a returning client and their referrals. Also don’t forget your social media, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Yelp, and so on, reviews can be helpful it may be how you found your new ally in massage. Photo by oliver_symens_de

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