To help put you at ease for a most relaxing, rejuvenating experience.
When you come to HTM for your first massage, please arrive five to ten minutes early to fill out a brief medical history questionnaire. This will inform the therapist of your history while saving valuable table time.
The therapist will greet you in the client waiting room and take you to the treatment room. There, he/she will go over your medical history. She will then design and discuss the kind of treatment she will give you. Some of the treatment ingredients may include relaxation, pain relief, Cross Fiber Frictioning, and Reiki.
The treatment room is warm, with soothing music. There is a padded table especially created for massage. The therapist may provide a face cradle which can be adjusted to fit you, bolsters for support, and a heating pad to relax the muscles.
The therapist will leave the room to provide you with some privacy. You should take off your jewelry and get undressed*, leaving your underpants on or off, depending on what is most comfortable for you. The table has a modesty drape (a large sheet) which you should get under when lying on the table. Your modesty will be respected at all times during the treatment.
The therapist will return to the room and make any adjustments to the table so you will be more comfortable. She will usually use an oil or lotion which allows her hands to glide more easily over your skin. Your job during the treatment is to relax into the table, to breath deep relaxing breaths, and to inform the therapist of any discomfort. All of our therapists work "with" the client, not "on" the client. If you need to adjust your body, ask questions, close your eyes, talk, or sigh, please do. We want your massage to be comfortable.
During the treatment the therapist may find points on your body that are tender. These are portions of muscles that remain tight all the time due to either injury, posture, overuse, or repetitive use. When a muscle is tight it behaves like a wood stove when the flue is shut down: the fresh oxygen is limited and the burn becomes very smoky. In a muscle, the fresh blood cannot get into the muscle, which then works much less efficiently and creates a lot of chemical buildup in the muscle. The nerves read this chemical buildup as tenderness.
The therapist's goal when working on these tender points is to flush out the muscle and to trigger the nerves to release and lengthen the muscle. While working on these points, if touch were on a scale of one to ten and one was a gentle stroke and ten was extremely painful, the massage therapist should be working between 5-7. This is what we call " good pain." Clients have said, "it hurts so good." Any feedback to make the massage work better for you is always welcome.
At the end of the massage the therapist will leave the room. Please take your time getting up. Sometimes people are dizzy after a massage, but usually they feel great.
*It is also possible to give a treatment with the client fully clothed, if it would make the client more comfortable.