Massage FAQs: All the Nitty Gritty Details You Need to Know as The Client
It is best to arrive right on time for your appointment or else you won’t receive the full time you have signed up for. If you are the type of person who needs some time to wind down and relax before your massage starts, then arriving 5-10 minutes early is a good idea. If you are a new client and you have not already filled out the intake form available on the website, please arrive at least 10 minutes early so you can fill out the paper work. Even if you have already filled out the paper work, it’s a good idea to come a little early so you can have proper consultation time with your therapist to determine your exact needs.
What happens if I arrive late?
If you arrive late, your therapist will try to accommodate you with the remaining time available. Most likely there is another appointment right after yours, and if this is the case, then we have no choice but to end your appointment at its originally-scheduled time. If your therapist does not have another client or obligation right after, then we may be able to extend your appointment time. But please try to arrive on time to avoid this entire situation, as it causes unnecessary stress to you and your therapist! Most important, neither you nor we want to have your “table time” shortened!
As a first time client, what should I expect from beginning to finish?
Please fill out the intake form ahead of time (found on our website), or arrive early to fill this out. Please use the restroom before your session. Upon arrival, your therapist will offer you water or tea and will then briefly go over your health history and ask you some questions regarding what you would like to work on during your massage session. You will then be shown how to lie on the table (depending on the type of work you will be receiving that day). Your therapist will then leave the room to give you time to undress and get comfortable under the covers. They will knock to make sure you are covered and ready before re-entering the room. After your session is over, the therapist will again leave the room to give you time to relax and get dressed and meet them in the reception area. At that point the two of you can discuss an overview of your session, agree on a treatment plan and put together a schedule for future sessions, after which you will be checked out. Any and all feedback is welcome; there are various online platforms where you can review us, such as Google Plus, Yelp, etc.
Do I undress fully or do I keep some undergarments on?
This is entirely up to you and your comfort level. The more comfortable you are, the better you are able to relax and enjoy 100% of your session. Although undressing completely gives the therapist more “canvas” to work with, we can always accommodate to your needs and work on certain areas over clothing you have left on. Additionally you will always be appropriately draped (covered by the sheet); only those areas directly being massaged will ever be exposed. It is the law (under the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies) to “Provide draping and treatment to ensure the safety, comfort and privacy of the client” (Massage Therapists; pg. 8, 2007 Sunrise Review). So your therapist absolutely must drape you in the appropriate manner that they were taught in their massage therapy training.
Speaking of proper draping, what is considered a “full body” massage?
A full body massage consists of massaging the feet, the front and back of the legs (calves, shins, hamstrings, quads), the hips & glutes (in which draping can be specially tailored to these areas depending on comfort level), back (low, mid, upper—shoulders), neck, abdomen (which can be left out, not everyone likes this although it is extremely beneficial), pecs (working around the breasts), arms, hands and head/face. In no way will a private area ever be touched at Take Care.
Can my massage therapist still focus on specific areas during a full body massage?
Yes, we can do this, but the rest of your body just might not receive as much time as the requested specific areas.
Should I talk or be quiet during my massage?
This is entirely up to you. Remember, this is YOUR session! Make it what you want it to be. Your massage therapist will follow your lead. If you are looking for some peace and quiet and feel like falling asleep, then do that. If you need to get some things off your mind, then let it all out! This is your special time and your therapist will keep everything private.
How frequently should I schedule appointments?
As a rule of thumb, we recommend at least once a month. Depending on your health concerns or goals, you and your therapist will come up with a plan as to what the best treatment plan is for you.
Should I reschedule my next visit before I leave?
It’s a good idea to do this, so you can have a plan and routine to meet your overall goals. People who have a regimen of coming in regularly will see better results. Plus, they don’t have to worry about forgetting or waiting until they are in pain. We want to keep you in good health on a consistent basis, not wait until you are hurting. This is called preventive health. For more information on this, please visit our “About” page on the health benefits of massage. If you know your overall schedule in general, it is helpful to schedule your appointments as far out as possible, depending on your plan that you and your therapist have come up with. You don’t want to put it off, then not be able to get in with your favorite therapist at your preferred time. And of course if you give us advance notice we can always cancel or reschedule appointments. Please note that “No Shows” or clients who fail to cancel/reschedule within 24 hours will be charged 100%. Emergencies do happen, so if this is the case please call as soon as possible to let us know.
What about tipping?
This is a very personal thing. Some people view their massage therapist as a doctor, and do not give a gratuity. Some people view their massage time as a service (noticing the extra effort the therapist goes through to make sure every single detail is perfect—like music, lighting, temperature, smells, etc.), and like to give their therapist something extra as a thank you for going above and beyond. Some people view it as both! This is entirely up to you. If you do decide to give a gratuity, it is always appreciated!
So, if I do decide to add gratuity, how much is appropriate?
I always tell people to tip as they would their server in a restaurant. How happy were you with their service? 15% is fair; 20% if you are extremely happy and it was the best massage you’ve ever had! And giving more than 20% will never be challenged!
How should I expect to feel after my massage?
This depends on what kind of work has been done. If you came in for the sole purpose of relaxation, you should feel light and tranquil after your massage, and hopefully for the next couple of days. If you are coming in for deep therapeutic work, you should expect to feel a little bit sore immediately after the massage, but the following day (and for several days after that), you should feel great! When a massage therapist has used the proper amount of pressure (during a deep tissue session), which is considered to be right on your “edge” (a little painful, but still feeling really spectacular), optimal results are usually reported as “feeling a little sore during or right after the session, but feeling great and much better the next day.” If you are still feeling sore the day after your session or the days following, this is referred to as “kickback pain” and indicates that the therapist went too deep. As the client, if the therapist’s pressure feels painful and not good at all, please speak up immediately and tell them to back off. Pure pain means the therapist is using too much pressure, which can actually cause muscle damage. This is not what we want at all; after all, you are here to feel good, not bad! There are rare instances where a client needs to feel full-out pain in order to relax or feel good, but this is unusual. There are also times where the client likes to feel no pain at all. All in all, although the therapist is the “expert,” at massage, you are the expert of your own body! Start getting familiar with what feels good, how your body responds to different pressure, and how/when you are getting the optimal results you are looking for!