For the integrative therapy I do, I highly recommend booking a full 2 hour session for your first appointment, in order to experience the effectiveness of this kind of bodywork. In this time you will experience the deeply profound body changes that can otherwise take up to 3 of my shorter sessions to feel. This is because during an initial session a lot of work needs to be done to get ones body to a point of reception where true healing can take place, if this threshold is not met, it can take many sessions continuously starting from the beginning. No matter the time you book for, you will always experience relaxation, but without a full integrative 2 hour session, you may not experience the changes you have been hoping for.
During your first session, we will sit down and have a thorough client intake and history. This time (~30mins) is not included in the cost of your massage, and is offered for free because the work I do is unique and sometimes requires extra explanation and education before we start the session. In this regard we will start working together with you knowing more clearly what to expect and how we will proceed with your care based on your needs and history.
If you have time constraints we can have this client intake over the phone before your session. However, I usually tell clients to schedule extra for each of their massages, no matter the initial time you have paid for, in order to account for time settling, introductions, and time after the massage to dress, drink water, and sit for a moment as you integrate the session into your body. After such a long time on the table some people can experience a certain “floating” feeling as well as being a little weak in the knees, this is why I suggest sitting down, drinking water, and grounding yourself before returning to your daily activities.
Here are some things you may experience after an initial session
- The sensation of “bruising”. Deep tissue massage involves working deeply with fascia, this connective tissue that wraps around all of our muscles can become tight and form adhesions with surrounding tissue, leading to aches, pains, and the feelings that brought you to massage in the first place. When truly therapeutic work is performed on this tissue, it can become extremely tender to the touch. You may feel like you are “bruised”, but no damage as been done, and no signs of bruising should be visible on your skin. This bruising sensation can last between 2-4 days depending on physical and general nutritional health. If you would like to read more about fascia, here is a nice and simple overview article on Fascia and Chronic Pain, also you can check out this more in-depth research article that really digs deeper into how fascia works in the body.
- Old injury aggravation. After your first massage you’re probably going to feel amazing that day. However, in some cases, the next day could have you feeling a little worse off. This usually happens when there are old injuries which are “reactivated” during a session, more blood-flow and movement is brought to them, and as a result you may experience more sensation in this area. After 3 days it should calm down and generally feel better. If you are working on an old injury, things like this can take several sessions to completely clear-up.
- Feeling a little light-headed and loopy. There is a lot of work that gets done on the body during these sessions. As the circulation is stimulated and muscle contraction and relaxation is facilitated, by the time you get up from a massage you may feel a bit jellied. This feeling passes quickly, and you usually feel much better after some water, electrolytes, and some deep grounding breaths. If the feeling persists, it’s likely due to activation and drainage of the lymphatic system, which can get a lot of cellular waste (which can be bound up in tight and injured tissue) moving through the body, and cause the general feeling of having a cold, i.e feeling tired, a little achy, and a bit foggy headed. This feeling should pass in about a day, and will leave you feeling much more refreshed in the long run as you have cleared out a lot of built up “gunk”.