Artful Touch Massage & Wellness Center

What Should I Expect From My First Massage?

This will be a basic overview of the general procedure for massage practices in the United States. For more information, consult a more thorough agency such as NCBTMB, or read more specific posts on this page.


Your therapist will need "informed consent" and possibly a health questionnaire. Informed consent means that your therapist tells you what he or she will be doing during the massage session and you give your verbal or written approval. The health questionnaire lets your therapist know if you have health concerns that are pertinent to the way he or she gives your massage or if massage is contraindicated.


Your therapist will lead you to a private room which will have your massage table and possibly other furniture, like bench or chair and a sink, storage, shelves, etc. The room should feel warm and inviting.


After giving you instructions, the therapist will step out of the room and close the door. This will allow you to disrobe in privacy and get onto the massage table and under the draping, which usually includes but is not limited to a set of sheets and blankets.


Your massage therapist will look over your health questionnaire and return to your room. Generally, the therapist will knock on the door or in some other way alert you that he or she is ready when you are and then await your permission to enter.


The massage therapist will bolster you, adjust your face rest, and provide for your comfort in whatever ways possible and necessary.


The therapist will begin to pull back the draping on areas of your body, apply lubricant (oil, cream, lotion, balm, gel, or wax), and begin the massage. The therapist will check in periodically to adjust pressure, temperature, bolsters, etc, to your comfort and to give you further instruction.

After the Session:

When the therapist has completed your massage session, he or she will tell you, step out of the room, and allow you sufficient time alone to get dressed. Once fully dressed, you will rejoin the therapist in the designated area. It is usually at this point that you can talk to your therapist, ask questions, satisfy payment, and perhaps receive self-care instructions.

If at any point you feel uncomfortable during the massage process, communicate this to your massage therapist. He or she will greatly appreciate it.