A First Timer’s Guide to Remedial Massage

What happens in a remedial massage appointment?

This page answers your questions about the sequence of events, what to wear, what your massage therapist will (or should) do, and what to expect after your treatment.

Button to book massage at South MelbourneSth MelbourneBrunswick East
The clinic should be warm and quiet.
The clinic should be warm and quiet.


Before your first appointment you’ll fill out an intake form.  I use an online form, so that when you arrive for your appointment we save time and give you more time in assessment and treatment.

When you arrive at my clinic there will be herbal tea available in the waiting room. If there happens to be no one at the desk, just take a seat and relax. Feel free to use the bathroom before your time begins.

Initial consult

I’ll greet you, and once you’re in the room we do an initial consult. We’ll discuss what your primary reason for visiting is, and anything else you feel is important.


Next is assessment. We take measurements, assess posture, or perform movement, strength and flexibility assessments where needed. This may involve using a posture app on a tablet. The ideal thing to wear for this is sports gear, but whatever you are wearing will be fine.

Treatment plan

Following assessments I will suggest a treatment plan for you. You can make any changes you like before we go ahead with the massage.

Remember – everything you say is 100% confidential.


Draping & Covering

We’ll keep you covered with soft towels or sarongs for warmth and modesty at all times. You can keep on whatever you’re comfortable with – in some cases I have even provided massage to people fully-clothed and still had great results!

You will be covered for warmth and modesty.
You will be covered for warmth and modesty.

Keep on your underwear bottoms. Ladies, most of the time you can keep your bra on and tuck the shoulder straps under your arms. When you are laying on your front we will unclasp and then re-fasten before you get up or turn.

A sports bra or crop top is usually not a good idea, as they tend to get in the way. Your best option, if it’s comfortable, is a strapless bra.

Fellas, avoid wearing boxers if you want your legs done — best stick to briefs. (Boxer-briefs are particularly problematic for draping.)

If you are just having your upper or lower body massaged then there may be no need to take off your trousers or top – whatever is comfortable for you.

Each time you turn over on the table, I will keep your body covered. There is even an electric blanket to keep you toasty in the colder months!

As a member of the Australian Association of Massage Therapists, I abide by the association’s Standards of Practice andCode of Ethics.

At the close of your treatment

Re-evaluation and therapeutic movement

We’ll do any relevant tests or re-tests to see what effect the massage has had.

Then, if needed, you’ll learn any corrective stretches and/or strengthening movements to do, so that you are more likely to maintain the positive outcomes we achieve. These will be customised to suit your level of difficulty and will also take into account any injuries or disabilities you might have.

Remember that if you have a dysfunction, and you choose not to follow through with your corrective movements, you are likely to end up right back where you started!


You may also learn about lifestyle habits or patterns you can adapt in order to avoid future injury. As with any changes you make, whether or not you choose to make them is over to you!

As always, you are in total control. My role is to serve you, my valued client, and support you towards positive changes, pain-free living, and peak performance however I can.

In some cases, we may refer you to another practitioner who suits your needs. In other cases, we’ll discuss whether and when you should book in for a follow-up treatment.

During the days following your massage

You may experience some niggly discomfort or soreness as your body changes and adjusts, especially if this is your first ever massage, or if you haven’t had a massage for a long time. This is quite normal.

However there ideally be should be no recurrence of the pain that brought you to clinic in the first place. If we are not seeing improvements, we may need to adjust course. Get in touch and tell me if you feel like something isn’t right.

There is a difference between post-massage soreness, and being in pain!

Why am I sore after a massage?

Post-massage soreness is mainly down to a phenomenon called “central sensitisation” (the same reason you feel sore after a heavy gym workout or long run, a.k.a. “DOMS“), which basically means your body has had loads of sensory input – in this case, from the massage – and doesn’t know what to do with all that information at once.

So your brain chucks a little spaz for a day or so. It looks at all this input and kind of says, “this isn’t normal, something must be wrong,” even though the reality is that things are totally right! As your brain slowly realises that everything is fine, the soreness fades.

Often what then happens is that after a day or two, you feel amazing.

photo of woman stretching with strap with handles

The importance of your home-care stretching and strengthening

If your remedial massage was focused on correcting dysfunctional patterns, then the success or failure of the massage is 90% dependent upon whether or not you follow through with your home-care.

I’ll make it as easy as I possibly can, from my end, for you to follow through accordingly. I utilise instructional YouTube videos and step-by-step guidance via email to help you. I am also available by phone or email if you have any questions, or if anything is at all unclear.

Doing your corrective movements during the first few days following a corrective remedial massage is absolutely crucial. If you simply walk out of the clinic back into the same patterns that brought you in, we just end up covering the same territory all over again next time.

I understand how difficult it can be to change long-standing movement or postural patterns – I deal with this difficulty myself. I don’t give anyone a hard time about it.

Instead, I empower you with a clear understanding of why you’re doing each of your customised exercises. I also give you the best tools you could ever find to make these positive changes.

I’m on your side.

Let’s do this!

Button to book massage at South MelbourneSth MelbourneBrunswick East