You’re getting serious about taking care of yourself this year. You set a goal to get a regular massage, but you’ve never had a professional one done before. How much do they cost? Where do I find a good massage therapist? How do I prepare for my first massage? Don’t worry, I’ve got all your answers covered.
Getting your first massage should be a good and relaxing experience. So let’s take all of the stress out of it by following a few important tips.
Preparing For Your First Massage
Read reviews from clients
Google is your friend for reviews. Remember to sort by the ascending from newest to oldest, for the most recent reviews. Look for things that matter the most: cleanliness, professionalism, punctuality and excellent customer service.
Check Groupon for deals
Groupon is a great place to search for the most recent deals. Just keep in mind that if a spa is advertising all of its services on Groupon, business may be slow. It can also mean that a particular service that the spa offers, isn’t getting enough frequenting from clients.
So it’s a good way to get discounted services when you’re budget doesn’t allow for splurging.
Book over the phone vs. online if possible
Sometimes your spa may forget to add their latest discounts to their booking apps. Or, you may qualify for a first time customer discount that you’re unaware of. It’s best to call and get your specific questions answered about your first massage experience. Then, after your first visit, keep it convenient by using the online scheduler or app.
Be on time for your appointment
Most reputable day spas will ask for your credit card info to book your services and they can come with some pretty hefty cancellation/no-show fees. So, be sure to show up and come a bit early.
Wear comfortable and loose clothing
The whole purpose of massage is to relax your muscles and feel great. Try to wear things that are loose and easy to get on/off during your appointment. Lightweight tees and sweats are just fine.
Try to wear shoes that aren’t tight or restrictive. Something you can slip in and out of is preferable. Sneakers are ok as long as you’re not lacing them up tightly.
Pull hair up into a bun, rock a light stretchy headband on your edges or wrap the perimeter in a lightweight headscarf to protect your do. Make sure it’s something breathable.
Take a warm shower
This should be self-explanatory but if not, come to your appointment with a clean body. Try not to schedule your appointments at times when you know you’ll be coming straight from a run or the gym.
Your therapist is there to take care of you, not to smell your gym funk.
Besides the cleanliness factor, warm showers are a good way to loosen up your muscles before your massage. It makes it easier on you and your body to come relaxed.
More Practical Tips, To Prepare For Your First Massage
Shave a day earlier
If you are a regular weekly shaver like me. You’ll want to be sure to prevent any type of potential skin irritation from massage oils/essential oils used during your service. So, I would advise not shaving on the day of your massage. If you have to shave, do it the day before, to play it safe.
Eat & Hydrate before your appointment
Eat light and be sure to drink plenty of water before your first massage. You may leave feeling a bit drained, so having light bites and water on hand before and afterwards is good.
Take the opportunity to got to the bathroom before your service
You don’t want to have to interrupt your service or waste time going to the bathroom. The clock doesn’t stop because you have to go either. So, the best thing to do is to go before. Arrive a bit early so you can take care of that.
Mentally prepare for undressing with a stranger
While it’s pretty customary for your massage therapist to leave the room while you undress and get under your top sheet, it can still be an uncomfortable experience for some women. You have to remember that you are going to see a trained professional, who is used to seeing naked bodies as part of their daily job. Unless you have an extra limb, you probably don’t have anything they haven’t already seen before.
Just remember that you can stay as clothed as you’d like but your undergarments can get in the way of your getting the most out of your service. You are always in control. It’s your dime, you decide.
Be prepared to tip for your service
10 to 20% is fine for tips. Don’t feel pressured to tip more or less. Tip based on how well you feel your service went.
You don’t need to carry cash. Most spa’s will accept credit/debit and you can write in your tip on your receipt.
Come early to fill out health history paperwork
Give yourself a 15 – 20 minute window before you go in, to fill out any necessary paperwork. This include things like adding an emergency contact and letting them know about major surgeries, product allergies and your skin type etc.
You will be sleepy
You may feel a bit drained and tired after your first massage. Be prepared to relax for a bit afterwards, if possible. I would suggest taking a nap or at the very least, laying down in a quiet place, for some rest.
What other ways do you practice self-care besides massage?