What To Expect At Your First Massage (& How To Handle Problems)

Firsts in life are terrifying, be it your first massage or your first kiss. So, it's always good to know what to expect. Thankfully, massages are easy to prepare for: Your only job there is to lie down and relax. But, if you are anxious about massage etiquette, don't worry, since it was never taught to any of us at school. We are here to help you.


A massage is meant to help you relax and unwind, so the last thing you should do is stress over how you should act. Plus, your anxiety will put all of that zen music to waste.

It's natural to feel overwhelmed when massages offer intimacy with a stranger that's bound to get awkward if it's your first time and you have no idea what to do or expect. So, we'll tell you what to expect, how to act, and how to get the most out of your first massage.

Picking your place and person

It's common knowledge that massages don't come your way spontaneously; you will have to either book your massage at an establishment or have a masseuse come to your place. You'll have to do your research and pick your therapist and the type of massage you want. 


When picking a massage therapist, keep in mind that they are health care professionals, so, if you are going by recommendation or your own research, make sure they have the relevant certification or license to carry out the practice. If this is not the case, avoid this massage therapist, as massages done the wrong way can do more harm than good. Feel free to question them regarding their experience and expertise. 

Now, choosing your massage is easy — you just have to listen to your body. There are many different types of massages to choose from, ranging from Swedish massages and aromatherapy massages — or even CBD massages – to sports massages and deep tissue massages. If it's your first time, a Swedish massage is an excellent choice, as it uses gentle strokes and is primarily for relaxation. Aromatherapy massages use essential oils to help you heal both physically and emotionally. So, if you're looking for a mood booster, this massage will do just that. Sports massages and deep tissue massages use more pressure to help with muscle pain and are recommended if you're dealing with chronic pain or muscle tension.


What to expect

Before your massage, you will be questioned about your medical history and will either be asked to fill out a form or have your therapist interview you. Whether you are taking any medication or have allergies to ingredients commonly used in creams and oils are just a couple of the types of questions you can expect in order to get you a safe and optimal massage.


The clothing you'll have on mainly depends on the type of massage you get. If it's a full-body massage, you'll be requested to take your clothes off entirely, but your therapist will have you draped in the places they are not working on. You will always be given the choice to opt out of removing certain clothing, though this might hinder the experience.

If you have problems regarding noise, the music, the room temperature, and your comfort level, inform your therapist. There should not be any outside noise or disturbances. The temperature in the room should not be too cold or warm, but feel free to specify your preference. And the massage table should not feel uncomfortable; complain if this is the case. Furthermore, if the surrounding area is dirty or looks unhygienic, cancel your appointment and request a refund.


Oh, now for the slightly embarrassing: You can also expect bodily functions. We all break wind. It's natural and not something to be embarrassed about, especially when getting a massage.

What to do and not to do

To make your first professional massage enjoyable and comfortable, you should do a few different things. First, take a hot shower beforehand to leave you feeling fresh, clean, and relaxed. You don't have to shave before your massage — your therapist does not care. If you are hairy, it's only a matter of adding more oil, so don't cancel your appointment just because you forgot to shave.


Make sure to be on time. Remember that you are given an appointment, and if you can't come on time, your therapist won't be able to give you your complete session. Also, make sure to speak up if you need something. Feeling the pressure a little too much? Want less pressure? You can communicate exactly how you feel to your therapist who will ask you how you feel throughout the massage, but feel free to voice any discomfort even when you're not asked.

What not to do? Avoid going for a massage right after sunbathing, as your skin will be inflamed and highly irritable. Before a massage, you should also avoid eating a full meal, drinking a lot of caffeine, and applying your own creams and oils.

Relaxing your body is No. 1 on the list of things to do to experience a great message the first time. So, don't stiffen up, don't stress, and remember to enjoy.