While a good massage was once the purview of relaxation and self-care it is increasingly recognised as a viable form of treatment for a wide range of conditions. Anxiety, stress, and pain can all be effectively managed through massage therapy, while rehabilitation from sports injuries can be complemented and swiftened.
Increased recognition naturally leads to increased interest in treatment, and many are unsure what to expect from a massage therapy session as a new patient. There’s plenty to consider including what to wear, your choice of oils and lotions, if you have existing injuries or conditions, and most importantly, consent.
Here’s all you need to know to demystify the process.
Getting To Know You
When you arrive for a new patient massage therapy appointment your therapist is likely to take some time to collect basic information from you, if it’s not already on file. This will include any medical conditions or injuries they need to be aware of, but may also include discussing medications you’re taking, whether you recently ate, if you’ve previously had a massage, and various other factors.
In particular, your therapist will work with you to understand what you’re hoping to achieve from your massage therapy session. You may simply want to relax and unwind, to de-stress, and that’s no problem at all. But you may also have specific areas or issues you want to work on, or conditions or injuries you’re hoping to improve through massage therapy.
At this point you should feel free to tell your therapist what you’re comfortable with, and if there are any areas you do not give consent to treat. You may also ask any questions you might have at this point, and you shouldn’t be nervous to do so. Your therapist is there to put you at ease, so ask away!
As lotions and oils are often used during a massage, you’ll also be asked about your preferences and any allergies or sensitivities you may have to specific oils or scents. If you feel there’s anything else your therapist should know, that they haven’t asked about, be sure to speak up and tell them.
What to Wear During Your Appointment
Once you’ve settled on a treatment plan your massage therapist will let you know the extent to which you should undress. It’s a common misconception that you’ll have to fully undress for your massage. Your therapist can – if you prefer – treat you while you’re fully clothed. The extent to which you undress is entirely up to you.
Your massage therapist will also advise you on how to position yourself on the massage table, and leave the room so you can undress, cover up, and get comfortable.
Lying on your stomach with your face in the headrest is a common starting position. You might also be asked to lie face-up. Either way you will be under a draping. If lying down is difficult or uncomfortable ask for the massage to be completed with you in a seated position.
Once your massage therapy session comes to an end, your therapist will let you know and leave the room so you can dress in private. Don’t rush to get up, take your time, as it’s common to experience changes in blood pressure when you’ve been lying flat; don’t sit up too quickly.
If your treatment was geared towards addressing a specific issue your therapist may recommend additional sessions, exercises, or stretches to maximise treatment benefits. It’s always a good idea to hydrate following a massage.
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of what to expect from a new patient massage therapy appointment. You can book yours now using our online system, and we look forward to seeing you at our clinic in Northwich, Cheshire.