At the end of the massage, the therapist will leave the room so you can dress in private. Wait a few minutes on the table as you get grounded, especially if you feel light-headed. Then take your time getting ready.
When you leave the treatment room and enter into the reception area, the therapist will offer you a glass of water. It is a good idea to drink some water to help the body flush waste products.
If possible, allow some quiet time after the massage and don't go back to work or other responsibilities immediately.
How you feel after the massage will vary based on the style of massage used, the length of the session, and the demands you place on your body afterward. Feelings range from being relaxed, renewed and centered, to invigorated, excited or experiencing a rush of clarity or new energy and insight, to recognizing your true level of fatigue (particularly if you can be "off duty" for the rest of the day) and wanting only to rest.
Clinical types of massage may leave the body free from chronic tightness or acute pain patterns, but may replace it with a mild soreness from the pressure applied. After this type of massage, you may want to rest the area before jumping back into the activity that produced the soreness.
Realize that the benefits of massage tend to be cumulative, so typically, you will feel better as you get additional massages.
Answers to common questions
Can I go back to work after my massage? Of course, but plan on enough time to readjust. Be aware that your perception of motion (driving, stairs, distances may be "off" for 20 minutes or so after the session). Also, realize your relaxed state may bring your feelings close to the surface.
Will the oil ruin my clothes or mess my hair? Most massage oils will not damage your clothing. If you have any concerns, bring a comfortable set of clothes to put on afterward. A well-trained therapist can design a session that does not mess up your hair or make-up.
Should I tip the massage therapist? In spas and salons, it is generally considered proper protocol to tip the massage therapist, just as you would tip a hairdresser.
Some therapists state on their literature that tipping is not necessary, but is gratefully appreciated, which leaves the decision up to you. The quality of the session should not be affected by whether you leave a tip or not, nor should you expect to get additional time or better service by tipping or giving gifts. It is nice to let the therapist know that you appreciate a good job, but tipping is not the only way, especially if the cost of the massage therapy is already a burden. Regardless of your decision, it is wise to be consistent, so that you don't tip one time and not the next and leave the therapist wondering if they did something wrong.
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