What happens on your first session?
Your first session will be a little longer – up to an hour and a half – so that we can go through a full assessment. I will ask you questions about your general health, medical history and we will go into detail about your presenting complaint. If it is appropriate, I will also go through some general range of motion tests and more specific orthopaedic tests. The information gathered from your health history and tests will all help me in designing a treatment specific to your needs.
Will I have to undress?
Usually yes, I will ask you to undress to whatever level is necessary for me to carry out the treatment effectively. I will leave the room while you undress and lie down on the table underneath the drapes. You will never be asked to undress further than you are comfortable with. If you wish to keep your clothes on there are still many techniques that can be done effectively through clothing. Shiatsu traditionally is performed with the client fully clothed.
During the treatment you will be fully draped and only the part of the body I am working on will be uncovered and the draping securely tucked in so that you feel safe at all times.
What is the massage like?
I incorporate a mixture of different techniques into the massage sessions depending on what I feel will be most effective to achieve your goals. To learn more about the different techniques I use please visit the Clinical Massage and Shiatsu pages. These techniques range from broad relaxing strokes to more detailed work on specific areas. Some of the work will involve the use of deep pressure and some of it will feel much more gentle although the effect is still very profound. The experience as a whole is usually deeply relaxing and has an emphasis on treating the whole person.
Does it hurt?
The massage should never be uncomfortably painful. Some of the techniques, for example trigger point therapy which involves sustained pressure on tender points, can be a little painful, but this should always fall in the realm of ‘good hurt’. You are always in control and I will adjust my pressure to make sure that you are not uncomfortable. I welcome your feedback and will stay in communication with you during the treatment so that I can make sure the amount of pressure I use is right for you.
How will I feel afterwards?
Most people experience a feeling of deep relaxation and relief from tension after a massage session. It is possible that trigger point work may cause some discomfort to be experienced for a day or two after the session – in the same way that you may feel sore after exercise. There is usually an immediate reduction in pain, although sometimes it may take a day or two to feel the full benefits.
How many sessions will I need?
This will vary according to the reason you are coming for massage. For relief from pain conditions as a guide you are likely to experience significant reduction in pain in 1 to 6 sessions, depending on the nature of your condition (please see the chronic pain and injury page). Some conditions such as frozen shoulder will need more sessions over a longer period of time. Once your condition has resolved or improved significantly you may want to continue coming for regular monthly maintenance treatments to keep yourself well.
If you are living with a long term illness or stress or you are pregnant, I would recommend ongoing regular sessions (please see the stress, chronic illness and pregnancy pages). If you just want to come for a massage when you feel you need it and can fit it into your day that’s fine too! We can discuss your needs during your first visit and decide on a treatment plan that works for you.
Contact me now to make an appointment or to discuss how Massage Therapy can help you!