for pain relief, injury recovery & relaxation

Lady receiving a relaxing head massage

For bookings and enquiries

call 07976 594 553

What to Expect at Your First Massage

If you haven’t experienced massage before and don’t know what to expect, the idea of having a treatment can seem a bit daunting and worrying. You may know a few things: that you generally have to undress, that you have to let the therapist touch you and that towels and oil are somehow involved.

In fact having a massage is nothing to be alarmed about and many people, once they’ve undergone their first treatment become massage converts, as massage is a wonderful experience.

However to relieve a little of the understandable concern before your first treatment it can be helpful to know what will happen before, during and afterwards. Although no two treatments are ever completely alike there are some things that are typical for each session.

Consultation form

On your arrival as a new client, I’ll ask you to complete a form with your personal information and other details.  If you’d prefer to complete this in advance and bring it with you, you’re welcome to do so. Click here to download a copy of the Consultation Form

Discussion and assessment

For your first session you’ll need to allow an extra 20-30 minutes on top of the massage time you’ve booked, as I’ll carry out a discussion and assessment with you before any treatment takes place.  Before any future treatments the discussion is  generally just a few minutes long and involves me checking with you as to how you have been since the previous session.

Clinical and other remedial massage discussion

If you’ve booked a clinical massage or other advanced therapy treatment, your first session will start with a consultation to discuss your reasons for massage (such as a reduction in pain, relaxation, increased range of movement or improved flexibility) and answering any queries or concerns you may have.

I’ll explain what can be done to help correct any pain, inflexibility or other problems. If there are several matters to be dealt with we’ll discuss what you’d like to be given priority during the first session. I may also carry out a physical assessment, including checking your posture, testing your pain levels and your mobility, flexibility and range of movement.

Relaxation massage discussion

If you’re having a relaxation massage we’ll talk about the level of pressures that I’ll be using and any preferences you may have regarding which areas of the body are to be included or left out. I’ll also check whether you have any aches and pains that I need take into account during the treatment.

Bodyworkz treatment room

Once we've covered all the preliminaries I’ll show you to my calm relaxing treatment room, make sure you’re happy with the room arrangements such as temperature, music and light levels, then explain how to position yourself on the couch and how to cover yourself with towels for modesty and comfort.

Once you’re comfortable with everything I’ll leave the room so you can undress in private and get settled down. I’ll return after a few minutes, knocking and waiting for your confirmation that you’re ready before I come back in.  

Oils and lotions

Oil or lotion is used during the massage. This helps my hands glide over your skin without dragging, but without being too slippery, because to carry out effective strokes there needs to be some friction between my hands and your skin. The amount of oil I’ll use during an average session is surprisingly small  - possibly a tablespoon - so you’re never drenched in oil or feeling sticky at the end of the treatment. In fact some of the techniques I use, such as myofascial release, are carried out without any oil at all as a good deal of traction is required to achieve the most effective results.

I always have several oils and lotions available and will use the one I believe is most appropriate for you on the day, although you’ll be welcome to request a specific type of oil if you prefer.

Length of your massage session

You’ll always receive the amount of massage time that you’ve paid for. Sometimes (well quite often, if I’m honest) I may overrun and spend longer on your massage treatment than the time you’ve booked. This happens because I nearly always find something that needs a bit more attention and I feel that a few more minutes will be of benefit to you. There is of course no additional charge for this.

However I recognise that your time may be tightly scheduled so if you don’t wish to receive extra time please let me know beforehand so I can make sure I finish promptly.

During your massage

Before beginning the treatment I’ll check again to make sure you’re feeling relaxed and cover you with more towels to maintain your privacy and keep you warm. I’ll also arrange any bolsters and cushions needed to make you feel completely comfortable and supported in the correct position.

During the massage I only uncover the part of your body that I’m working on and re-drape those areas as I move to another part of your body, so most of you is covered most of the time. When you change position I hold the towels in place so you’re never exposed.

