What to Expect at Your First Massage Session

Before Your Massage Session

If this is your first visit to our clinic for massage therapy, please arrive 5 to 10 minutes before your appointment start time.  Arriving after your scheduled start time will cause your session to be cut short.  Arriving early will give you time to settle down, fill out your registration and health history forms, and to use the restroom if necessary.  Depending on the time of day, traffic may slow you down from getting here, so the extra time might be needed to get you here on time.

While in the waiting area, please turn off your phone or put it on silent mode. You may be asked to fill out a clinic registration form or health history form for us to facilitate payment and any insurance billing needed.  If you will be using a gift certificate, please let us know.  Your massage therapist will come to the reception area, greet you, and guide you to your massage treatment room.

During Your Massage Session

Your massage session starts when you and the therapist enter the treatment room.   Your therapist will ask you some questions to better understand your goals for the session and for your therapy overall.   If you are generally healthy and your main objective is relaxation, this initial interview will be very brief; if your objective is pain relief, or if you have preexisting conditions or are taking medications, the discussion could take a bit longer.  Once you and your therapist agree on the treatment plan, the therapist will give you instructions to get ready for the massage session and will leave the room to wash his/her hands.

If you are asked to undress, do so to the level of your comfort and lay between the sheets under the blanket.  The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario has specific rules regarding proper draping of clients for professionally appropriate care and personal comfort, and your therapist must adhere to them.

When the hands-on session ends, the therapist will leave the room to wash his/her hands.  During that time, they will ask that you get dressed and wait in the room for them to return.  The therapist may spend a minute or two discussing the session, or making self care suggestions such as stretching instructions or hydration tips.  Your therapist may offer you some water or ask if you wish to use the bathroom, and will take you back to the reception area.

After Your Session

At the reception area, payment will be processed, with your preferred method of payment, taking into account any insurance coverage that may apply, either fully or partially.

The day after the massage you may feel more relaxed, more centered, more grounded, with greater body awareness, experience greater range of motion, and muscle ability.  Your mood may be better too.  Occasionally,  you won’t experience all of these wonderful things.

Sometimes, depending on the type of massage that you just received, and depending on whether you receive massage regularly, you may experience some soreness anywhere from 24 to 48 hours after your massage.  Usually the soreness is mild, but sometimes it may feel intense enough to be mistaken for actual muscle injury.  This is known as DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) and is the same condition experienced after new or unfamiliar exercise.  Sometimes, along with the soreness you may experience general malaise and even flu-like symptoms.  Drink plenty of fluids and, if necessary, take some ibuprofen to take care of the soreness.  The symptoms typically resolved within approximately 48 hours after the massage.

Be Smart!

As with exercise, massage therapy works best when received on a regular basis.  From time to time we get a client who books a massage and asks “I have had this pain for the past six months.  Do you think 60 minutes would be enough time to fix it?”  Hmmm.  Be smart.  Your body deserves better than that.  YOU deserve better than that.  Get regular massage.  You deserve it!