This is my first massage.  I’m really nervous and also a bit scared.  What is gonna happen and what am I supposed to do?

The very first time you come for a massage you will fill out a health history form.  It won’t take long.  It’s a short form.  You might want to arrive 10 or 15 minutes before your appointment time to fill it out.  After you’ve filled that out, we will have a discussion about what you are concerned about and what you would like for me to focus on.

You will then disrobe in private.  Taking off your necklace, wristwatch and any dangly earrings is a good idea.  You will lay down and cover yourself with the sheet and blanket.  I will give you plenty of time.  I’ll knock before I enter the room.  If you aren’t ready yet, just give a shout.  I’ll wait.  

The first thing I’ll do is make sure you are comfortable in every way possible – down to the temperature of the room and the music.  It is easy to adjust everything to your comfort.  Now is not the time to be super polite and say it’s just fine if it’s not.  I want this to be a fantastic experience for you.  Say the word and we will get you comfortable!

Your only job during the massage is to lie there!  Make yourself comfortable and be a rag doll.  Close your eyes.  Allow yourself to “see” with your sense of touch.  Feel your body from both the inside and out.  When you close your eyes it helps to bring your center of energy out of the head and into the body.  There is no need to try to be helpful.  Simply receive.  I’m a trained professional.  I will not hurt you.  I may adjust your position or ask you to move.  Otherwise, you can change your position at any time to make yourself more comfortable.

At some point during the massage I will ask you to flip over and ask you to scoot down a bit so I can remove the face cradle (the silly donut-shaped thing you place your face in).  Don’t worry.  I’ll walk you through everything as we go.

After your massage is over, I will step out so you can relax for a bit and get dressed.  Please don’t jump right off the table in a mad dash for the door!  Enjoy the feeling of your mind and body feeling connected and at ease again.  Sit on the edge of the table for a few minutes if you feel light-headed.  You don’t have to “make the bed” either.  I will be putting clean linens on the massage table for the next person.

When you step out of the massage room, there is a restroom nearby for your convenience.  When you are in the lounge area, I will ask you how you are feeling and would love to hear your feedback; what you liked and even what could have been better.  I welcome what you have to say.  That’s how I get better at what I love doing.  I’ll collect your payment.  We’ll talk about if you’d like to go ahead and book for your next massage session so we both know and can plan.  

I do not accept tips. And I’m pretty stubborn, so please don’t argue with me on this!  Take that tip money and give it to your favorite charity.  You can read why I don’t accept tips on my rate page.   

I’ll go downstairs.  I’d love for you to make yourself comfortable on the couch upstairs and “collect yourself,” have a piece of fresh fruit, sip some water or a hot drink.  No sense in getting back on that hamster wheel too quick. It truly is perfect for you to hang out upstairs, take a few moments and acknowledge yourself, view yourself and this world with a sense of wonder and gratitude.  Maybe even browse through a book or magazine.  Or maybe you want to come downstairs and sit on the back deck by yourself for a bit and listen to the birds.  You don’t have to do anything I’ve just suggested.  Just know it’s available if you would like.  I intentionally schedule plenty of time between appointments.  That’s for my benefit and yours!  That’s why I wanted to work from my home.  It’s about quality massages, not quantity of massages for me.

How much clothing do I need to remove?  Do I have to be (gulp) naked if I don’t want to?

I truly care about your modesty.  It is just fine for you to leave your underwear on.  There are some clients who choose not to wear any clothing during a massage.  It really is up to you.  The most important thing is that you are comfortable, so please undress to your level of comfort, what makes you feel at ease.  Your body will remain covered and I will uncover only the body part being massaged, respecting your modesty and mine.  I learned proper draping techniques in school.  Your private parts are always covered and out of sight.

If my answer there seemed awkward and confusing, so sorry.  No worries.  Here is a much better one.

What should I eat and/or drink before a massage?

It is best not to have a massage on a full stomach.  Have your meal at least one hour, preferably two hours before the massage.  If possible, it’s a good idea to reduce your intake of caffeine so that you achieve a relaxed state easier.

Can I talk during the massage?

You don’t need to be quiet.  If you feel like talking, please don’t hold back.  If something doesn’t feel right, I’d like to know immediately so I can make adjustments.  If something hurts, or if you would like more or less pressure, or if I moved on from an area too soon and you want me to stay on that area a little longer, please speak up!  I’m glad to accommodate.  It’s music to my ears to hear a sigh of relaxation or a hum of pleasure.  I know I’m on the right track then.

As for myself, as a massage therapist, I like to work in silence and focus my concentration on what my hands are finding.  I find massage to be an act of meditation between myself and the person I am giving a massage.  It seems to me that when I begin having a conversation with you during the massage, my work then becomes superficial, lacking, empty.  It’s just that I’m no good at multitasking.  A lacking and empty experience is not the experience that I want for you.  I love to talk to people, to listen.  We can always do that after the massage if you would like.

