At Zeel, we often see customers who have never had a massage in their homes before. But we also see customers who have never had a massage at all. If that’s you, and you’re wondering what to expect from a professional massage, we’re here to help. Here are some things to know before getting your first table massage.
The massage takes place on a special padded table, not on your bed. These massage tables are designed for comfort and support, and to allow the therapist to move more effectively around the table. At Zeel, therapists use tables that are especially easy to carry and store.
During a Zeel Massage, the massage therapist will set up your table, so you don’t have to do it yourself. The therapist will use your sheets. If you do not have extra sheets, simply inform Zeel before your massage and the therapist will bring them.
The massage therapist will then do what is called an intake – asking you about your physical condition and any aches, injuries, or health issues that might have caused you to book a massage. Keep in mind that massage therapists are trained professionals, with extensive backgrounds in anatomy, so you can feel comfortable explaining your physical issues. You should also tell the therapist if you have any allergies, especially if you have nut allergies. While uncommon, some massage therapists may use oils or lotions that use nut elements.
Once the table is set up, your massage therapist will excuse themselves and go wash their hands. Not only do they need to clean their hands before working with you on your massage, they also want to give you the opportunity to prepare for the massage. This involves removing your clothing (keeping your underwear on if you wish) and getting under the top sheet on the massage table. If you wear jewelry, remove it.
You should start face down, putting your face into the donut-shaped object (this is called the face cradle, and will be covered as well), and letting your arms dangle down on either side of the table or by your sides.
You may be concerned about privacy or being uncovered. Massage therapists are extremely experienced at draping, or covering your body with sheets, except for the body part being worked on. No private areas of your body will be worked on or uncovered.
It’s completely fine to talk to the therapist during the massage. You can ask for more or less pressure, or ask questions about what they are doing and why. The therapist will not be offended. Remember to call massage therapists massage therapists, not masseuses or masseurs. Those terms are associated with sex work.
Massage at home
Your Zeel Massage Therapist is at your home or other location with the sole goal of giving you a great massage. Do not worry about vacuuming or doing the dishes before the therapist arrives. This time is for you to relax.
During the massage, the massage therapist will use a cream lotion, gel, or (rarely) oil on your skin. This massage lotion, gel, or oil is applied to reduce friction and allow the therapist to better work on your painful muscles and knots.
After the massage
At the end of the massage, the therapist will politely inform you that the massage is over. They will then return to the bathroom to wash their hands and allow you to get up from the table. You may wish to have a bathrobe or other easy-to-wear item handy to put on after the massage.
Once ascertaining that you are dressed, the massage therapist will return, strip the sheets, fold up the table, and leave. Just like setting up, the process of breaking down the table only takes a few minutes.
You do not need to tip your Zeel Massage Therapist, as tip is automatically included in your payment. If you are getting a massage from another massage provider, you should expect to tip 15 to 20%.
You may feel thirsty or your nose may run after a massage. These are completely normal things. You should also feel recharged and relaxed.
Congratulations on completing your first massage – one of many to follow!
Marcy is the SVP of People and Communications at Zeel. In addition to overseeing the humans of Zeel, Marcy has written about workplace topics for more than 20 years both at Zeel and as VP of Content for Vault.com, a career information web site and publisher.