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  • Writer's pictureChelle Doetsch

What To Expect At Your First Massage Appointment

Updated: Jun 24, 2022

Whether you're a seasoned massage veteran or a newbie to its myriad benefits, there are a few things you should know about your first appointment at New Yew.

I'm going to quickly walk you through what needs to happen prior to your appointment before going a bit deeper into what your first appointment will be like.

Before Your Appointment

Since I spend most of my workday massaging clients, I have a lot of time that I'm not available for phone calls. To that end, I've made it really easy to schedule an appointment online. That means that not only do you NOT have to play phone tag, you can request an appointment anytime of the day or night. Bonus: No accounts or passwords are needed to book online. You'll just enter your name, email, and phone number each time you book.

One caveat before you try to book an appointment: Online booking closes 24 hours ahead of each appointment time.

To book, simply click any Book Now button on the website or choose the Book Now page from the mobile menu or top navigation bar and go through the easy booking process to submit a request for an appointment. I approve requests between the hours of 9am-8pm daily, as I have the time.

When I approve the appointment request, you'll get 3 emails:

  1. Your appointment confirmation. Please read it and double check that the date and time are correct. If you used a mobile number, this should be a text.

  2. A link to your Client Information/Health History form. Please complete and submit it prior to the day of your appointment so I have time to review it. This will ensure you get the maximum amount of treatment time at your appointment

  3. Welcome email. This email contains information about policies you need to know, as well as directions to both the building I'm in as well as how to find my suite and office once you enter the building.

The Waiting Game

When you arrive at my suite ignore the doorbell, enter, and have a seat in the small waiting area. Feel free to relax in a cushy chair, look at the magazines, or just chill. There's usually a bottle of hand sanitizer on the magazine table for your use as well.

I'll come get you at your appointment time. Really. I absolutely hate running behind, so I may even come get you a couple (but only a couple) minutes early, if you're here.

The Pre-Session Intake

Once we're in the treatment room, we'll spend a few minutes going over the general reason for your appointment. From there, we may need to have a longer conversation depending on the number, severity, and/or complexity of your issue(s).

During this longer conversation I'll be asking you to show me exactly where and how you have restricted range of motion or pain and to describe the pain (sharp, burning, aching, etc.) and other sensations you may be having. We'll also talk about what treatments, positions, and activities make things better or worse. I may also do some physical assessment such as checking your ease and range of motion at or near your affected area(s), or I might check your pain levels and movement ability in various positions. All of this allows me to formulate the most effective treatment I can.

If you have questions at any time during this process, or any time during the session, please ask.

Next, I'll confirm if you want the table heated and give you direction as to how I want you to get on the massage table once I leave the room. This will include a quick discussion about how far to get undressed. Spoiler alert: You NEVER have to take all your clothes off for a massage or bodywork session. For some services like Reiki you will remain fully dressed in your street clothes. For most targeted sessions you will need to change into a tank top, tshirt, or shorts.

Finally, we'll discuss the treatment plan, including the types of techniques I think I'll need to use - especially if they're not very massage-y.

It's common for pain to be caused or aggravated somewhere else in the body and we'll discuss that if I think it's a possibility with you. I may do a few physical assessments to see if or how this may be the case with you.

I'll make sure you understand what I'm planning and have an opportunity to ask questions or veto anything you're not comfortable with.

Then I'll leave the room to wash my hands and let you get on the massage table in privacy.

The Actual Treatment

Before I come back in the room, I'll knock to make sure you're on the table and covered.

Unless you're fully dressed and I've asked you to lay on top, you will be covered with a sheet and/or blanket the entire time. The only part, aside from your head that'll be uncovered is the area I'm working on.


At the beginning of the session, I'll ask about your comfort level. Are you comfortably positioned? Are you a comfortable temperature? Is the music a comfortable volume? Is the pressure I'm using comfortable for you? Do you want more, less, or the same amount of pressure?

If at any point during the session you are uncomfortable, please tell me so I can adjust whatever needs to be adjusted.

Typical Massage or Bodywork Session

A typical massage will involve the use of oil or lotion on any area that's treated* so my hands can glide comfortably over your skin. It's not technically necessary, but it does maximize the number of techniques I can use. For several reasons, I use jojoba which isn't actually oil but a wax ester. Unlike regular massage oils, jojoba is as close to our body's own oils as we have found. It's also hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic which means it won't cause an allergic reaction and won't clog your pores. No post-massage breakouts! Yay!

*Note: You don't have to worry about getting oil in your hair. I never use oil on the scalp, face, or in the hair (eww) and I only use lotion on the neck.

The actual bodywork session I do with you will be different than the one I do with someone else but, in general, it'll go something like this:

  • I'll start with the scalp and face to kickstart the relaxation process which makes the massage and bodywork more effective.

  • From there, I'll move on to the neck and shoulders, followed by the arms.

  • If we're going to do abdominal or hip/flexor work, this is usually where it happens. We'll use a soft pillow case to protect your modesty if the technique I use requires skin to skin contact. A few techniques can/will be performed through the sheet.

  • Next, the legs and feet get their turn

  • Finally... the back

When I'm finished, I'll let you know we're done. Then I'll step out of the room so you can get up and dressed in private.

When you're dressed, open the door for me so we can get get you checked out* and on your way. *I describe this process in the section labeled Checking Out

Focused Sessions (including scars)

Whether you booked a Targeted session (designed for headaches, TMJD, carpal tunnel, and/or plantar fasciitis), are getting scar work, or merely asked me to focus on one issue, we're going to spend the bulk of the treatment time focused on one or two areas.

You'll be fully clothed and lying on top of the table for a targeted session. Some scars or other areas of focus will allow you the option of partially undressing and getting under the top sheet. These sessions usually require no oil or lotion. I'll use a variety of techniques which we should have talked about during the intake.


*For simplicity, I'm using Reiki as a catch all term for the various types of energy work I do, as they only have a few small differences between them. I tend to mix and match as needed during an energy work session. If you'd prefer me to ONLY do Reiki, please tell me that and I'm happy to oblige.

You'll be fully dressed, lying on top of the table. Reiki is usually done with no touch but some forms of energy work occasionally use light touch. I will ask if you have a touch/no touch preference.

While every session will be different, depending on the specific reason(s) we talked about during your intake interview, a general Reiki session itself will generally follow this pattern:

  • Start by scanning your energy field for areas that feel different to the rest

  • Clear the aura

  • Balance chakras in reverse order 7 (crown) - 1 (base).

  • Connect hand chakras to heart chakra

  • Connect foot chakras to base chakra

  • Focused energy to any areas pertaining to the issue that brought you in

Checking Out

After your session, there's a 3 step check out process:

  1. We'll talk about what I found during the session as well as any stretches and/or other things you can do at home to prolong your results

  2. You'll pay. I take all major credit cards, Apple/Google Pay, FSA/HSA cards, cash, and checks

  3. You'll have an opportunity to rebook

That's it. You can get on with the rest of your day now.

One Last Thing

Now that you have some idea of what to expect, it's time to check out the services and specialties pages to see if my work is a good fit for your needs. If you've already checked them out, it's time to schedule an appointment.

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