Massage Ann Arbor

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What to Expect During Your Massage Session

By Amy Prior, NCTMB

I'm sure that those of you who have never experienced a table massage have many concerns about what to expect during a massage session. Many times, preconceived notions cause the unexperienced to avoid getting massage, even if they need it badly. So, to put your minds at ease, I'd like to address those concerns.

Will I have to be naked during my massage?

How much clothing you remove is completely up to you. Any reputable massage therapist will use professional draping with the sheet--meaning that only the area being massaged will be exposed. For your safety and security, absolutely NO private parts or genitals should be exposed at any time.

It is easiest for the massage therapist if you undress down to only your underpants. The reason for this is so that if massage oils or creams are used, it won't get all over your clothes. I personally prefer to use the elastic of the client's underpants to tuck the sheet in to help ensure that you are properly covered. However, if you are more comfortable with leaving more clothing on, I can still work through the clothing, though, to protect your clothing, no massage oils can be used.

The most important thing is that you feel comfortable during your session.

Should I Tip My Massage Therapist?

Again, that is completely up to you. In general, tips are appreciated, but certainly not required. If you do decide to tip, you may tip however much you feel comfortable. It is generally understood that some people are uncomfortable tipping or are financially unable to tip, so if you don't tip, your massage therapist shouldn't take it as an unspoken commentary on his or her work.

What Kind of Massage Can I Expect?

When you call to make an appointment, ask questions about what kind of massage is offered. It's also a good idea to ask if the massage therapist you are scheduled with is nationally certified. Some states also require massage therapists to be licensed--Michigan currently has a licensing law, but has not yet implemented the process to hand out those licenses.

Many other styles of massage exist, including Thai massage, Reflexology, Lomi Lomi, Hot Stone Therapy, Craniosacral massage, Shiatsu, and several others. If you are interested in a particular style of massage, please ask if it's available.

I offer therapeutic massage including Swedish (or relaxation) massage as well as deep tissue massage, chair massage and some sports massage. I don't perform any of the other styles. I do not perform sensual massage.

Tips for a Successful Massage Session

1. ARRIVE ON TIME! If your appointment is scheduled for 1:30, please try to arrive about 5-10 minutes before so that you have time to disrobe and get onto the table. You may also need a few minutes to fill out a health history form and to talk to the therapist so that s/he can determine what problems you're having and formulate a plan on how best to help you.

2. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR THERAPIST. Giving accurate information about your health is important to the therapist--s/he must know if you have a condition that might contraindicate a massage. In order for your massage therapist to be effective, it's very important to tell your therapist if they are using too much or not enough pressure. And if, for any reason you feel the need to stop the massage or if the therapist is doing anything that you dislike, please say so. Don't feel you need to keep quiet about anything.

3. ASK QUESTIONS. If there's anything you want to know, don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask why you've been experiencing that back pain or why you've been getting headaches. Ask what you can do to help reduce your pain. Ask what you can expect during the massage. Ask about what your therapist specializes in and how they can help you. Whatever you may be curious about, ask questions.

If you'd like more information or would like to schedule an appointment with me, please visit my Web site at