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This is my first massage. What can I expect?

At GardenWalk we value that every person is unique.  Your therapist will spend a few minutes with you before the massage, looking over your paperwork, asking you some questions.  This is a good time to ask questions, and also to let your therapist know if you have any areas you’d like to focus on (areas of particular tension, recurring pain, etc.), or if there are any areas you’d like them to avoid (some people have ticklish feet, or don’t want the therapist to massage their scalp or face, etc.).

Your therapist will orient you to the room and then step out so you can undress in private.  You may undress to your level of comfort.  Once on the table, you will be covered with a sheet (and sometimes also a blanket) throughout the session, and your therapist will undrape areas of your body (arm, leg, back) as they work.  Laws about coverage of the body vary from state to state.  In Missouri, the genitals, gluteal cleft, and women’s breasts must be covered at all times.  These areas will never be undraped or touched.  That being said, some people prefer to be nude underneath the drape, free of binding elastic waistbands and bra straps, etc.  Others prefer to leave their underwear on under the drape.  We want you to feel comfortable and modestly covered.  You may also choose to wear shorts and a sports bra for your session if you are not comfortable undressing (please tell your therapist beforehand if you are choosing this option).

Your therapist will knock before returning to the room, and then your session will begin.  Your therapist may check in with you about the pressure or technique they are using.  Please give your therapist verbal feedback, and speak up if you need anything to be changed.  We know that everyone is different, and we don’t take it personally if you need more or less pressure, a different kind of work, or a change to the temperature of the room, etc.  This time is all about you, so let us know what we can do to make your session the best it can be.

I want to surprise my (girlfriend, wife, mom, daughter, husband, etc.) with a massage for a special occasion. What’s the best way to do this?

Though it can be very thoughtful to surprise a loved one with a massage, some people are stressed by the idea of getting a massage without having known about it beforehand.  For this reason, we highly recommend talking with them about it at least a day in advance of their appointment.  Another great option is to give them a gift certificate for massage, and let them schedule their session for a time in the future when it best fits their schedule.

I liked my massage therapist, but I have a feeling I would get more out of a different style. Is it okay to request a different therapist for future visits?

Absolutely.  It’s very important to us that you feel completely comfortable with your massage therapist.  We understand that every client is unique and every therapist is unique, and we actually recommend trying a few therapists before deciding to stay with one as your regular therapist.  Also, your particular mood may effect who you want to work with at a given session.  Please feel free to request your same therapist again or ask to try another therapist next time.

Is it customary to tip my therapist?

While gratuities are not expected, they are always greatly appreciated.  Similar to with other personal service providers, a 10-20% gratuity is standard for the massage industry.  Cash tips simplify our accounting procedures, but for your convenience, you may also add gratuity to your check or credit card charge.

How often should I get a massage?

Once a week or every other week is ideal for most people, for maintaining optimal wellness, but we recognize that this doesn’t work for everyone’s schedule and budget.  Studies have shown that any regular frequency is better than not regular, so even if you get a massage once a month or every other month, you will enjoy the many benefits of taking care of yourself on a regular basis.  For clients wanting to address a particular concern, it is best to schedule massages close together at first, spacing them out once clear progress has been made.  Your therapist can help advise you on the best course of action for your particular situation and goals.