Preparation for Massage First-Timers:

 Art by fernando vincente

Art by fernando vincente

So, your body is feeling sore and achy.  You want to feel better (feeling better just, feels better, doesn’t it?!) and your friend or co-worker who gets massages allllll the time asks you everyday if you’ve gotten your massage yet.  You’ve had a friend rub your shoulders once or twice.  And it felt amazing!  But here’s the thing, you’ve never ever gotten even one professional massage before.  Ever.  And you don’t know if you know how.  

That’s where we come in!  Lots of people have never had a massage before, you’re not alone!  At Mantis, we’re all about spreading the joy of massage.  We KNOW how good it feels.  We know about the multitude of benefits that your body will experience, from one session, and especially from a regular regime of adding massage to your newfound health and wellness lifestyle.  

We want you to be as comfortable as possible, so that you can get the most out of your session.  This is YOUR massage, and it’s all about your comfort level.  One of the most widespread and beneficial effects of massage is stress reduction and relaxation.  Stress is no joke, and the buildup of stress over time is toxic to your body.  So PLEASE, don’t stress about how to get a massage.  We’ve done all the research for you (srsly I get a massage monthly, at a minimum!), and here’s what you gotta do:

Before:

No, you don’t have to shave your legs.  

No matter where you fall on the spectrum of gender and the feminine, there will ALWAYS be people with legs hairier than yours.  And our therapists DON’T CARE if your legs are hairy.   

If you do a workout before your massage, it’s important that you leave about an hour between the end of your workout and the start of your session.  Putting pressure on muscles that have just finished a workout can throw them into spasm, which hurts!  Incidentally this also should be just enough time for a quick shower, or at least give time for your sweat to dry.  Every treatment room is equipped with essential oils, if deodorant just isn’t your thing.  

KEEP CALM AND TAKE DEEP BREATHS

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If it’s your first appointment with us, we have a super simple, stress free, one-pager for you to fill out so that we can get to know you better.  We also have a cozy, wonderful smelling  lounge-y lobby, with filtered water and hot tea available.  

Massage with a full bladder is no bueno.  We recommend trying to use our restroom before your massage, however if you do find that you need to relieve yourself during a session, just let your therapist know.  We have a cozy bathrobe you can wear while you sprint to the potty.  

Once your therapist has introduced herself, she’ll invite you into the treatment room to discuss any particulars about how your body is feeling.  Sometimes the thing that was hurting last week when you made the appointment isn’t hurting anymore, and there’s this new thing that hurts.  That’s totally fine.  At Mantis, we meet you where you’re at in the present moment, and address whatever needs you may currently have.  

After a brief chat, your therapist will exit the room, allowing you a few minutes to undress and get settled.  No, you don’t have to get naked.  Once again, this is YOUR massage, and it’s all about your comfort level.  Take off as much clothing as you feel comfortable.  For most people, this will mean skimming down to your undies or getting naked.  Either way, your special parts will be covered THE ENTIRE TIME.  You’ll be under a sheet and a blanket, and our therapists are experts at moving around your limbs and tucking the sheet “just so” so that coverage is constant and secure.  If you need to leave a bra on, do it.  We’ll adjust.  

During:

SPEAK UP

I cannot emphasize it enough, communication is sooooo important.  Maybe the bolster is uncomfortable, maybe the table is too warm, the music too loud, or you’re just not a fan of essential oils (or you’re a super fan!).  While our therapists will do their best to ask all the right questions, we too are human and may have overlooked something.  If there is any kind of adjustment that will make you more comfortable and reduce your stress, please let us know.  We’re not mind readers (and most of us wouldn’t want to be anyway!).  The same goes for pressure.  PLEASE let us know if you would like more or less pressure.  We won’t be offended!  Every person’s body is different and the experience of pressure is totally subjective.

A NOTE ABOUT PRESSURE

At Mantis Massage, we specialize in Deep Tissue.  But that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing we know how to do.  Maybe you usually like deeper pressure, but this week you’re recovering from the flu (Flupocalypse 2018 anybody?) we can adjust accordingly and give you a nice relaxing massage to bring you back to yourself again.  

Pressure is, again, totally subjective.  I usually offer my clients a menu of pressure choices that go in order of intensity from Light to Medium to Firm to Deep.  No matter what’s happening, if you don’t like it, please, please, please tell us.  

Bodies are super interesting and another crazy thing that happens is that some parts of our bodies can handle more pressure than others.  Pressure feels great on your shoulders, but your hamstrings are super sensitive?  Let us know! We’ll adjust accordingly.  

After:

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DRINK. LOTS. OF. WATER.

Hydration is the key to most things in life, and massage is no exception.  Massage is like a passive workout for your body.  During your session we’ve increased blood circulation, improved your range of motion, and increased your breathing.  All of these things take water to accomplish.  Your body needs more of it.  Drink more water!

If this is your first massage, and especially if you asked us for deep pressure, you may find that you have some soreness after your massage.  This is totally normal, and should not be a cause for concern.  There are a few easy things that you can do to alleviate any soreness.  

Take an Epsom Salt bath.  

Stir 2 cups of Epsom Salt (can be found in most grocery stores) into a hot bath.  Sit and relax for at least 20 minutes to feel the benefits of reduced inflammation.  

Take Vitamin C.  

This great vitamin has a host of health benefits including improved mood and reduced pain.  

Sleep on your back.

Remember that position that we had you in where you were flat on your back, with a bolster or pillow underneath your knees?  We do this because it is the optimal position that takes pressure off of your spine and doesn’t put unnecessary pressure on your shoulder joints.

REBOOK.

Massage is best experienced as an addition to your health and wellness routine.  No therapist can get all the knots out in a single session, and whatever part of your lifestyle created the tension in the first place will probably still be waiting for you after you leave (unless you change it of course!  More on that in a future post!).  Massage has the added benefit of having a cumulative effect on the body, so the more you come, the more effective each session will be.  Coming more often will help optimize your body to heal whatever muscle ache ails you.  Once we’ve gotten you to full zen, you can space out your appointments and come in for regular body maintenance, just like you do with your car or bicycle.  

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QUESTIONS?

Call us!  If you have a question that wasn’t answered here, give us a call and ask away.  Lindsay, our Office Superhero, knows all about receiving massage.  Not sure which therapist to choose?  Lindsay has gotten work done by all of our therapists.  She can help you choose the right gal for the job.