Your First Massage

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A massage is just like a movie, really relaxing and a total escape, except in a massage you're the star. And you don't miss anything by falling asleep!
― Elizabeth Jane Howard

What Happens During a Massage?

When you come for your first massage from me, I will ask you to complete an intake form with some information about your general health. Then, we will have a conversation about any issues you are having with your body, and your goals for the massage. After we talk, I will leave the room so that you can undress, lie down on the massage table, and drape a sheet over your body. This sheet will stay on you throughout during the session, and I will only move it to expose the part of the body on which I am currently working. I will play quiet music during the massage unless you request that I don't. Unless you have requested aromatherapy, I will use unscented oil or lotion to help my hands to glide over your skin and to keep my hands from pulling any body hair. I keep the room comfortably warm, and as free from distractions as I can. During your massage, I will check in with you to see whether I am applying too much, too little, or just the right amount of pressure.

After your massage, I may make some suggestions of things you can do to promote your health and ease your discomfort. I will give you the opportunity to schedule a return visit.

It is very important that you are comfortable during your massage, so you should talk to me about any concerns you have. 

Here are some things people often ask about before their first massage.

Why are you asking for medical information? Before your massage, I will ask you to provide certain information about your past and present health. It's required by Kentucky state law, but is also very valuable. I use the information to help plan your massage session, and to ensure your comfort and safety. It is especially important that you tell me about any major health problems you have, what medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant, and whether you have had any recent accidents or injuries. 

What if I don't look like the models I see in the pictures on all of the spa ads? Nobody looks like the models you see in the spa ads! One of the things I love best about massage is that every body is different. It is thrilling to work with a client and find what will work best for his or her one-of-a-kind body. My studio is a judgement-free zone.

Do I have to be completely nude? It's your massage, and your choice. Most clients choose to be totally unclothed under the drape, but a few choose to keep their underwear on. Throughout your massage, a sheet will be draped over your body to protect your (and my) modesty. I will only move enough of the sheet to uncover the area of your body I am currently massaging, then replace the drape before I move to another area. Some areas of your body will always remain covered; Your genital area, the cleavage between your gluteal muscles, and a woman's breasts are never uncovered during a massage. The sheet is a boundary, and my hands will never go anywhere the sheet is covering.

Chair massage is done with you fully clothed, as is geriatric massage or massage for people who are ill.

What parts of my body are included in a "full-body" massage? You're the boss, and you can direct what we focus on during your massage. 

Every massage is different, but here's an example of a 1-hour massage. I start by massaging your feet with my own Kentucky Masseur Super Emollient Foot and Body Butter. As I massage your feet, I pay particular attention to areas where nerves can affect your general health. After the feet, I progress to the calves, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, hands, fingers and arms, lower and upper back, and shoulders. At this point, I have you turn over. Then, I massage the front part of your legs, your thighs, your pectoral muscles and your neck. I finish by massaging your face and scalp. Depending on time and your goals, I may or may not massage your abdomen. 

What about talking during the massage? It's your massage, and your choice whether or not we talk during the massage. Some people prefer silence, and others want some interaction. I will try to steer conversation away from anything controversial. Politics might not be the right topic during a massage, and we won't talk about emotional subjects like UK vs. U of L! 

Do you use oil? For most kinds of massage, I use a little oil or lotion to help my hands slide over your skin without chafing or pulling hair. I don't use so much oil that you need to wash it off before your go on with your day. Unless you have requested aromatherapy, the oil is unscented. Please let me know if you have allergies that might be aggravated by oil or lotion or any scents.

Will I feel any discomfort during my massage? The strokes and pressure of the massage can vary depending on what your goals are. Do you simply want to relax, or are we addressing a particular problem? This is your massage, and I tailor it to your needs and wants. We can often achieve more than one goal in a session (for example, addressing pain and achieving relaxation). Whether you feel any discomfort during a massage depends on your goals. Tense muscles are often sore, and they may be tender when they are massaged. Before we begin, I will always ask you how much pressure you want. If you are new to massage, I will start with "medium" pressure and ask you whether you want more or less. This is your massage, and I rely on you to tell me whether I am using too much pressure, too little, or just enough.
Music. Unless you request otherwise, I will play spa music during your massage. It is pleasant and will help you to relax, but is designed to not be interesting enough to engage your brain. If you want another kind of music, tell me. I have a little of everything, and can massage to any music, or in silence if that's what you prefer.

Body Functions. You spend a lot of your life restricting your body from its natural reactions. As you relax, lots of things can happen. A lot of clients fall asleep. Your sinuses can clear and cause your nose to run. You could get flatulent. You might become aroused. Once in a while, someone gets emotional. Whatever happens, don't worry! I will smile because I know your body is getting what it needs. I will do my best to save you any embarrassment. If I need to adjust the drape or the massage, I will. If you need a tissue, I'll bring one to you. If you need to be comforted, I'm there. 

I love what I do!
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