What can I expect during my first Massage Therapy visit?
Your Massage Therapist will require you to fill out a confidential health history form. You can access this form from the website beforehand, or show up a few minutes early to fill it in prior to your first appointment. Your therapist will go over your health history with you, discussing any relevant areas, and determine whether Massage Therapy is appropriate for you. She may perform several assessments and tests to further evaluate your condition and better understand your complaints. On your first visit, this can sometimes take a few minutes.
Where will my Massage Therapy session take place?
Your Massage will take place on the lower level of Gaia Integrative Clinic. You will be in a comfortable, quiet room, where soft music will be played to help you relax. If you prefer your own music, please feel free to bring it along. (Ipod format works best.) Depending on what we are treating, you will be relaxing on a specially designed massage table, either face down, face up, or lying on your side. You can also be seated in a chair.
What should I wear for my Massage appointment?
Usually, you don’t need to be wearing any special clothing for your appointment. Certain assessment techniques require you to be able to move freely without restrictions from tight jeans or other clothing, so loose-fitting clothing is a safe bet. Once you are ready to get on the table for your treatment, your therapist will leave the room to give you privacy to undress to your level of comfort. Depending on the treatment, you may not have to undress at all, but for a full body massage, most people undress completely. However, you may choose to wear underwear. Your therapist will keep you covered with a sheet and blanket at all times with only the area to be treated exposed.
Will the Massage hurt?
Usually, no. If you have a condition that is giving you a lot of pain, Massage can sometimes feel sore, but it can also be a great relief. Your therapist will always work within your pain tolerance and comfort levels and you will always be in control of the treatment. If the massage is feeling too sore or you are unable to relax and are uncomfortable, please let your therapist know immediately so the pressure or technique can be adjusted.
How will I feel after a Massage Therapy appointment?
Many people feel very relaxed and content after a massage. Relief of aches and pains, increased range of motion, and a feeling of lightness are also often results of a massage. You may feel a bit sleepy or fuzzy for a few minutes after the massage, so it’s a good idea to plan some relaxation time after your treatment. Usually, people feel energized after some relaxation time, and this can last for days. Your therapist will welcome any discussion or concerns you have regarding how you will feel after your treatment.
Is massage always appropriate for everyone?
Massage is usually a safe, effective treatment for most people. However, there are several conditions that massage would be inappropriate for. This is why it is important to fill out the health history form and go over it with your therapist before your treatment begins. Your therapist will determine if massage is contraindicated for you, based on the information you provide, so it is always important to inform your therapist of any conditions you have, or medications you are taking. If you are under the care of a doctor, it is advised that you provide a written recommendation for massage. Sometimes, your therapist will require approval from your doctor. This may also be required by your insurance company if you are submitting your receipts for coverage.
Is Massage Therapy covered by extended health care plans?
Yes, it often is. It is best to inform yourself of the coverage you have and the requirements your personal provider has. Registered Massage Therapists are able to write a receipt for coverage that you will then submit to your provider.
Some additional things to be aware of
Drinking some extra water after a massage is very important. This helps your body to flush out any toxins or metabolites that have been moved out of your tissues by the massage. You can also try having a warm bath with Epsom salts after a treatment.
Please do not hesitate at any point to ask questions. Your therapist will welcome your active involvement at all stages of your treatment.