Being Ready to Receive Massage


Ready to receive a massage? Great! Not only will massage help you feel happy and healthy, but it will help you have more energy to give to those who are closest to you and to pursue other goals.  Below are some tips for being comfortable during your session, as well as answers to some common questions about receiving masage.

Common Questions

  • Do I have to be completely undressed? No, this is completely up to you! Most people do take all their clothes off, knowing that they will be appropriately draped (covered) by the sheet by the massage therapist during all parts of the massage. Massage therapists are trained to "drape" by tucking the sheet under the massage recepient during the massage so that the back, arms, legs, gluteal muscles, feet, head, neck, hands and sometimes abdomen may be worked without uncovering the chest or pelvis. In some cases it is beneficial to work the chest and hips, and draping procedures exist for this purpose to. However, if you are uncomfortable taking your clothes or just your undergarments off, the therapist can use compression strokes instead and still deliver a good massage.

  • Can I talk during massage? This is an individual decision. Some people like to take advantage of the quiet massage offers, others are more comfortable talking. Some talking is necessary to make sure that you and the therapist are on the same page about pressure, depth and attention to specific spots, etc. Likewise, it is very important for you to tell the therapist if you are uncomfortable with anything or would like more pressure, etc. It is your massage, afterall.

  • What should I do during Massage? Just get comfortable. Freely move and adjust yourself if you are uncomfortable. The massage therapist will move your arms, legs, head, etc., as they need to, and you are always welcome to move back into a more comfortable position when they are done. Do not try to help your therapist by moving for them, strokes are more effective when you are relaxed.

  • Will it hurt? Only Deep Tissue or Myofascial Release Massage strokes (which are also often used in Sports Massage) may hurt, but it should be a "good pain" or a "productive feeling pain". If at any the time the sensation changes to a bad pain or you feel your body resisting the stroke, it is important to tell your therapist.

  • How often should I get massage? This varies widely. Some people use massage to manage tension from stress but otherwise have no significant symptoms interfering with their daily life. For these people, a massage every 3-6 weeks might be just the thing to keep the tension away. Other people have more serious issues to address with massage, such as a repetitive use injury or chronic pain, and may need to come more often. In some cases it is most beneficial to start with more frequent massage sessions, until the wanted results are achieved, and then decrease the frequency to a maintenance schedule. The optimum amount of massage for you is often found when there is good communication between you and your therapist.


Tips for Making the Most of your Massage

  • Having a meal or snack one or two hours before massage is often a good idea, as being hungry on the table can be both uncomfortable and noisy (but don't worry, I take your grumbling stomach as a compliment, it means you're in a "rest and digest" state). Avoid eating a heavy meal before the appointment so you won't be uncomfortable lying on your belly.

  • Sometimes very deep work meant to break down scar tissue can produce muscle soreness for one or two days after the massage. If this occurs, consider icing or applying an anti-pain lotion, such as arnica gel. I will always commincate with you during your massage to make sure you are comfortable with the depth of the work and the possibility of soreness.

  • It's a good idea to drink plenty of water after a massage, especially if it is your first one in a while. The thought is that toxins are being released from your muscle fibers into the bloodstream and the water will help flush them out and aid the healing process.  

  • Relax! Let the work "soak in". Maybe do some light stretching or go for a walk to prevent any post-massage ache, but no need to hit the gym just now.

  • Take note of how you feel right after your massage and for the next few days. If you can remember how easy it was to have good posture or move after massage, you will be more able to self-correct later on or know when it's time to stretch or get another massage. Likewise, I will most likely ask you how you felt after the work in order to modify the next session to your body's changing needs.

© 2014 by Tessa Gifford Massage. Proudly created with

  • b-facebook
  • Twitter Round
  • b-googleplus