8860 Columbia 100 Parkway, Suite 302
Columbia, MD 21045


t: 410.997.1808

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What to expect when going for massage

June 2, 2014

Welcome to Massage Associates’ initial blog post!  


We thought we’d start with a question that is usually on the minds of clients new to massage, “What can I expect when I go for a massage?”.  Even if you are a massage veteran, please continue reading because you may see something that you didn’t know or weren’t quite sure about!


First, you’ll fill out a health screen.  These forms vary from practice to practice; you are welcome to take a look at Massage Associates’ Health Screen and fill it out prior to your arrival if you like.  The forms can also vary from modality (type of massage) to modality but all Health Screens have one thing in common:  the questions asked are relative to massage.  We do not ask about medical conditions, accidents, injuries or past surgeries because we’re nosey.  Finding out if you are on medication or have allergies is not done so that we can gossip about you at the water cooler.  All of those pieces of information help us know what is the best and safest way to work with you.  We’ll discuss just why health questions are so important in an upcoming post but, for now, rest assured that your massage therapist is not asking these questions for giggles and grins; the health information is important and relevant to your massage session.


Once you have filled out a health screen, your massage therapist will review it with you and may ask some additional questions about activities, stress levels, work and so on.  All of those things impact your body and that means they are important details for your massage therapist.  Don’t worry, this conversation will take place in the treatment room, not in a lobby full of people.  One of our responsibilities - and your rights - is maintaining client confidentiality.  


After the intake (the brief Q&A we just discussed) is complete, the massage therapist will give you an idea of the general plan for your massage, taking into consideration your requests or concerns.  If you have questions about anything at this point, please be sure to ask!  At this point, we’ll invite you to get on the massage table and will leave the room so that you can do so.  Once you have undressed to your level of comfort (for more on what that means, please see our FAQ page) and have removed any jewelry, watches, etc., you’ll lay down on the table under the sheets and wait for the massage therapist to knock on the door.  Don’t worry, we won’t leave you laying there too long!  


*Knock, knock*  See, told you that we wouldn’t leave you there long!  Now, if you are ready, let us know that with an “Okay” or some other verbal acknowledgement that we can enter, we’ll come in and the session will begin.


Notice the table is warm?  That’s nothing to worry about!  At Massage Associates, we don’t want you to slide onto cold sheets *brrrr* so we regularly use a table warmer.  If, for any reason, you don’t want the table warm, please be sure to let your massage therapist know.  In addition to table warmers, at Massage Associates we also use warming packs at different times during a massage.  Of course, as with the table warmer, if you would prefer not to have the additional warmth, please do not hesitate to let us know.  Remember, our goal is to make you a priority; every session is tailored to what you need.  


Something else that you can expect during your massage is music.  It will be playing when you enter the treatment room and throughout your session.  If there is a particular kind of music that you find relaxing feel free to bring it along with you but that is by no means a requirement.  The music we choose tends to be soothing and geared towards relaxation but, of course, if the selection is not to your liking, be sure to let your massage therapist know.  If you would prefer no music, you are welcome to tell us that as well.  Whether you are visiting us for wellness reasons or for well-being, your session is about you.  


Occasionally during the massage, your therapist will check in with you about the amount of pressure that is being used and your overall comfort level.  Please be honest and don’t hesitate to speak up without being asked if you need to; you’re not going to hurt our feelings by letting us know if you need a change.  Massage, even deep tissue massage, should never hurt and we never want you to be uncomfortable during your session with us.


You may have heard that a massage is never actually as long as it is booked for.  That is not the case at Massage Associates.  If you book an hour session, the hands-on portion of your session will, in fact, be one hour long.  The exception to that would be situations such as the client being late or an emergency of some sort.  


Now, once your session has been completed, your massage therapist will thank you and quietly leave the treatment room.  Take your time getting off the table and enjoy the more easeful way your body moves.  We’ll meet you in the lobby to take care of payment and setting up a future appointment.  No doubt this moment is one that brings up the question “Should I tip?” and that is a discussion for a future post but, in general, while tipping is certainly appreciated it is never required.  


We hope you enjoyed this post!  Check back soon to see what other topics we’ll be discussing and, if there is a particular subject you would like to see covered, be sure to let us know in the comments below!  As with our massage sessions at Massage Associates... 


Let us make you a priority!  



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