So you’ve decided that a massage might be good for you and lets face it you wouldn’t be wrong. Your motivation for booking an appointment may just be that you have hit the gym too hard, you have a sedentary job hunched over a computer screen all day, have to sit for hours on end, or stand for hours on end, have to drive long distances, continually make repetitive movements or just juggle too many things in a day. Whatever the reason the benefits are overwhelming.

But walking in for your first massage can often be an odd experience and the mere thought of the anxiety of not knowing what to expect or how to act may sway you not to bother. Let’s face it the unfamiliar is a scary prospect no matter what your age or gender.

Second guessing what garments you should leave on, whether you should tip your masseuse. What should you eat or drink beforehand? Should you talk or stay silent?

Hey It’s enough to stress anyone out and doesn’t that defeat the whole reason for you being there?

So here is the 24Seven Wellness & Living Guide to your first massage:

Male or Female? – If you would feel more comfortable with a male or female masseuse ensure you inform them at the time of booking. 

Talk to Your Massage Therapist – Spend a few minutes before your massage for a brief chat with your masseuse. Talking is an easy way to put yourself at ease and can relieve some of the uncomfortable tension. It is also a good time to ask them what they would recommend for someone’s first massage.  This way you have confronted the “elephant in the room” and introduced the fact that this is your first massage and they might then provide you with a lot of answers to all your anxieties.

Allergies – Let your masseuse know if you have any allergies to lotions or oils. Skin allergies are common, and you don’t want anything ruining your tranquil mood.

Drink Lots of Water – in order to maximize your massage experience, you’ll want to make sure you stay hydrated. This includes both before and after the massage. Proper hydration can aid transportation, sending the acids flowing through your body faster.

Understand That It’s Your Session – This means that you’re in control. If you don’t like something your masseuse is doing, you can politely ask them to stop. Should you need something, you can ask for it. If your specialist starts to introduce some light chitchat and this makes you feel comfortable then go with it but it’s also perfectly acceptable to ask for silence so you can focus on relaxing.

Ask About Aftercare – You should always ask your masseuse about what to expect post-massage.  Would it be normal to feel soreness? If so how long for?  If the soreness continues beyond a few days, what should you do? How long should you leave the oil on your skin before showering?

Remember a massage is intended to be the perfect experience for you, a time to take care of yourself and to relax. Ensure that you take the right steps to guarantee that it’s everything it should be. You deserve it.