The 4th of July and the summer months always seem to put everyone in a better mood, as do massages. As a Massage Therapist, my goal is to give you the best massage experience each and every time. As a client, you want to feel like you got your monies worth and to get off the table and leave feeling like a million bucks. I want to help put you in that better mood and for you to have a top notch massage experience, every time. Here are a handful of tips to help achieve those goals.
1. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your appointment. Sounds simple. When heading out to your appointment, make sure you allow extra time to get there in case of a traffic jam, construction delays, parking issues, or getting lost (if you haven’t been to the location before). Feeling stressed and rushed to get to an appointment ups your anxiety levels and is probably not how you want to start off your massage session. Try to give yourself an extra 10 minutes to your allow for any hiccups in getting to your appointment. If you’re early? Take the time to silence your phone, use the restroom, and mentally get ready to enjoy your massage session. If you are a first time client, always arrive early enough to fill out new client paperwork so it does not cut into your table time.
2. Communicate specifically how you are feeling and what you would like to get out of today’s session. Each time you come in, you may be feeling different (calm, stressed, tired, sore, etc). Also, you may book your appointment out thinking you’ll need/be feeling one way, then come the day of, you realize you have an entirely different focus for your massage. That’s ok. Let me know and we can make any adjustments. Had a bad day at work and just want to relax and unwind? No problem. Competed in an event or race over the weekend and your muscles are so sore it’s hard to move? Let me know which muscles or body parts that are feeling sore and what actions are difficult for you to do because of them. This will help me know exactly what we need to do during your massage session to you get back to feeling well balanced and moving. Want a little of both, working out some painful spots and relaxing? We can definitely do that too. Just let me know.
3. Ask any questions you may have. Whether it is your first massage ever, or your 100th massage, you may have some questions. Please ask them. You may be curious about the other types of massages I offer. What you should or should not wear during your session. If you are feeling pain in one area, you might wonder why I ask to do some focus work on another area to help it. Just ask me. I try to be good about discussing our sessions with you, but if I forget to mention something or find something that might redirect me along the way and you want to know about what I am doing, please say so. It is better to ask before or during a session than to be distracted by it and not be able to fully relax and enjoy the massage because of a fear of an unknown. Massages are to help ease your body and mind. Never hesitate to ask, even after your session if you think of some questions.
4. Give feedback. This is a very important part of your massage experience. Let me know how you are feeling during the session. Check-ins are great. If something feels really good to you, let me know. If I hit “the spot”, say so. If you would like a little bit more pressure or less, let me know and I will always adjust for you. If you feel a tingling sensation or a maybe a release of muscles other than where I am working, that is good information to share. Remember, the massage session is about you and what feels good to you. Whether you like to zone out during your massages or like to talk, giving me feedback is key, even after you get off the table. I can make notes of what you liked and didn’t like for your next session. I do my best to pick up on your physical cues, whether it is from your breathing to any of your flinching or twitching muscles or limbs, during the session. However, I am not a mind reader, so verbal communications is the best and clearest way to make sure you are receiving the best massage session.
5. Knowing your preferences to help you enjoy your massage environment. I try to create an inviting and relaxing atmosphere for you to enjoy your massage sessions. I usually have a table warmer on and use heat packs and hot moist towels throughout the sessions. If you do not like heat or it is too hot, please let me know. What sounds do you like? If the trickling fountain bothers you, we can turn the water feature off. If you want to play different music, have a particular style preference, or a favorite artist that helps calm and soothes you, tell me what it is. I use Pandora and can easily add your favorite relaxing station to have on during your session. Just let me know your preferences beforehand and we can set the right atmosphere for your relaxing needs before you even get on the table. Also, if you would ever like to try some aromatherapy, I have a selection to choose from. Sometimes smells can help calm, soothe, reinvigorate, or help clear up those sinuses.
Let’s make your next appointment the best massage ever!
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.