Riverside Serenity Massage & Wellness

April 8, 2016

Your First Massage Appointment

The first time you visit a wellness practice–whether a new doctor, dentist, chiropractor, or in this case, massage therapist–can be a little nerve-wracking. This post will help answer the most common questions clients have when they visit Riverside Serenity Massage & Wellness for the first time.


“What are your hours?”
Appointments are available from 9AM-12PM Monday through Friday for In-Home Massage, and 12PM-8PM Monday through Friday and 8AM-2PM on Saturdays for massages in my Shockoe Bottom office.

“How do I schedule an appointment?”
You can easily schedule an appointment online by clicking here. Simply choose the date and time that works best for you; if an appointment is available, it’s yours for the taking!
If you are unable to book online, send me an email requesting the appointment you would like. I will reply as soon as I can. Make sure to include your phone number so I can contact you that way if need be. You can also call (804)424-1397; if I’m in session or travelling, I may not answer or respond immediately.

“What’s the parking situation at your office?”
Parking is on the street. There may be more or fewer parking spots depending on the time and day of your appointment. I recommend that you plan to arrive at your appointment between 15-20 minutes early so you can find a space and get to your appointment with no worries. Parking tends to be easiest on Mondays and Saturdays.
My office is located at 20 North 20th Street, Suite A, inside Centered Richmond: Acupuncture & Wellness.

“What happens once I arrive at my appointment?”
I am usually at the front desk to greet you when you come in the front door. If you haven’t filled out an intake form already, you have the opportunity to do that while you relax in the reception area. We have fresh, cold water, and a variety of teas to choose from, while you wait for your appointment to begin.
At the beginning of your appointment, I escort you to the treatment room. I look over your intake form, and you and I discuss your concerns and goals for your massage as well as the days and weeks to come. We also discuss any pertinent medical information that could impact your session. We come up with a plan together; if there are any areas you would like me to avoid or pay more attention to, we incorporate that into your massage plan for that day. Once we agree on a plan for your massage, I leave the treatment room for a few minutes so you can undress and get comfortable on the massage table. I knock before I re-enter the room, and I proceed with the your customized massage as we discussed.

“Do I have to undress completely?”
Short answer: No. You undress down to whatever level you are comfortable with, whatever that means to you.
Long answer: You will be modestly and securely draped (covered by the sheets) at all times during your massage. Private areas will never be exposed, and the abdomen and gluteal muscles will be massaged with the sheet covering them, except in very specific cases (and always with your permission).
Any clothing you leave on — even socks — is a barrier to me. I will not massage covered areas except with your permission (I may ask if you would prefer I skip that area, or if you are asleep, I will simply skip the area).

“What if I change my mind about part of the massage plan during my session — like pressure, or an area that needs focus?”
If you are uncomfortable at any point during your massage session, whether due to the pressure or techniques that I am using, the music that is playing, or the temperature in the room or on the table, let me know immediately, and I will do everything in my power to fix it. There are limits to how much I am capable of changing, but I will do whatever I can.
Depending on the amount of time left in your session, I may not be able to spend more time with a particular area than we had planned on (and I may ask you if you would like me to skip anything so that we may focus on this new focus area), but at the very least, I will make a note in my paperwork to possibly spend more time in that area at your next massage appointment.

“What happens after the massage?”
As I end the session, I make sure you are awake, and I leave the room so you can get dressed and wake up a little more. You come out to the reception area, where I meet you with some fresh water.
We may discuss things we noticed during your session — areas that need more attention next time, suggestions to help it improve between now and your next session, and so forth. I may recommend that you seek out the advice of your primary care doctor or other specialist.
Then, if your session has not already been paid for (such as with a gift certificate or if you prepaid when you scheduled), you pay for your session (any major credit card, or cash), and we set up your next appointment.
Then, you’re free to go through the rest of your day feeling more relaxed and freed from tension!

“…I still have questions about what I can expect at my first appointment.”
No problem! Send me an email, and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

Ready to schedule your massage? Click here.

-Erin LaMountain, CMT

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