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Common Questions about Massage Therapy

During my 7 years of being a massage therapist, I have been asked the following questions on a regular basis. I thought this article would help to answer these questions for people who have not asked, but are curious.


What should I expect from my first treatment?

First and foremost, arrive about 10 minutes early to your appointment as you will be expected to fill out client history form and consent for massage therapy. The form gives your therapist information on your history to be able to treat you safely and efficiently. It is important you include allergies to any foods such as seeds and nuts because they are common ingredients that are found in lotions or oils. Upon reviewing your health history, your massage therapist will take you to the treatment room and discuss the treatment and assess the areas of concern. Feel free to ask questions at any time during the massage, or assessment process. Depending on the treatment plan, the therapist will ask you to undress to your level of comfort, with underwear on or off, it is up to the client and what you are comfortable with. There are many adjustments therapists can make to accommodate shy individuals, but less clothing typically provides a better treatment, as the massage therapist can gain better access to the tissue. During the massage, you will be in a set of sheets with a blanket on top. The therapist will only undrape the area he or she is working on at one time. At any time if you feel uncomfortable, let the therapist know and they can adjust the draping or try to make you feel more secure.

How much should a treatment hurt?

This is a question I am asked the most often and the answer depends on each person and their own pain tolerance. In my opinion, relaxation massages, should not any pain. During a therapeutic or deep tissue massage, pain is more common. This occurs, especially if the therapist is working on a specific injury trying to target deeper tissues and release adhesions or trigger points. I advise all of my clients that during the massage, pain should never get to be higher than a 5 or a 6 on a pain scale of 0 – 10, 10 being the worst pain. The discomfort should be enough that the client is able to breathe through the pain. It is important to let your therapist know if at any point the pressure is too much. That being said, deeper does not always mean better. Some people respond really well to deep treatments and other people’s bodies do not. This is why it is important to keep your therapist informed as to what you are feeling. If you are in more pain the next day after the massage, or have large bruising, chances are your body did not respond well to the deeper treatment. It is normal to feel some soreness for a 1-3 days following the treatment. In this case, drinking extra water and putting ice on the tender area are recommended.

What length of treatments do you offer?

The majority of therapists book a 60 minute appointment time. This appointment time includes assessments, and allows time for the client to change. A 60 minute appointment is recommended for a couple of injured areas, or a full body massage without any specific injuries. It is quite difficult to do a full body treatment in an hour if there are many injured areas to focus on. As a therapist, I really enjoy giving 90 minute treatments. It is the best option for a full body massage as it allows the therapist adequate time to work on the injured areas and spend some time on the compensating structures of the body. Our body functions as a whole, so it is important to pay attention to all areas regardless of pain. We also offer 45 minute appointments, as well as 30 minute appointments. 30 minute massage appointments are used if the client has one specific area to treat, such as neck, feet or forearms. A 30 minute appointment could be recommended for those who have not had a massage before and want to give it a try.

Should I talk?

This is completely up to the client. Silent massages may be beneficial for people who are wanting a more relaxation massage. It is important to know that your therapist will not be offended if you do not want to chat. The therapist will still check in with you in regards to pressure but if you would like to have a silent massage, just let the massage therapist know. Some clients feel more comfortable talking especially if they are getting a deeper tissue treatment as it helps to distract from the pain.

If you have any other questions please give our clinic a call or send us an email and our amazing reception staff or massage therapists would be happy to answer them.