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What to Expect: Before, During, & After A Massage

Updated: Jun 9, 2019

"I'd always wonder why they didn't have videos for the clients explaining what to expect!"

I often hear various horror stories about massage experiences. Mostly during consultations or with newer clients who are either nervous or hesitant and unsure of what to expect. When I worked at massage franchises with such a fast paced turnover time, I'd always wonder why they didn't have videos for the clients explaining what to expect! For example when you first walk in or the lounge area. This way clients are already prepped, ready to go and know what to expect. It made sense to me and when discussed with colleagues they wondered the same. Of course being the "outspoken" therapist I am, I'd discussed this with management. Even spoke with owners of the franchises' and all of them just kind of brushed me off with oh I wish I could but that's not the "franchise standards of practice". Whatever, it's their business not mine right! Well unfortunately in return, this made my job harder; but, because I'm resilient and determined to play the cards I'm dealt I just had to find a solution. Against all odds I push myself to excel and exceed in a variety of different areas and aspects of my own life. The video below is an example of ABMP's (Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals) standards of practice and has pretty much set the tone throughout the industry.

While of course the above video doesn't reflect every and all situations it gives you a general idea about what to expect. And the video above is also a standards of practice. Meaning at the very least these are the basics of what to expect from a massage session from just about every and all practitioners. With that being said I've consulted and spoken with some of the top earning, veteran therapist in the game. (Some of whom happen to be my former co-workers and colleagues which I just absolutely love to pieces.) Both private practice and employees have put together some helpful hints and tips. Kind of like the top do's and don'ts before, during, and after you get a massage. Now you do have to find a few therapist you love but that's a totally different story. These are general rules of thumb, that can be applied just about every time. This way you can make the most out of all your massage experiences. Whether you're a seasoned professional at getting massage and bodywork or you're a newbie to the wonderful world of massage therapy, I guarantee there's some information in these tips just for you!


VET the massage place, Google the name, look at some of the reviews.

CALL and book your service ahead of time, usually they'll give you their food for thought on your very 1st visit. But if you just so happened to walk in don't worry we got you!

IF there are closed curtains on the windows near the entrance door of the massage/spa place during normal business hours of 9am-5pm, BE VERY SKEPTICAL!

DON'T eat a full meal within an hour of service. It may cause some discomfort.

DO be a few minutes early as there might be paperwork to fill out & sign.

Showering & being fragrance free are ideal. (Not necessities) Others may be allergic to fragrances including your therapist.

TURN OFF ALL electronics & take off jewelry (and by turn off electronics we mean put them on vibrate)! While most therapist don't mind electronics going off and can work around jewelry you won't get the absolute best experience. 

SPECIFY your goals for that session and overall long term goals with your therapist.

Dress down to your comfort level. By this we mean get undressed as if your at home getting in your bed; you'll be completely covered up with the exception of the area being worked on at the time. (Unless you're somewhere like the Esalen Institute which is clothing optional and very non-sexual.)


Speak up if something's not right during the massage. For example: pressure, feeling exposed, being uncomfortable. Even if you're there for therapeutic purposes not so much relaxation SPEAK UP! The more comfy you are the more you'll relax the easier and faster it will be to address and get to the root cause of your specific issues.

RELAX think of your body as dead weight once you get comfy on the massage table. Try to become 1 with the table. For the most part DO NOT TRY TO HELP US! If we need your assistance we will definitely ask you for it. This is your time to unwind and you may be actually making it harder for us therapist to address your needs because you think you are helping us out.

Don't hesitate to ask questions! If you're curious to know anything related to massage, your therapist, the company etc. Ask during your session. As we may not have all the answers but we can certainly find out and get back to you. (I'm very open and honest with my clients in such a way that no subject, question or topic is off limits. It is our sacred space and time during their sessions.)


Just go to sleep on the table... (laughing out loud) I'm kidding you'll only feel like that if you've had a fabulous session and hopefully with these extra tips in your back pocket you will have had just that!

Drink at least twice as much water than you normally would. Here's why the extra water helps to flush out the toxins that cause tension and stress in the 1st place. 

TAKE IT EASY! You can still go about your normal routine but try to lighten any loads if you can because you don't want to undue everything your therapist just did.

ASK YOUR THERAPIST for at home care or things to do or focus on for next time. A closed mouth can not get fed! Meaning if you don't ask you won't know and communication is huge to get the best for your future self.

TIPS ARE GREATLY APPRECIATED! But not required. Typically around 15-20% or more is ideal and of course CASH is preferred. Most therapist rely heavily on tips especially when they are employees. Employed therapist only receive about 25%-44% of the service cost before taxes. With Private Practices or Independent Contractors, therapist typically receive about 50%-80% (before taxes, expenses, supplies and cost per treatment) of what you're actually being charged for the service.

SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT, before you leave. This ensures your level of commitment to yourself and you have something to look forward too. For the best results much like anything in life, CONSISTENCY IS KEY!

This is the solution to the problem. The Before, During and After getting a massage. And coming soon to our locations will be videos being played in the tranquility room specifically of what to expect when you visit one of our luxury facilities.

If you enjoyed this please comment & if this was beneficial please share with at least 2 people.

Until next time this is your new favorite crazy person Bodywork Specialist Monique Jenkins signing off and reminding you that your "Health is your Wealth, So why not Invest in Yourself!"
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