What to expect from a home massage

What to expect from a home massage

Having outlined the advantages of a home massage in my last post, let’s look at what you can expect when I arrive at your door.

I’ve had a number of people call me with questions about this, so I know it’s not obvious to potential clients how the session will unfold.

Two of the most frequent questions are:

Where does the massage take place (=Do I have my own table)? and

Do I (the client) need to supply linen?

As I underlined in my previous article, all clean linen (towels, covers, cushions if needed) are supplied by me, together with a portable massage table. I’ll  also bring along a selection of oils, both neutral and scented, although you’re quite welcome to use your own.

Another question that crops up is what to wear – or rather, what NOT to wear.

The need to undress depends on the type of massage.

For a back massage, for example, you only need to remove your top. Idem for an Indian head massage, or you can wrap a towel under you arms, so leaving your bra on if you want (lowering the straps). I’ll protect the rest of your clothing from oil with towels.

For a full body massage you would normally need to undress down to your underwear (no bra). I say normally: it is perfectly possible to give  a massage fully clothed if you are particularly body-conscious, or if you feel the cold easily (for example, elderly clients).

Talking of the cold, this is obviously less of an issue in summer, but in winter, you need to think about turning up the heating a little before I arrive.

The room needs to be sufficiently warm – you will be covered but there is always a part of you exposed for the massage (don’t worry, your dignity will be protected at all times). Think 22-23°C if possible. Even if you are having a massage fully dressed, remember you are not moving and you can get cold all the same.

I’ll  need a space of roughly 2m2 to set up the table and be able to move around it. Please ensure this space is free of obstacles.

Why not take your home massage outdoors?

Why not take your home massage outdoors?

Here’s an idea for the summer months.

If you are lucky enough to have a garden, why not have your massage outdoors.

I’ve done this a few times (in the shade if it is very hot) and it is a wonderful experience for both masseur and client – think birds singing, leaves rustling in the trees.

Of course if you live beside a busy road, it might not be such an idyllic option…


There are a few  things YOU can do to prepare for  a home massage.

Remove all jewellery (wedding bands are OK).

If you’re having a face massage or an Indian head massage, remove any make-up and don’t go to the hairdressers beforehand.

Don’t eat a large meal before a massage. You need to wait at least an hour. Why? Massage will take blood from the stomach area to the surface of the body and this could cause indigestion. If you’ve had a light snack then wait at least 30 minutes. This is also true of alcohol and if the amount consumed is excessive, avoid treatment completely.

Think of preparing your payment beforehand – if you’re paying by cheque this is less of a problem, but if you are paying cash, try to have the right amount ready, I might not have the correct change.

If you have any open cuts or abrasions, cover them up with a waterproof plaster (your therapist will avoid the area otherwise to reduce the risk of cross-infection).

Think of the atmosphere and noise level in the room where you are to be massaged, be it a bedroom or a sitting room:

– lower blinds or draw curtains, so the décor is not too bright and clinical – use lamps/sidelights for a more subdued atmosphere;

– if you have one, use an essential oil burner or diffuser with relaxing lavender or your favourite blend;

– switch off your mobile phone and put your house phone on silent mode

– pick a time when you are not going to be interrupted by children coming in from school or your spouse getting in from work.

– if you have a favourite piece of music that helps you relax, get it ready to play (make sure it lasts the length of your massage); otherwise I will have some music, but your choice will often be better for de-stressing and unwinding because it is familiar.

So let’s get back to my arrival at your door, on time and with all the necessary equipment (table, linen, oils).

What to expect from a home massage

What to expect from a home massage

The first thing I’ll do is to set up the table and arrange the  covers and towels.

Then I’ll ask to sit down with you for the consultation which should take 15-20 minutes for the first time. This is on top of the treatment time you have chosen. Consecutive consultations will be much shorter.

Here’s a quick resumé of why I insist on a massage consultation but I’ll talk about it in more detail in my next post.

The consultation allows me to find out exactly what you want from your treatment (perhaps you have specific tension areas that need adressing, or you’ve had a particularly stressful week and just want to unwind). I also need to  check on things like allergies and other health or wellbeing issues that may affect your massage. If you have any significant health problems, I’d really appreciate you mentioning these when you make your booking so we can have a chat with you about them before your treatment.

Once the consultation is over, I will explain briefly how the massage will unfold. For example for a full body massage, you will start lying on your stomach with your head in the head rest, then halfway through the massage I’ll ask to you to turn over onto your back.

I’ll ask you to undress and lie down under the covers (I’ll pull them over you) WHILST I leave the room to wash my hands. I’ll only return when you are ready. If it isn’t possible to leave the room, I will turn my back to allow you to undress ‘in private’.

I’ll ensure you are comfortable and covered before beginning the massage.

The massage begins with me placing both hands on you and asking you to take three deep breaths. This helps both of us to relax into the massage

I will then start. At the beginning of the massage I will ask you if the pressure is OK but as we progress I will no longer ask so as not to disturb your state of relaxation. However it is important to tell me at any time if you want more or less pressure – you will probably appreciate different pressure on different areas. I for one need a firm pressure on my back but light pressure on my legs as they are much more sensitive.

If and when you need to turn over, I will hold the covers for you so your dignity is protected.

Once the massage is over, I will let you know and I will leave the room to wash my hands and allow you time to come round and dress.

There is no hurry to get up, please stay in the relaxation as long as is necessary. Don’t get up to quickly or you may feel dizzy.

Once you are dressed, I’ll pack away my things as quickly as possible.

I’ll ask you a few questions about how you feel after the massage to assess your satisfaction.

I’ll give you some aftercare advice (notably to drink plenty of water).

You can then pay me, we can book another appointment and I’ll take my leave.

You can contact me at Just Massage for a home massage appointment in and around the Mérignac and Pessac area (near Bordeaux, France) on: