Before the massage
First of all, make sure it is a good time for you to have a massage. Reschedule your visit if have a fever, skin irritations (such as poison ivy or sunburn), or if you are trying to stabilize your medication (because massage can affect the dosage needed).
Your first appointment begins with a health history. You may want to arrive five minutes early for your first visit to fill it out. A health history will ask about:
* Medical conditions
* prescription medications, vitamins and supplements
* Areas of concern
* Your level of pain or discomfort on good and bad days
* What helps reduce the pain and what makes it worse
* Contact information
The information you provide in your health history will help the massage therapist determine if there are any reasons you should avoid massage or a particular technique. Because massage can affect multiple body systems, such as the cardiovascular and nervous systems, be honest with the massage therapist about your health. Massage can also enhance or reduce the effect of pharmaceutical drugs and alcohol. All information you give is confidential.
The massage therapist will ask you questions to better design a treatment that meets your goals and preferences. Let the therapist know what areas of your body you would like worked on, if there are any areas to avoid, and if you know any techniques that you would like to use or avoid.
The therapist will outline what will happen in the session and then leave the room so you can undress to your comfort level. Many first time clients worry about having to get undressed. Most clients prefer to completely disrobe, while some will remain partially clothed. You are always securely covered throughout your massage treatment. Only the area of the body being treated is uncovered. When you are ready, lie down on the massage table and cover yourself with the top sheet. The therapist will knock and make sure you are ready before re-entering. Your comfort and security are very important.