Frequently Asked Questions, Helpful Tips and Etiquette for First Time Clients
Frequently Asked Questions, Helpful Tips and Etiquette for First Time Clients
As a first time client, you are required to fill out Health Intake forms (this is for YOUR safety as well as mine). You should arrive about 10 minutes early to fill out. Or print and fill out ahead of time. You can find the forms here.
Your appointment has a set amount of time and most likely the therapist will have another client after your session. Please arrive early to each appointment, that way no one feels rushed. It's your time, you should be ready to relax.
If you arrive late to your appointment, your time may not be extended (may be shortened) if there is another client scheduled right after you.
Communication with your therapist is critical for a good experience, whether it's a massage, facial, body treatment or waxing. If the massage pressure is too firm or too light, the therapist needs to know. If you are having a lymphatic massage, the pressure must be light (this is non-negotiable) in order to stimulate your lymph system.
Remember it is appropriate to talk with your therapist during the session to adjust the pressure to your needs.
Just remember, your therapist is here to help you feel and look your best.
Massage therapists and Estheticians (skin care specialists) commit to long hours of learning and log in countless practice sessions before they even enter the professional arena. By the time their career is established, they are completely comfortable and trustful of intentional, therapeutic, physical touch therapy and skin care.
Once you relax into receiving a treatment, the therapeutic benefits can really take effect.
Avoid eating a full meal for at least an hour before a having a massage treatment. Digestion can make being massaged a bit uncomfortable with a full stomach. It is advised to drink (water, tea, green tea) to stay hydrated before and after a massage. Avoid drinking alcohol immediately prior to any massage as it can make you feel worse.
Plan on arriving 10 minutes before your appointment time. This will ensure time to fill out the required paperwork on your first visit (and sign any forms on subsequent visits). Arrive relaxed as possible to reap therapy benefits. Being late may cut into your time & you will be charged for full time. If you no show, you will be charged a fee. If you need to cancel, please give at least 6 hours of you will be charged a flat fee.
Cold and Flu/Illness/Covid –
Please do NOT arrive to your appointment with an active cold/flu/virus, or showing symptoms or feeling ill.
You could be a germ 'carrier' and infect others in the building. The therapist will turn you away. When you are ill, getting massage could do more harm than good and may make you feel worse (this has to do with the circulatory system). Other clients arriving after you may have cancer or otherwise compromised immune systems.
BE RESPECTFUL. Covid-19 Policy UPDATE: Please cancel at least 6 hours prior to your appointment or reschedule (with no fee) if you are truly feeling ill, have a fever, etc. Please do NOT show up to any appointment when you are not feeling well. Just call, text and/or email me immediately.
Shower before your massage appointment. It is not polite to arrive with excessive body odor or sweat.
Wet wipes are great when in a bind. Inform your therapist if you have any glandular or hormonal medical issues.
Perfumes, Fragrances, Fragrant Body Lotions,etc –
Please avoid wearing or applying scents, perfumes, scented body lotions,etc before and after your session in respect for others with sensitivities and allergic reactions.
AT TIME OF APPOINTMENT/SESSION:
Clothing and Jewelry –
Remove excess jewelry especially necklaces, bracelets, watches. I am not responsible for jewelry that gets caked with massage lotion/oil/gels.
Take off only as much clothing as you are comfortable with. It is not necessary to fully undress. For women, bra’s worn during massage interrupt the smooth strokes on the back, but again your comfort is priority. Remember, you can stay fully clothed for your massage, your therapist will work with you.
Your Privacy Is Always Respected:
Only begin undressing after the therapist has left the room for your privacy.
Sheets, blankets and/or towels will drape you. With conservative draping, only the part of your body that the therapist is working on will be exposed at a time. Draping differs at establishments and for each therapist if they have their own business. Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy requires draping of sheets/blankets during massage.
If you are booked for a facial, body treatment or waxing, a spa wrap will be provided for you to wear. A spa wrap goes around your body just like a towel after getting out of the shower and will keep your neck, decollette and back undraped and ready to receive treatment products.
Some treatments such as lomi lomi massage will be more liberally draped because of how the massage is performed.
Pain during massage –
Minor discomfort (not pain) can be expected from working on knots and tension, but it should feel like a “good hurt.” Always communicate any pain to your therapist to make adjustments in pressure/techniques. Let your therapist know if you bruise easily.
