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Should you shower before a massage?

If you have been exercising or doing a strenuous activity, it is wise to shower before receiving your massage.

What do I wear?

You can dress in whatever you feel comfortable. Some wear shorts, some are in their underwear and others nothing.

Which parts of the body are actually worked on?

During a 1/2 hour massage, the therapist will ask you which parts of your body feel tight or need massaging, and then work on those areas (Most individuals prefer the neck, shoulders and back areas). For an hour massage, the therapist will usually include back, neck, shoulders, legs, face and head.

Should the oil be washed off after the massage?

This is an individual’s decision. Some like the oil to be absorbed by the skin so it becomes softened, while others prefer to wash the oil because of the greasy feeling.

Do I have to get naked?

You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. You are asked to undress to whatever point you are comfortable. This means you may remain fully clothed, you may undress completely, or anything in between. The massage therapist leaves the room and gives you sufficient time to undress. You get onto the table under a sheet or towel or some such covering. During the massage, only the part of your body currently being worked on is uncovered. Those parts of your body generally considered private are not uncovered or worked on. If you have any particular preferences about parts of your body to be exposed and worked on or not exposed and not worked on, you should discuss this with the massage therapist before the session. If you are uncomfortable with any aspect of the massage, you should inform the therapist immediately. As you get to know the therapist over repeated sessions, some of your preferences and your level of comfort may very well change. The thing to remember on the first visit is that the therapist would like for you to return, and to refer others. If for that reason alone, he or she will not want to embarrass you or make you uncomfortable. In the case of pain relief work, the matter of undressing and covering will depend primarily on two factors: what and where the problem is and what approach, modalities and techniques the particular therapist uses. The therapist will generally let you know where and how he or she intends to work on you, and ask you to undress to whatever degree is necessary for effective work to take place. You may be covered by a sheet or towel.

Are there contraindications for massage therapy?

Massage should obviously not be done over the site of any recent tissue damage, such as a broken bone, a bruise, or a wound. Care should be taken with deep work on persons with fragile or brittle bones. Areas of internal organic problems should be avoided. If there is any doubt, a physician should be consulted first and X–rays done. Be sure to tell the therapist beforehand about any recent health problems, injuries or surgeries.

Does massage therapy hurt?

It depends on the type of therapy and what kind of problems you may have. General relaxation massage should not hurt. Most energy–related therapies are painless, except acupressure which may access painful points. Any therapy that directly addresses myofascial (soft–tissue or muscular) problems (such as neuromuscular, deep tissue, trigger point, or similar therapies) may be painful when treating problem areas, the pain comes not from the work itself but from the tissue pathology.

When should treatment stop?

While the pressure of some massage techniques may cause momentary discomfort, pain should not persist throughout the session. If it continues, stop the treatment immediately.

Is it safe to have a massage during pregnancy?

Experts say that massage can be effective in relieving tension during pregnancy, helping to prepare for labor and making the postpartum period less difficult. Certain massage movements also may be unwise at different stages of pregnancy.