During the course of a relaxation massage I may move one of your limbs, or ask you to do so, and sometimes you’ll be lying face down, sometimes face up. Occasionally I’ll ask you if the pressure I’m using is right for you. However if you’re obviously relaxed and comfortable I’ll quietly carry on with the massage without disturbing you.

If you’re receiving clinical massage to deal with a particular complaint the session may be more interactive, as I’ll be asking you for feedback about what you’re feeling and I may move you around a lot more than during a relaxation massage. I may also use more vigorous and/or deep techniques appropriate for the condition being treated.

What to do if you become uncomfortable

I’ll always check with you at the start of your massage and at other times as it progresses to make sure everything is fine, but if something isn’t right please let me know straightaway so I can change things. For example, you may feel that the pressure I’m using is too deep or too gentle, you decide you’d like different music, or prefer quiet, you may become too hot or too cold, or that you don’t want massage on certain parts of your body, or need tissues for a runny nose, or a bathroom break.  

None of this will be a problem and I’d much sooner you’re completely happy and relaxed rather than uncomfortable for any reason.

At the end of the session

At the end of the treatment I’ll wake you gently if you’re asleep (quite a lot of people doze during their massage) and check how you’re feeling. I’ll generally leave the room immediately so you can relax for a few minutes before getting dressed. If you need help getting up from the couch I’ll help you with this before leaving you to relax and get dressed in private.

How you may feel at the end of the massage

Everyone experiences different things after a massage. All these reactions are normal, common and nothing to be concerned about. For example, you may feel very sleepy or a little light-headed, or have a feeling of deep calm or euphoria. Sometimes there may be an emotional release, which can give rise to feelings of grief, anger, or other unexpected emotions.

If you’ve had remedial treatment there may be some discomfort in muscles and other tissues where I carried out deeper work. This isn’t always the case, but if it should occur any soreness and discomfort generally pass quickly - normally within 24 hours - as the body readjusts to a better balance following release brought about by the massage treatment. I explain how to deal with these effects should they happen to you.  

Mostly people leave a session feeling relaxed, calm and having enjoyed the experience. Even remedial, deep tissue and sports massage can and should be enjoyable, as I never use pressures that are higher than you are able to comfortably tolerate.

Post-massage and further sessions

Before you depart I’ll check how you’re feeling and make sure that you’re happy with the treatment you’ve received.

If your massage has been intended to deal with a particular condition I may suggest and demonstrate some self-care exercises you can carry out at home to assist with the healing process between treatments.

For clinical massage, depending on the outcome of the first session and the goals to be achieved, I may advise a short-term treatment plan of 4-6 sessions. For the most beneficial results it’s generally preferable to have the earlier treatments quite close together, with visits weekly or fortnightly, depending on the condition and your body’s response to treatment. For some conditions a longer-term treatment plan may be appropriate, with a programme of sessions spaced out every 4-6 weeks.

However every person is different and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution - it will all depend on you, how you respond to the treatments, your personal situation and the results you’d like to achieve.

I hope this has given you some useful insight as to what to expect at your first massage, but if you’d like to know more you can find further information on the Frequently Asked Questions page. Alternatively, please free to contact me and I’ll be happy to help.

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Sports massage to lower legs and calves

What my clients say:

“We feel very lucky to have found Sally, she’s made a huge difference to our wellbeing. Sally is one of the most sensitive and skilled therapists I have come across.

“My husband and I both have issues with our back and necks and she has made an incredible difference to how free we feel and how much more mobility and less pain we feel.

We can’t recommend her highly enough!”

Pete and Julie, Marlow

“This was a birthday treat and it was wonderful. Sally is keen to identify and personalise your massage so that you come away feeling like you've had a rejuvenating experience.”

Helen, Piddington

More testimonials


To make a booking

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07976 594 553

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Sally Brant

Dip. BTEC; Dip. ITEC;


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My no-quibble guarantee is very simple - if you aren’t happy with your massage you don’t pay.

Every single treatment I give is tailored for you to help achieve your goals.

However if at the end of a session you aren’t convinced that you’ve received value, your massage will be completely free.



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Call Sally on 07976 594 553


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Sat - 11:00 - 17:00

Sun - closed

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