Where will my massage or bodywork session take place?

Your massage/bodywork session will take place in a warm comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.

Who will perform the massage or bodywork?

Your session will be conducted by a trained professional who has received proper training, often in a variety of techniques. All massage and bodywork practitioners working in the State of New Hampshire are required to be licensed by the state and nationally certified.

What should consumers expect when receiving a massage for the first time?

At first contact, the massage therapist should ask about your reasons for getting a massage, current physical condition, medical history, lifestyle and stress level, and specific areas of pain.

Will the practitioner be present when I undress?

The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet, and, if needed, a blanket.

Must I be completely undressed?

Most massage techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped during the entire session.

Will I be covered during the session?

You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.

Will lubricant be used?

A light oil or lotion may be used to permit your muscles to be worked on without causing excessive friction to the skin. The lubricants used should hydrate the skin and be readily absorbed. They are hypoallergenic, but you should inform the therapist of any allergies you may have to oils, lotions, or fragrances.

What will the massage or bodywork feel like?

It depends on the technique used. In a general Swedish massage, the therapist may start an area with broad, flowing strokes that will help to calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As the area becomes relaxed, pressure may gradually be increased, and the technique varied, to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension.

Are there different kinds of massage and bodywork?

There are numerous types of massage and bodywork. Various techniques utilize different strokes and approaches varying from basic rubbing strokes to rocking movement, posture and movement reeducation, application of pressure to specific points, passive and active stretching, myofascial release techniques, lymphatic drainage, and still others. Ask the practitioner about the methods he or she uses.

What parts of my body will be massaged?

You and the practitioner will discuss the desired outcome of your session. This will determine which parts of your body require massage. A typical full body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. You will not be touched on or near your genitals (male or female) or breasts (female).

Are there different kinds of Massage?

There are numerous types of massage; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more. Ask the Practitioner about the methods he or she uses.

Who can benefit from massage therapy?

People of any age -- from the very young to the very old and all those in between.

How long will the session last?

The average full-body massage or bodywork session lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment may be used for a specific area, such as a neck-and-back-only session. You may wish to have a session only occasionally, or you may want to discuss a treatment plan for chronic problems. Feel free to discuss your needs with the practitioner. And try to allow yourself relaxation time before and after the session.

What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?

Make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax. Some may doze off during a relaxation session. Others like to talk during their massage or bodywork. Feel free to ask the practitioner questions about massage and bodywork in general, or about the particular technique you are receiving. Above all, remember, this is your massage. Communicating your needs to your practitioner, before, during, or after the session can play a vital role in assuring you of maximum benefits while maintaining your session as an enjoyable experience.

What are the benefits of massage and bodywork?

Massage or bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure.

How will I feel after the massage session?

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 that can last for days. New clients receiving deep work may experience some soreness a day or two after the massage. Some of the massage work mimics exercise, and toxins are being removed from the muscles and tissues due to the increased blood supply that massage provides. In order to flush toxins from the body, it is imperative that you drink a sufficient amount of water. Keep drinking until the water passed from the body is clear. During massage you are lying prone for a ½ hour or longer. This may cause dizziness upon sitting up. Therefore when getting up after massage, move slowly.

I'm always unsure about whether to tip or not? Is there some kind of protocol?

It is your decision. Tipping is not a required part of the service. A tip is a thank you. There are other ways to show your appreciation other than tipping. Referring your therapist to others is a great way of saying thank you too.