Because massage is not a common part of everyone’s contemporary cultural experience, many people feel uneasy about receiving their first massage. Here are a few guidelines to help you feel at ease and to gain the greatest benefits from your massage therapy session.
Try to be in a relatively calm state when you arrive. Our lives are hectic, and dealing with that is part of what we do in our time together. Let your time at the Body Café be a mini-vacation from any stresses and agita you carry with you from day to day. Bring water with you, or be sure to get a bottle of water before you leave.
When you check in, fill out the forms provided to inform the therapist about you, your basic health, and the areas of your body which are injured, tense or sore. Also mention any medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, chronic headaches, varicose veins, or recent injuries. It is likely that during the massage you will think of other issues you would like addressed; that is to be expected, but your initial paperwork is very important to save time and make your session more effective and enjoyable. You can also download the form to fill out at home before you come in, to be even more relaxed for your session. Just click on: Body-Cafe-Intake-Form
If you are taking advantage of a discount or prepaid offer of any kind (coupon, Groupon, Gift Certificate, etc.) please present this when you check in. If you use Facebook on your mobile phone, you can “check in” at the Body Café at this time as well. (@Body Cafe) If you are allergic or sensitive to any scents, oils, etc., please let your therapist know before the session begins.
First and foremost: BREATHE! You can’t relax if you’re holding your breath.
When the therapist’s hands locate areas of pain or tension in the body consciously try to relax those areas. As you inhale deeply visualize the breath flowing to the tense area and relaxing it as you fully exhale. Visualize the tension leaving the body with your breath.
Allow the therapist to move your limbs into various positions as needed. This may or may not be part of your massage. Be limp, like a rag doll and do not try to help move your arms and legs or head. The therapist is a trained professional who will not do anything to hurt you. However, feel free to speak up if anything the therapist does is painful, ticklish or uncomfortable in any way. Many people fall asleep during a massage, an indication that the body and mind are releasing stress and tension. The therapist will gently wake you when it is time to turn over or the end of the massage.
After We recommend a period of settling in after the massage, whenever possible. Part of this is taking your time, and not jumping up off the table and running out the door immediately at the conclusion of your massage. Take your time with everything and continue to be aware your breathing and relaxation inherent in the massage itself. A leisurely walk after your massage is often the best way to “re-center” yourself.
We do not recommend any strenuous exercise immediately after a massage; this can result in injury such as pulled muscles or other injuries caused by the minor changes in balance you may experience from your massage.
DRINK WATER in the hours after your massage. If you did not bring water with you (of non-caffeinated tea), get a bottle from your therapist before you leave.
While you relax before you leave, take a moment to make your next appointment with your therapist. It’s the best way to get the therapist you like at a time most convenient for you!
Should I leave a tip for my therapist? As in any service profession, tipping is a matter of choice. However, like waitresses, cab drivers and others, it is customary to tip your massage therapist. If you are delighted with the massage, consider tipping very well, particularly if s/he has gone above and beyond to provide you with an excellent, effective therapeutic massage.
If you use Yelp or other social media, and enjoyed your massage, first “check in” if you use them on your phone. Then “LIKE” us on Facebook, or write a short review on Yelp. Our independent massage therapists always appreciate the kudos and this will help the Body Cafe continue to provide relaxation, healing, and bodywork in the years to come.
If there was anything about your massage that was unpleasant or uncomfortable to you, please let us know. An email to your therapist, or firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com will help inform us in our practice and to improve our work.
If you received deep tissue or other deep massage work, it is not uncommon to feel a bit sore, even as much as a day or two after your massage. Drinking water will help flush any toxins in your system and decrease this or any other possible post-massage discomfort.
We at the Body Café hope your massage is both enjoyable and beneficial, and this experience will be the beginning of a lifelong practice to help you enjoy the best possible health and relaxation.