- The massage therapist will ask preliminary questions to determine your overall health and your desired results from massage therapy.
- He or she will assess your needs and explore your motivation in getting massage, including your health and wellness goals.
- The massage therapist will consider information about your physical condition, medical history, lifestyle, stress levels, medications and any areas of physical pain that could affect your massage therapy outcome.
- The information will help the massage therapist structure the session to achieve your health and wellness goals.
- Before your massage, you’ll be asked to remove clothing to your level of comfort.
- The therapist will leave the room while you undress and remove any jewelry or other articles that might interfere with the massage. Take off only as much as you are comfortable removing.
- Lie on the massage table, underneath the provided sheet or towel, which will cover your body except for the part being massaged.
Chair massages, which often are offered in public spaces and workplaces, are an exception to the above descriptions. A specially-designed massage chair lets you lean forward and supports the front of the body. You remain clothed and no oil or lotion is used. Seated massages typically last from 10 to 30 minutes.
- Music might be played during your massage session. If you find music distracting, let your massage therapist know your preferences. The same goes for talking during your session.
- Your massage therapists should check in about pressure and comfort throughout your session. If you're uncomfortable at any time, let your massage therapist know.
- The massage table is padded, and may have extra attachments or cushions, such as a face cradle, which allows you to lie facedown without turning your head or neck.
- The therapeutic effects of massage are cumulative, so talk with your massage therapist about a recommended treatment plan to meet your health and wellness goals.
Download the expecations for the massage recipient and the massage therapist
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—Pat C., AMTA member since 2003