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Massage for Newbies

Posted by kayse g.

Maybe your back is aching from too many long hours at the desk...? Have headaches & knots brought on by stress...? Or maybe someone who loves you gifted you with a massage certificate at your local day spa... If you're brand new to massage therapy, you may wonder what to expect... Here are some tips to help make your first massage fantastic:

1/ Your therapist or spa receptionist can help you decide what style of bodywork is best for you... Here in the Bay Area we are blessed with an abundance of talented practitioners and modalities to choose from. The most popular style is commonly called "Swedish massage" and is a safe bet if you're a bit bewildered by the many choices!

2/ Let your therapist know what brought you in (sore back? stressed out? special occasion? etc.) Don't be afraid to tell your therapist it is your first massage and he/she will help talk you through the process...

3/ Most styles of massage are performed on a table. You will most often be undressed and draped/covered by sheets & blankets. If you're a little nervous or modest, you are welcome to keep your undergarments on. If you're a lot nervous or modest, you may feel most comfortable beginning with a Thai or Shiatsu style massage, during which the client typically stays clothed (preferably in relaxed, comfortable, stretchy clothing.)

4/ During your session, try to relax, take deep breaths, and let your mind go empty. It is totally up to you whether you'd prefer to be quiet or chat with your therapist. Never be afraid to let your therapist know if the pressure is too deep or you are uncomfortable in any way.

5/ Enjoy! For us therapists it is a wonderful experience introducing people to massage therapy & its many benefits. It is one of the greatest things you can do for your health & well-being. Hopefully you will leave your session feeling ultra-relaxed, loose, calm, centered and re-energized, prompting you to make it a habit!

Comments (3)
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Thanks for these great tips! I've never gotten a professional massage, so now I know what to expect.

Thanks for the tips. It can be very daunting to meet a stranger who wants you to strip down to your skivvies (or less), so reading about how the process really works helps me to see that it’s not such a big deal. A professional therapist will look past the naked body and see the important aspects—helping the client with stress or pain.

This makes me want to book an appointment! It can be very strange when you are stripping down and have someone so intimately touching you. There are some massages, such as tui na or thai massage that don't require you to get undressed. The clothes are the oil. For people who are super shy, these might be a good alternative.
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