Allow an extra 30 minutes for your first session - so that the massage therapist can ask you general health questions. There are some health conditions that are not appropriate for massage.
Wear loose, comfortable clothes such as work out clothes. You may or may not need to undress, depending on the primary technique used by your therapist. Your massage therapist will give you privacy to undress and you will be covered except for the body area being worked on.
Prior to the massage, your therapist will discuss the use of a lubricant, light oil or lotion, which is good for your skin and absorbs well. The room will be warm, dim and quiet with soft music playing to set a relaxing mood.
How will it feel?
A massage on normal, healthy tissue feels good. Massaging in the area of an injury or chronic pain may at first cause some discomfort, but usually decreases within the first few minutes. Your massage therapist knows how to minimize pain. It is important that you tell your therapist if you feel any discomfort so he or she can make adjustments.
A variety of massage strokes; such as, petrissage or effleurage can assist in the muscle feeling warm, with less tightness and sometimes "feeling loose". Some individuals feel energized by massage. A massage therapist starts out using gentle but firm pressure, gradually preparing you for deeper touch.
What to expect after a massage
Most people feel very relaxed and calm. Take a moment to reorient yourself before getting up from the table. Your muscles may feel more flexible or "loose" as some clients refer to the feeling. Sometimes you may feel an increase in energy.
Occasionally, an individual may have soreness or tenderness over a specific muscle area if a person's muscles have been intensely tight. Drinking 1-2 glasses of water after a massage; and incorporating easy, simple stretches should relieve any temporary discomfort. Most individuals will have no spot tenderness.