Q&A …. What to expect as a new client

I do remember being curious what my first session would entail and I hope to answer some of those questions here.  I invite you to email me at relaxginny@yahoo.com with any questions you may have that may not be included here.  There is a good chance you are not alone with that question and I would be happy to include the information here.

Even though I’ve been a massage therapist for a long time, I do remember what it was like to get my first massage. Before then I had only had friends or family give shoulder rubs and that was it! I had no idea at that time the profound effect massage can have on chronic pain, mental and physical relaxation, and general wellbeing. I am so glad you are making the decision to improve these areas of your life with massage therapy.

  • What is the scheduling process like?
  • Should I arrive early?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Will we have time to talk before we start?
  • What should I bring or wear to my session?
  • What about draping?
  • Will it hurt?
  • What should I do after my massage?

What is the scheduling process like?

First time clients generally schedule on the phone or in person.  This way we can go through any question you may have, decide together on the length of session that is appropriate for you, and work out the appointment time that works best.

Scheduling is done through Massagebook, so there will be an email confirmation with directions and information and an additional email to fill out the online confidential HIPAA compliant health intake form. The online form is preferred, but we do have hard copy in the office.

Should I arrive early?

My philosophy on timing is that your service time is the hands-on time… for example, a 1 hour session is that the client will receive 60 minutes hands-on time. I strive to provide as much of that time as scheduling and timing allows. Late arrivals disrupt this ability and may cut into your session time. I recommend arriving a few minutes early in case you need to use the restroom or fill out any paperwork. 5 minutes is usually enough for most people to take care of these needs before we begin.

What is the cancellation/rescheduling/late arrival/No Show policy?

Your massage appointment is dedicated for only you. Which means no one else will be able to book that time slot so long as it is reserved for you. Anyone requesting that time slot will be asked to book a different time. In the event of a short notice reschedule or cancellation it makes booking someone else in that time slot difficult and means your massage therapist misses out on helping someone!

In the event of LATE ARRIVAL, appointments will end as scheduled. If client is more than 1/3 of their service time late this is considered a NO SHOW and the 24 hour cancellation policy will be used.
(example: 10 min late for a 30 minute service, or 20 min late for a 60 min service, 30 min late for a 90 min, etc.)

Less than 24 hour notice Cancellation, Last Minute Reschedule, No Show Policy:

Except in cases of inclement weather, contagious illness, and emergencies; you will owe the FULL AMOUNT of your scheduled service without AT LEAST 24 HOUR NOTICE of cancellation/reschedule. 

Gift certificates and package series voucher sessions are void without 24 hour cancellation/reschedule notice or NO SHOW. 

In the case of NO SHOW, the client will be invoiced for the missed appointment which will be due upon receipt and will not be able to book again until it is paid in full.

Will we have time to talk before we start?

First sessions tend to require longer pre-session consultations…usually about 10 minutes. This is normal to me and I expect it and build time into my schedule to allow for this valuable time. This time gives me the opportunity to learn about your challenges, goals, what’s worked in the past and what hasn’t, what your expectations are and to go over the plan for the session with you.

Future appointments have a pre-session consultation, but usually is faster than the first one as we have already learned a lot about working together.  It is important to me to check in with you before each session to listen to your needs for the day and proceed accordingly.

What should I bring or wear to my session?

Comfort is key! Our sessions are performed on a massage table with sheet draping.  So wear whatever makes you comfortable upon arrival and departure. You do not need to bring anything with you other that your self, an idea of what your goals are for the session, a positive attitude, and whatever method of payment you prefer to use.

What about draping?

During your session sheet draping will be used to maintain modesty at all times. You will be asked to disrobe to your level of comfort in private and get on the massage table under the sheet and blanket. It will be recommended to wear minimal or no clothing as skin-to-skin is more conducive for the flow of the session. For example, for women bra straps create a stopping point for massage on the back muscles, so that would be a consideration to remove that prior to your session.

Professional draping techniques are used to expose only the area being treated at that particular point in the session. Only areas that would be like the exposure of a swimsuit would be exposed, but one section at a time.

In cases where clients prefer to wear an article of clothing, the technique is adjusted to continue to massage over the clothes to address the muscle group in an effective way whenever possible and appropriate.

Will it hurt?

It shouldn’t! Clients have told me that working on some problem areas tends to feel like a “hurts so good, but not painful experience.” Massage therapy is a communication between you, your tissues, and the therapist. It is a balancing act to provide just the right amount of pressure for the right amount of time to the right muscle to allow your body to respond and create a positive change. If there is any pain at all during your session, please speak up! IT SHOULD NOT HURT and adjustments can be made to keep it in your comfort level.

What should I do after my massage?

Follow any recommendations made during your post-session consultation.

Most people feel very relaxed after their massage, so anything strenuous is not usually recommended. Take time to relax and allow your body to integrate the work it received.

Hydration as appropriate for your health is important. Caffeine and alcohol consumption are definitely NOT RECOMMENDED before or after getting massage services.