Q: If my appointment is 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM, what time should I actually arrive?
A: If you are a new client, you will have a health history form to fill out, so I suggest arriving 10-15 minutes early to accommodate that form as well as time to visit the restroom (if needed), and undressing time. If you have been to see me before, just 5-10 minutes should be plenty. My preference is to start your massage at your appointment time so that we have the full hour for your session. If you are someone who likes to arrive extra early, there is a common waiting room at the top of the stairs that you are welcome to wait in if I don’t yet have my door open to receive you.
Q: Do I undress completely?
A: That’s up to you. Some people remove all clothing; others keep undergarments on. The top sheet is always used to cover private areas, so whether you have any clothing on or not, your privacy is guarded.
Q: Will the massage hurt?
A: In general, massage should not hurt. We live in a culture where it is often assumed that if “some” of something is good, then “more” must be better, aka “no pain, no gain.” However, studies have never shown it to be true with pressure in a massage. Never. Throughout life, each person has a different experience of touch, some good, some bad. My job as a massage therapist is to apply enough pressure to warm an area, signifying the improvement of circulation, NOT so much pressure to hurt you during the session or afterward. Massage should NOT be an experience that you “survive.” Please feel free to speak up if I am using more pressure than is comfortable for you!
Q: Do you talk during a massage?
A: Yes and no. I do ask you briefly about preferences for pressure, room temperature, and table temperature as we begin and when you turn over. The rest of the time I don’t speak unless you want to have a conversation, and you are free to speak if you do. Generally, you are more likely to relax and drift off to sleep if you embrace the relative silence (there is calming music), but for some people, especially if it is your first visit to my office, you may wish to chat.
Q: How often should I get a massage?
A: For most, either time or budget will be the limiting factors. In an ideal world, you would receive massage as often as you would like. Most of my clients are weekly, twice a month, or monthly, though you can see regular benefits of less frequent sessions.
Q: Do I need to tip?
A: No. It’s my responsibility to set my prices to make my business sustainable. I recognize that we do live in a culture of tipping, and many people like to tip, so you may tip if you wish. I don’t take your tip (or lack thereof) as an indication of the job I did. I am a professional, so I know I do good work. I’m not everyone’s preference, and that’s ok. I mean, can you imagine the workload if I was??