You will be asked to arrive a few minutes before your scheduled appointment to complete a health history form. Your therapist will review your answers and ask for additional information if needed. She will thoroughly discuss your concerns as well as explain her policies and procedures.
Your session is conducted in a relaxing environment. The room is comfortably warm with dimmed lighting and soft music. You are left alone to undress in private. You will lie under a sheet and/or blanket on a specially designed heated table.
Some forms of massage, such as Indian Champissage™ or Reflexology, may be performed with the client fully clothed. However, for a full-body massage, most clients do undress completely. Some clients prefer to leave on underwear. It is your decision. You will always be draped with sheets, blankets, or towels. Genitals and female breasts always remain covered and are never touched. Please do not hesitate to ask your therapist for advice.
Just make yourself comfortable. The therapist will adjust your position or ask you to move, as needed. Some clients close their eyes and remain quiet, or even fall asleep. Others prefer to talk. Please inform the therapist if anything is causing you discomfort.
Oils and creams are used so that the muscles can be comfortably massaged without causing excessive chafing, friction, or pulling hair. Most lubricants are hypoallergenic. Please let the therapist know if you have a sensitivity to certain ingredients.
The average full-body massage lasts about 60 minutes. Sessions of 90-120 minutes are also available, and the extra time allows the therapist to address specific problems. A 30-minute session is enough time to concentrate on an area of the body, such as the head and neck, neck and shoulders, back, or legs and feet. Many clients prefer a 60-90 minute session with additional relaxation time prior to and after the massage.
Most clients feel very relaxed and refreshed. Initially, you may feel lethargic, but this is temporary. You may then experience increased energy, alertness and productivity. These positive effects may last for several days. It is recommended that you increase your intake of water to flush out toxins and waste materials which were released during the massage. Occasionally, you may experience some soreness after a massage, particularly if you received deeper work. It is especially important to drink adequate water after this type of massage.
There are situations where massage therapy is not appropriate. Clients with conditions such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, active phlebitis, recent surgery, or skin infections should consult their physicians before scheduling a massage. The therapist should closely examine the health history form for indications that massage therapy is contraindicated.
The therapist will discuss payment options during the initial interview. Most therapists accept major credit cards, personal checks, or cash. Tipping is optional. Usually, a 24-hour notice is required when canceling a scheduled appointment. You may be asked to pay, either partially or in full, for appointments missed without the 24-hour notice.
In Virginia, massage therapists must successfully graduate from an accredited massage training program with a minimum of 500 credit hours. These graduates must then pass a national certification examination before applying to the Department of Health Professions and Board of Nursing for certification to practice as a massage therapist. Also, local jurisdictions may impose additional requirements. Do not hesitate to ask your massage therapist for her credentials. Diplomas, certificates and licenses should be publicly displayed in her office.