FREQUENTLY ASKED MASSAGE THERAPY QUESTIONS
What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?
Your massage therapist may require you to fill out a health history form. Afterward, the therapist will begin by asking you general questions – what areas need attention, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition and to see if you have any presenting complaints.
It is important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.
What should I expect during my massage?
Your massage experience will depend primarily on the type of massage you choose. You can elect traditional massage for superficial muscle relaxation or deep tissue massage to target the muscles deep beneath the skin. Massages are usually available in durations of up to 90 minutes, although you can reap the benefits of massage in just 30 minutes or less.
Will I need to follow any special instructions following my massage?
Yes. Massage therapy performed at RTP Medical Massage helps loosen muscles by releasing toxins that are stored in them. These toxins need to be flushed out of your system in the hours following your massage, so it is recommended that you drink plenty of water once you complete your treatment.
Do I have to be completely undressed?
You should undress to the level you are comfortable. For a full body massage, most get completely undressed. However, if you will be more comfortable during the session if you leave your underwear on, that’s fine. The therapist will work around the clothes you left on as best as he/she can. If removing all your clothes makes you too nervous and unable to relax, then you are not getting the optimal benefit from the session.
Your massage therapist will give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table.
Do I have to cover myself with a sheet or towel?
Before you undress, your massage therapist will inform you of your choices to completely undress or stay partially dressed (in underwear). Once you are on the table under the drape, the therapist will only uncover the part of your body being worked on, and in compliance with North Carolina law.
What do I do during a massage treatment?
Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, she/he will either move you or will ask you to move what is needed. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable.
Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; others prefer to talk. It’s up to you. It is your massage, and whatever feels natural to you is the best way to relax. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.
How often should I get a massage?
An individual plan of care will be discussed with your therapist to determine the frequency of massage maintenance. Periods are usually 2-4 weeks.
Can I talk during my session?
Sure, if you’d like to talk go right ahead. The important thing to remember is that this treatment is all about you relaxing and enjoying the experience. Many therapists discourage talking in hopes that you will relax, let your mind float free and enter a state of massage bliss.
In many instances, people may feel more relaxed starting off talking, and as the massage progresses, enter quiet states of relaxation.
The important issue here is that there are times when you need to speak up. If the therapist is doing anything to make you uncomfortable, you should let her/him know immediately. Also, let him/her know if you get too warm or too cold, if the room is too bright, or if the pressure needs to be changed (lighter or deeper). If something is not working for you – speak up! It’s OK!
How will I feel after my massage treatment?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience a significant decrease or freedom from long-term aches and pains. Many feel a little slowed down for a short period and then notice an increase of energy, heightened awareness and increased productivity which can last for days.
If you received a deep massage, you may be slightly sore the next day – much like a good workout at the gym. Sometimes a hot shower, or a soak in the tub, can ease this soreness.
After your session, you should increase your water intake a bit. Just a glass or two more than normal is usually fine. This helps keep your body’s tissues hydrated and healthy.
When should I not get a massage?
In my opinion there are few conditions which would prevent you from enjoying massage. You should not book a massage if you have a fever, cold/flu, or contagious skin infection.
There are many other conditions in which your therapist may need to adapt his/her techniques (i.e. arthritis or osteoporosis) or avoid an area completely (i.e. cuts or burns). With some conditions it is a good idea to get an approval from your physician before you receive massage (cancer, certain heart conditions, pregnancy). This doesn’t mean you can’t get massage. But its always better to err on the side of caution.
Your therapist can advise you about your specific needs.