What if I need the rest room during my massage?

I will suggest that you go to the rest room after you fill out the health history form and we have our discussion.  Still, it happens that the rest room is needed during the massage.  Please speak up and let me know.  There is no need to suffer in silence with a full bladder.  That ruins a great massage!  I have a nice fresh robe I can provide for you.  I will step out of the room and let you put the robe on.  The rest room is just a few steps away from the massage room.  We can resume the massage when you are ready to start back.

Will the massage hurt?

There is a “feels good” hurt and an “ouch, stop” hurt.  A good massage always stays in the “feels good” hurt range.  Pain can mean that there is injury or inflammation and pressure should be adjusted.  Pain can cause a person to tighten up and then that negates the relaxing effects of the massage.  I will work with your body’s natural response.  Massage does not need to hurt to be effective!

Do I have to listen to “spa music” during my massage?

Studies have shown that music under 60 beats per minute has a calming effect on the body.  I love music in general.  I always have.  I like all genres.  I enjoy picking out great music for massage.  There is some really good massage music out there and it is easily available, especially on iTunes.  Since I love music so much, I do understand if you want to bring your own music along for your massage.  Please understand one thing – since I love music, I will “get into it” and the beat of your music will affect the rhythm and pace of your massage!  I can’t help it.  Picture me massaging you to music at twice the 60 beats per minute!  

I learned about music for massage when I was going to massage school at HAC in St. Louis.  Our class had the fantastic opportunity of giving chair massages at Lou Fest 2016 in the VIP lounge.  It was a blast.  We had so much fun.  We all thought it was hilarious to watch each other give massages during the day and evening, because the massages varied drastically depending on whether the band on stage was a country, R&B or hard rock band!  Go ahead and think about that for a minute and let that be your guide as to whether you really want to bring your own music to the massage.

How long will the massage last?

The average full body massage treatment lasts approximately one hour.  Many people prefer a 90-minute massage session for optimal relaxation.  And I love giving 90-minute massages!  No matter the amount of time you choose for your massage, for your scheduling purposes it’s a good idea to allow for relaxation time prior to and after the session.

But I’m too (fill in the blank) to get a massage!!!

I’m too old, too young, too fat, too thin, too hairy, too wrinkly, too sweaty, too pale, too shy, too busy, too ______!!!  This guy gave me a whole new outlook on the human body.  I’m fascinated by the way it works together to produce movement, breath and life itself!  It is a gorgeous machine.  Science and medicine continues to learn about the mysteries of the human body.  I don’t think we will ever know all of them.  Trust me, you are not “too anything”!!!!  I am not interested in what you look like.  I am passionate about helping you feel better inside and out!

As far as being too busy, yes, it’s true most of us do have very busy lives.  Sometimes it does feel as if there are not enough hours in the day.  Massage only takes an hour or two every two weeks or even just once a month.  In return for that investment of time you get relief from nagging aches and pains, you get help to let go of stress and you quiet your mind to re-center yourself and refocus.  I’ll bet that you find out you are more productive and life doesn’t feel as hectic as it once did after you begin to receive regular massage.

I had a massage once and really disliked it.  I said I’d never go for one again.  Why should I get another massage now?

Sometimes it takes a few sessions to know if a therapist is the right fit for you.  The therapist and the client need to get to know each other a bit and sometimes that may take two or three sessions to relax and get comfortable with each other.  It can be terrifying for some people to allow themselves to experience a massage for the first time and so perhaps the first massage is not as good as it could be because of that.  I would encourage you to receive another massage.  In fact, receive massage from more than just one therapist.  Each therapist has a unique touch and special gifts.  There is nothing wrong with getting regular massage and going to different massage therapists in a regular rotation.

Is it true that I have to drink a lot of water after the massage to flush toxins?

According to Harvard trained Dr. Andrew Weil:  no, not at all! 

It’s not necessary for your health to drink a lot of water just because you have received a massage.  However, I always have good water available if you are thirsty.  On average, the body of an adult human being contains about 70 percent water.  Each day your body must replace about 2.5 quarts of fluid.  Drinking water prevents constipation, helps to eliminate toxins, keeps your muscles moving, is good for your brain and even curbs overeating!

How often should I get a massage?

That varies from person to person. I will talk with you about your goals and wishes.  Some people enjoy every two to three weeks and others prefer every four to six.  Some people get a massage once a week.  There is no right or wrong.  When I was a court reporter, during the extremely busy times I scheduled a 90-minute massage for every two weeks.  During the slower times, I booked a 90-minute massage once a month.

I have a question and I don’t see it answered here.

Give me a call or shoot me an email.  I’ll do my best to answer it.  If I don’t know the answer, I will find someone who does.