Massages can be intimidating. There, I said it. I should know: when I first planned to go to massage school, I was feeling uncomfortable with the perspective of the touching, the vulnerability, and the possible nudity. So, how did I make it through? Once passed those first irrational thoughts, I stuck with it for one good reason: MASSAGES ARE AWESOME.
So, for those of you who are total newbies of the massage therapy, here’s how the experience will go down, as well as some tips to allow you to get rid of any odd feeling, and make the best of your session.
1. FINDING A GOOD ONE!
To find a good massage, ask friends for references or look up reviews online. For a list of spas and massage studios, visit for example the TripAdvisor website. You can also see the reviews on my massage service in Lisbon, “Antonio Campos Massage”, by clicking here.
Feel free to ask as many questions as you want to about the facility and the services to make sure that the overall experience will match your expectations and be positive for you. Find out also the types of massage which are offered – for a first-timer, I would suggest booking a Swedish massage, the traditional technique of holistic relaxation. Please make sure that you are not suffering from any health conditions which could prevent you from receiving a massage and, in case of doubt, please consult your doctor first. If you are subject to allergies, don’t forget to inform your therapist to avoid any kind of skin reaction to the oils or creams used during your session.
You may choose to book your appointment at “Antonio Campos Massage” and can do so either online at www.antoniocampos.com, or simply by calling (+351) 936 408 424.
2. BEFORE THE MASSAGE
First of all, make sure it is a good time for you to have a massage. Don’t hesitate to reschedule your visit if you are not feeling well, if you have fever or skin irritations (such as sunburn), or if you are trying to stabilize any type of medication you are on (because massage can affect the dosage needed).
In the days before your massage, try to drink lots of water as part of your routine (even better if you make it a permanent habit of yours).
Try not to eat or drink much at least 45 minutes before your massage, and avoid drinking alcohol during that day.
Give yourself enough time to turn up on time and relaxed. If you are rushing and arrive stressed, it will take longer to get you into the desired relaxed state.
My massage studio is located in central Lisbon, at this address: Travessa de São Plácido 4A, CV-Esq. Here is a link to the location on Google Map.
3. GETTING READY
Turn off your phone or put it in silent mode… Massages are about giving yourself an exclusive me-time, disconnected from the stress and hectic rhythm of the outside world. Make the best of it!
It’s recommended not to wear any jewellery during a massage, in order to allow a seamless flow of the massage movements.
And don’t forget to use the bathroom before the massage, so you can fully relax and don’t have to interrupt your session halfway through. But, don’t hesitate to do so at any time, if you feel the need too. You’ll enjoy your session much better afterwards.
Your massage session occurs in a private room. I will leave the room to allow you to remove your clothes. Briefs or boxers for men and panties for women are fine to keep on; a bra, however, should come off to work your back effectively. Disposable thongs are also available on client request. During your session, only the areas of your body being worked on will be uncovered, and your private parts will always be covered with a suitable sized towel.
When you are ready, lie down on the massage table and cover yourself with the sheet or other draping on the table. I will knock on the door and wait for your permission to enter before doing so.
4. DURING THE MASSAGE
It’s all about you.
As your personal masseur, I am here for you and only you for the entire duration of your session, in order to make it a truly personalised experience. And as your dedicated therapist, I will consistently learn to know you, your needs and preferences even better, every time you visit me.
The treatment will usually start with cleaning your feet with some wipes, and then I will begin the heavenly process of making your muscles relax and your mind drift away.
Sometimes, first-timers are concerned over how much oil will be used on the body. I will only use as much as can be absorbed by the skin before moving on to the next area of the body. If you would rather avoid the oil option, feel free to ask for the cream one, which can achieve the same effect without a residue.
Communication is key to receiving the most enjoyable and effective treatment. If you want the pressure harder or softer, just ask and I’ll meet your preferences. Same goes for the areas of your body on which you would like to receive extra attention, or on the contrary, which are sensitive and should be avoided. And should you want to extend your session by half an hour or so, feel free to ask me too before or during the treatment – if I have no booked appointment after yours, I will be more than happy to accommodate your request. Finally, don’t hesitate to have your say on the musical ambiance, in case you would rather enjoy silence or a lower/louder volume.
Remember to breathe. It’s crucial that you breathe fully and deeply when difficult areas are being worked on so as to oxygenate your blood supply and aid tense muscles.
Usually at some point you’ll flip over in order to work on the front of your body, and I will tell you (in hushed tones) when it’s time to do so. Do not worry, you will always be covered during this process and your genitals or breasts will never be exposed.
5. AFTER THE MASSAGE
When your massage is complete, I will wait outside the room so you can dress. Don’t feel pressured to leave quickly. On the contrary, take some time to relax and enjoy how your body feels. I’ll provide you with some water so you can start to hydrate your body and help it flush away the toxins released by the massage.
When you’re ready, head out to the waiting room where I’ll be waiting for you. If time allows, I’ll be more than pleased to hear your feedback around a cup of tea, and possibly schedule your next appointment and fine-tune your session according to your needs and preferences.
Don’t be surprised if you feel a little sore the next day. Since massages bring oxygen to “not-often-used” helper muscles, sometimes those little areas get painful. Likewise, areas where you have knots will be a bit sensitive for a little while.
So, in order to optimize the benefits of your massage and help prevent next-day soreness, there are a few useful tips to apply after your session. First, try to rest and relax as much as possible. Then, drink lots of water and/or herbal teas. Thirdly, do some gentle stretching in the evening, paying special attention to your trouble spots that received the most attention during your massage. And finally, if you have the possibility to do so, take a warm bath, and soak for 20-40 minutes.
You are now fully up-to-speed, reassured and ready to experience your first massage session? Then, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and book your first appointment at “Antonio Campos Massage”, either online at www.antoniocampos.com, or simply by calling (+351) 936 408 424. And if any doubt persists, I remain available to answer any of your questions and to even schedule a preliminary visit of my studio, so you get a better feel of the place and get to know your personal masseur.
See you soon!