Choosing whether or not to get a massage can be a nerve racking proposition. On the one hand you're curious and would love to try it, but on the other hand its kind of scary. The fear of the unknown coupled with negative body image prevent a lot of people from trying massage. Hopefully, some of your questions will be answered and some of your fears alleviated by reading these frequently asked questions about massage.
Do I have to take off all my clothes and if so will anyone see me?
Answer: You can disrobe to your comfort level. A good therapist can work around any clothing you choose to leave on. During the massage you will be covered in at least a sheet, a blanket also if it is chilly. (Don't be afraid to ask for a blanket if you need one at some point during the massage. As you relax, your blood pressure may drop causing you to get cold.) You should never feel as though you are being exposed during a massage.
Doesn't getting a massage hurt?
Answer: Getting a massage should not hurt. The therapist should be asking you for your feedback during the massage. They can't feel what you feel. Therefore, they should be asking you about the pressure of the massage and how it feels in general, especially if you have never worked with a particular therapist before. Deep tissue can sometimes cause Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS for short. This is just your muscles reacting to the deep work done on them. Drink plenty of water to help flush toxins from your body and you should feel better than new in a day or two.
Isn't massage expensive, what if I get hooked?
Answer: Different therapists charge different rates. There is sure to be a therapist in your price range. Just remember that therapists also do different types of bodywork as well. You want to make sure you match the therapist and the price to what your looking to get out of the massage. Ask yourself what your goal is for massage. Do you want to just relax? Relieve pain? Increase mobility? Soothe an old injury? All of these things are possible with massage, but the type of massage given may not suit your goals. Do some research to get the most for your money. Therapists also sometimes offer different services or varying lengths of service for different prices. Check the menu and see what's offered that will match your budget. Getting "hooked" on massage isn't necessarily a bad thing. Massage is a healthy habit that feels really good. It's like if chocolate cake had all the vitamins you need for a week and no calories.
What is Swedish Massage and how is different from other types?
Answer: Looking at a massage menu can be confusing if you don't know what all the names of the services on a menu mean. Swedish Massage is a fast paced, more superficial massage. The strokes go from your limbs in toward your heart. This type of massage is used to stimulate the circulatory system. It can also be relaxing, even though the pace is fast. Myofascial Release is also sometimes listed on menus. It is a slow and deliberate stretching of the fascia that lies just beneath your skin and helps keep your muscles in place. This can also be relaxing and can help ease pain near the surface. Deep Tissue is another common item on a massage menu. This modality works into your deepest layers of muscle, stretching them out and getting rid of tension. This is a little more intense, but highly effective for pain relief. Integrated or Therapeutic Massage combines techniques from all of these modalities. It can be a little more expensive but the benefits include; relaxation, pain relief, deep muscle tension relief, increased mobility, increased circulation and much more.
What if I fall asleep?
Answer: Falling asleep or drifting off into never-never land are perfectly normal during a massage. The therapist knows they've made you feel relaxed and comfortable if you fall asleep halfway through the massage.