Remember to relax and breathe normally. Deep breathing helps to facilitate relaxation. As long as the discomfort is not too much, breathe deeply to allow your muscles relax.
Why do therapists massage the Gluteal (buttocks) muscles... is that normal ?
Yes, with your consent, it is appropriate to have the gluteal muscles massaged as well as the pectoral (chest)
muscles (and only for Therapeutic purposes).
Certain massage modalities benefit from massaging the abdomen, such as Lymphatic Drainage, and to help with digestion issues & recent surgery.
Please tell your massage therapist if you are uncomfortable with being touched anywhere.
Remember, I am a LICENSED PROFESSIONAL.
Glutes – The buttocks muscles called the gluteal muscles are massage for sciatica or to relieve tension that often contributes to low back pain when muscle related with the piriformis muscles.
Pectorals – The pecs, or chest muscles, are massaged because they relieve tension in the shoulders & chest.
Abdomen – The abdomen, (rarely massaged in western massage; more often with Lymphatic Drainage massage),
helps with detoxing, increases blood flow and oxygen to organs, relieves abdominal tension, helps with bowel movement.
During the massage always notify your therapist of any discomfort. This can be from the massage itself or the environment like room temperature, volume of music, lighting etc. Speak up and ask about anything you are
Health History –
Give accurate information about your health history and if you’ve had any recent injuries, surgeries, or allergies.
It’s possible to be turned away for medical reasons to keep you and others safe.
If unsure always ask. Assumptions can create awkward situations. Always clearly communicate what’s going on and ask questions. We only provide legal legitimate massage therapy and skin care services.
PLEASE REFRAIN FROM:
The Inappropriate –
Don’t ask or hint at the therapist for any “special requests.”
Flirting with your therapist, or touching your massage therapist (or yourself) inappropriately will get you kicked out and possibly worse. Real therapeutic massages have nothing to do with sex.
Alcohol and drugs –
Do not arrive intoxicated. You will be turned away. It’s best even to avoid alcohol 24 hours prior to your massage.
It is not safe and your therapist does not need the liability of dealing with a client under the influence of controlled substances.
Many times your therapist will offer you a bottle of water at the end of the session. It is important to drink plenty of water after a
massage therapy session. The water will help flush the toxins out of your body that are released during a massage.
The cells in your body release waste from chemicals in your environment, food additives, and other metabolic waste.
Getting off the table –
Get up SLOWLY when your massage/skin care treatment is complete. Changing positions too quickly could
make you dizzy especially if you have low blood pressure.
Try not to fall asleep after the therapist leaves, the room needs to be cleaned & disinfected for the next appointment after you.
Post Massage soreness/discomfort –
Post massage fatigue is possible after an intense massage, due to over stimulation of the nervous system. Remembering to hydrate is key. Soreness that feels like an intense workout from inflammation one to two days after a deep tissue massage is normal. If after three days you are still sore you should consider telling your therapist to ease up on the pressure next time. An epsom salt bath or soak in a hot tub can ease the discomfort. You should not be bruised. Please inform your therapist if you bruise easily (before your session begins) or if you have any blood disorders (disclose on your Health Intake Form, please.
Reminders and Misc:
TIPPING – It is normal to tip 15%-20%, but tips are always at your discretion. Therapists are providing a service, gratuities are always appreciated.
REFERRALS– If you liked your treatment, please show the courtesy of giving your therapist a future booking and give referrals whenever possible. Your therapist will appreciate the gesture. If you can provide reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc..that would be very helpful.
Are Multiple Sessions Necessary ?
If you are just treating yourself to relaxation, 1 or 2 hourly sessions per month is probably fine (depending on your lifestyle). Massage and skin care treatment benefits are cumulative, and most effective when you make positive lifestyle changes. If you are recovering from a soft tissue injury, it may take many sessions to get you back on track. Remember, everyone heals differently.
Beware of Massage Parlors Trafficking Women -
Keep in mind that if you are paying $20 an hour for a massage somewhere else, some establishments have a business based on trafficked workers. They typically offer relaxation massage, not therapeutic, and avoid charting your medical history. You could get a legitimate massage, in that you are not violated or propositioned since they have to run a "front". Please don’t contribute to the illegal trafficking of women. They are not always so obvious, but use your judgement.
If you need massage therapy at a more affordable rate, massage schools are a great alternative. Students are required to reach a certain level of competency and therefore could use the practice.