After a session with me -- if you haven't had a massage before and/or you don't like people touching you -- you will likely ask yourself, "Why didn't I do this sooner?" One client said during her first massage, "I can't remember the last time I felt like I was being cared for."
"Okay, but what is it like?"
If you haven't slept well in a while, you will either fall asleep on my table or want to go home and go straight to bed. Some clients bring their pajamas to change into afterward.
If you've been thinking, "I'm not as young as I used to be," and find it difficult to keep up with your life's demands, there's good news: I can help give you more mobility and flexibility to get your daily tasks done. The effects of massages are cumulative, so the more of them you get, the better you'll feel and be able to move. I tell my clients to come in as often as their budgets and schedules will allow -- even if that means receiving shorter sessions more frequently.
A long-term client of mine has lived with chronic pain for 40-years. She used to receive massage once a month, and the pain would come back long before her next session. She now sees me once a week and it has made a world of difference. (She calls me her "angel.")
The First Session:
Your comfort and well-being are important to me. We sit down at our first session to go over your health history. It's important for me to know if you have any conditions where massage might not be beneficial for you. If you have fibromyalgia or peripheral neuropathy, I may have to adjust my pressure or avoid certain areas altogether.
Speaking of comfort -- please know that you do not have to be nude, if that makes you uncomfortable. I will always step out of the room while you get on and off the table. I use sheets and blankets for draping so that you'll be covered except for whatever area I'm working on at the time. I also give sessions with clients remaining fully-clothed. My space is a "Judgement-Free Zone," so don't worry if you forgot to shave or have extra curves (or a lack thereof).
As far as a "menu" goes, I keep your options super simple: choose from a 30-, 60-, or 90-minute massage session. Depending on your goals, I will choose techniques that I think will work best for you.
One Thing I Don't Believe In: "No Pain, No Gain."
If your body is telling you that something hurts, this is your time to listen. When it comes to massage, if a practitioner pushes too deep, too quickly, your muscles will tighten up to protect themselves from further damage. Communicating with your therapist is very important! I promise that I won't be offended if you tell me I need to ease up -- or, conversely, to go ahead and push a little harder.
Some people actively seek out deep work, and that's fine -- so long as they make an educated choice. I can use deep pressure, but generally, this style is not my forte.
If you're looking for something more than therapeutic massage, my practice is not for you.
There's One Thing I Can't Do:
While I've been told that I have "magic fingers," I haven't been able to wave them around and make every ailment and ache disappear completely. Rome wasn't built in a day; your pain and dysfunction likely didn't develop in a day, either. Massage is very good at relieving pain symptoms -- sometimes for a few hours, up to a few days.
I'm not a doctor or a chiropractor -- I can't diagnose any conditions or prescribe medications. I will always point you in the direction of medical professionals if I find reason to.
After your session, I will encourage you to be gentle on yourself in the days ahead. Drinking water and getting rest are important for your body to heal. Sometimes your body may overreact -- prompting headaches, stomach aches, or flu-like symptoms. This shouldn't happen after every massage, but it does happen on occasion.
From there, find other ways to take care of yourself between sessions. Massage is good on its own, but it can be so much more effective when paired with stretching routines, exercise, and healthy habits. Use heat or ice therapy on the spots that are sore or stiff; topical analgesics like IcyHot are great to have on hand, too.