Your massage therapist will begin by asking you general health questions. Massage may not be appropriate in certain situations such as fever; certain cardiovascular conditions; contagious or infectious diseases, including any cold or flu; under the influence of drugs or alcohol, including prescription pain medication; recent operations or acute injuries; neuritis; or skin diseases and the first trimester of pregnancy. The primary massage technique will determine your attire. For a full-body Swedish massage most people undress completely, though you may choose to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. Your massage therapist will give you privacy to undress. During the massage, your body is covered except for the area being worked on. For a sports massage, it is best to wear athletic shorts and/or a sports bra to facilitate stretching techniques. For chair massage clients remain fully clothed.
Your therapist will adjust your position as needed, otherwise make yourself comfortable and try to relax. Many people close their eyes and relax completely during a session; though others prefer to talk. It’s your massage, so do whatever feels natural to you. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time.
The most effective and deepest massage works with the body’s natural responses, not against them. Working in the area of an injury or chronic pain may initially cause some discomfort, which usually lessens in the first few minutes. Your massage therapist knows ways to minimize pain, and will work carefully within what feels right to you. Always tell your therapist if you feel any discomfort so he or she can adjust.
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity, which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water afterward.