Guest Post by Caitlin Couture, LMT

For some, not getting a massage was the thing you missed during the pandemic – but you have no idea when or how to plunge back in. For others, getting a massage has never been a regular event, and while you might know that you need one, you’re not sure what it looks like.

Whether it’s just been a while or you have never had a professional massage and need a bit of a roadmap, here’s an step by step guided tour through a massage at Lemon Tree Wellness:

1. Your practitioner will greet you and walk you to the treatment room where you will spend a few minutes talking. They may have some follow up questions about your intake form and will want to know how you are feeling. Depending on the type of session, your practitioner may want to do a basic assessment and ask you run through some range of motion exercises or want to examine your posture and gait. This is also a wonderful opportunity for you to ask your practitioner questions or share any concerns you may have.

2. After you and your practitioner have had a chance to connect, they will let you know that they are going to step out of the room for a few minutes while you undress to your comfort level (some sessions are done fully clothed; your practitioner will let you know exactly what to do) and get onto the table, under the sheet, either face up or face down with your face resting in the cradle.

3. Once you are settled, the practitioner will reenter the room and will check that the face cradle, and any bolsters used under your ankles or knees feel comfortable. There may be a table warmer and/or a heating pad, and the practitioner will also check in to make sure the temperature is just right for you.  Then, the hands-on part of your session will begin.

4. What this part of the session looks like very much depends on what sort of modality the practitioner is offering, but open communication as well as your comfort and safety will always come first. As I always tell my clients, this time is for you and you will not hurt my feelings by asking for things such as pressure, pace, music, or temperature to be modified. You having the best and most nourishing experience possible should be at the heart of any session.

5. Some people want to know if it’s ok to talk to their LMT during a session, and I say that is entirely between you and your practitioner. I personally like to save chatting for before or after sessions, and only speak to my clients to check in periodically. However, most LMTs recognize that connecting verbally can sometimes reduce any nervousness a client may be experiencing (especially if it’s their first time receiving a massage) therefore, I always encourage people to ask their practitioner about it before the session starts.

6. At the end, your practitioner will close the session in a way that gently lets you know what is happening while maintaining your fantastically relaxed state. They will once again exit the treatment room while you take your time coming back to yourself, and getting dressed. (This is where my tip about wearing soft, comfortable clothing from my article on How to Prepare for Your Massage comes in handy!). Your practitioner will reenter the room when you let them know you are ready, and you will have another opportunity to connect and ask any questions before you leave. 

If you’d like to meet Caitlin in and book a massage person, she’s with us on Tuesdays and Fridays in Portland, and you can schedule with her for either massage or Reiki here