Your Questions, Answered
What will my first session be like?
I am required to have you fill out a health history form. Afterward I will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. I 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 that I can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so that I am aware and need to use a different oil or lotion during the session.
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. I will work around the clothes you left on as best as I 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.
I will give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table.
Do I have to cover myself with a sheet or towel?
This is known as draping and in West Virginia, it's the law. Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape, I will only uncover the part of your body being worked on.
The genitals (women and men) and breasts (women) will not be uncovered. If I need to work on a woman's abdomen, a second towel or sheet will be used to cover the breasts so the main sheet or towel can be moved to expose the abdomen.
What do I do during a massage treatment?
Make yourself comfortable. If need you to adjust your position, I 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.
Do I have to listen to whale calls or flutes during my massage?
No. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) While many therapists play slower, quieter, 'new age' type music, you can choose to have different music or no music at all. Studies have shown that music at under 60 beats-per-minute has a calming, relaxing effect on the body and therefore can enhance your experience.
However, while this may be true, any music you like to listen to while you relax can be listened to while you get a massage. If it relaxes you and you enjoy it at home, why wouldn't it do the same during your treatment? Ask your therapist what music he/she has to offer or if it is ok to bring your own from home.
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.
What if I get an erection during my massage?
Sometimes it happens. Yet, most men avoid massage for fear this will happen to them. Or, they get a massage but are unable to relax because of this fear. But there is no reason to be embarrassed. Sometimes men get an erection during a non-sexual, therapeutic, full body massage. Touch administered to any part of the body can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which can result in a partial or complete erection. As an educated, professional massage therapist I understand this and it will not be an issue. If you are still concerned, I recommend wearing more fitted underwear (briefs or boxer briefs) which provide more support than traditional boxers.
Note: If I feel that the session has turned sexual for the client, male or female, I may stop the session to clarify the client's intent, and may decide to end the session.