I’ve never had a massage before, what will happen during my appointment?

When you arrive, I will greet you and have you fill out a small amount of health intake paperwork. After you’re finished with it, we’ll talk about your goals for the appointment and the areas you’d like worked on. You can feel free to ask any and all questions. I’ll then leave the room for you to get undressed to your comfort level (see Question 2) and get on the table, under the sheet. I’ll return and we’ll begin the massage. During the massage, you can ask any questions and comment as you like, alter my level of pressure, technique, and overall be picky. Remember, this is YOU time. After the massage, I’ll ask a couple questions then leave to let you get dressed. Once you come out, we’ll take care of payment and scheduling of the next appointment. Your experience should be easy, stress-free, and leave you refreshed. Remember, a massage therapist has literally seen EVERYTHING. You are not the only one who’s been nervous to get a massage, and it is a learning curve. Let me know you’ve never had massage before and I will make sure you know what to do, when and why. There will be no surprises and you can feel comfortable and secure as well as pampered with improved well being.

Do I have to be naked?

No, you don’t. You can wear whatever makes you comfortable. You can choose to be naked, but the majority of people leave their underwear on and nothing else. If you would like me to work outside your clothes, let me know beforehand or I’ll assume you don’t want massage there. If you want to keep your bra on, I will ask to unclasp it before working on your back.

Will I be exposed at any time during the massage?

No, you won’t. If you feel exposed at any time, please let me know and we will make adjustments to insure you don’t feel that way. After you disrobe you will lie down on the massage table and cover yourself with a sheet (in the winter there is also a blanket and the table is warmed). You are covered at all times and I expose only the area of your body I am currently working on. Back above the buttocks, legs one at a time uncovered well below the crotch, arms keeping your chest area covered, etc. When it’s time for you to shift from face-down to face up position I will let you know and hold the sheet up to give you privacy to do that without watching you during the process.

What should I wear to my appointment?

Wear something comfortable, easy to take off and get back into, and that you don’t mind getting lotion or oil on (as some will undoubtedly be left on your skin). Don’t feel like you have to dress up, be formal, or wear makeup. In fact, makeup can be somewhat of a hindrance for facial massage and it’s sometimes difficult to get out of the linens. In fact, I’m happy to see my clients come in casual clothes or even sweats, because it means they’re comfortable with me.

Do I need to tip?

Tipping is often appreciated, but not all massage therapists accept tips (for example, a massage therapist that works in a hospital or medical facility). It’s absolutely ok to ask, and if they do take tips, 15% is standard. However, don’t feel pressured to tip; it’s an expression of your satisfaction with the massage, not an obligatory rule.

Should I talk or stay quiet during the massage?

That’s 100% up to you. Whether you’d prefer quiet relaxation (relaxing music is provided in the room) or you are welcome to chat about anything, both are acceptable. Just know that chatting can distract you from the massage and it may make the time go faster for you.

What conditions or illnesses make it advisable to avoid massage?

If you have certain clotting disorders, extreme low blood pressure, recent injuries or surgeries, open wounds, an illness, contagious skin disease, or it is uncomfortable or painful for you to be touched. Other than that, you should be just fine to get a massage. When in doubt, ask your doctor.

Why would I get massage on a regular basis?

Most people think of massage as a once-in-a-while treat, but massage is actually most useful when received on a regular basis and working to prevent injury. Massage brings nutrients to your muscles and flushes away toxins, improves blood pressure and cholesterol levels, eases tightness and knots from your body, improves hormone and chemical balances in your body, and prevents repetitive strain injuries, among other things. If you have chronic tension headaches, for example, one massage won’t help for very long. But if you receive a massage every three weeks for 6 months, you’ll find your headache pain has diminished greatly and it’s not as easy for them to come on. The same goes for painful muscles and joints. Regular massage can help with insomnia, anxiety, and depression. It’s worth investing in regular massage to keep your muscles happy and stress levels down.

I’m self-conscious about my appearance. Will my massage therapist judge me?

The only way a massage therapist would judge you by your appearance is to determine if they need to alter their technique at all. Assume your massage therapist has seen everything, from cellulite to skin tags, from birthmarks to burn scars, from deformities to amputations…because they have. There’s no need to feel self-conscious with a person who makes it their job to work on the human body.

What oils or creams do you use?

I use Biotone Nutri-Naturals Massage Cream. It’s paraben free and packed full of wonderful oils and extracts that will leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized. If you have sensitive skin, please let me know, I have grapeseed oil available.

Being a man… What if I get, well, uhmmm too…’excited’?

Massage therapists understand that it happens when there’s increased blood circulation. We understand that it is a natural physical, not emotional, response. We are trained in all functions of the body. If you ignore it, we’ll ignore it.

Do I need to shower and/or shave before a massage?

No. It’s preferred that you’ve showered in the recent past, but you don’t need to have just jumped from the shower to your car. I once had a client that hadn’t showered in 9 days because of his personal situation at the time and told me so. I still felt fine about massaging him. That one was probably my personal limit, but you get the idea. As for shaving, there are plenty of people who don’t shave at all, and it doesn’t hinder the massage process in any way.

I had a bad massage experience in the past. How would your treatment be any different?

I encourage that you communicate with me what you found ‘bad’ about that experience before we begin. The one and only goal I have is for you to have the absolute best experience possible. There are massage therapists out there that aren’t well trained, are stuck in their ways, or have stopped really listening to what their clients say they need. Unfortunately these are more the ‘norm’ than the exception. As long as you are open and honest with me about what makes you comfortable, and what your goals are – I will listen carefully and do my very best to ensure your experience is pleasurable and promotes a healthy body.

What is the difference between a massage therapist and a ‘masseuse’?

A massage therapist is a trained individual who has been licensed with the state and passed certification with state and federal governments. We have a very clear set of ethical standards and guidelines to follow defined by federal and state law that includes that no sexual contact may be made with our clients.  Whereas a masseuse, or prostitute, performs sexual services in exchange for compensation. Prostitutes call themselves ‘masseuses’ to hide their actions from the government and legal action, hence the confusion. Because of this confusion, there has been a stigma and confusion for some that massage therapists are prostitutes. The massage therapy community wants very much to separate from that stigma. It is considered highly offensive to request sexual services from a massage therapist.

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