Download PDF

If you have not have a massage, you are truly missing something wonderful! Swedish massage is a type of massage that is very successful when used to reduce stress – any kind of stress. In our hectic world, stress seems to be implicated in sickness and disease.

During a traditional Swedish massage session, the therapist is trained to be very discreet. If you are a person who is shy, don’t worry. To begin the session, the therapist will meet with you, talk to you and have you fill out an intake form. This will help the therapist pinpoint any issues you are having and will allow him or her to work in those areas to help you feel immediate relief. After meeting with the therapist for a few minutes (probably no more than 15 minutes), you will be shown a comfortable, warm room where you will have privacy to get ready for the massage. Quiet, relaxation music will be playing and the therapist will ask you if you are warm enough. The therapist will then show you how to prepare for the massage before leaving the room and ask you to start either on your back or on your stomach. The therapist will also ask if there are areas on your body that you’d prefer not be touched. (For me, I always opt out of abdominal massage.) Once the therapist is out of the room, you will get ready for the massage.


You will then have time to get ready for your massage by getting comfortable on the table (and covering up) before the therapist re-enters the room. You may opt to wear gym shorts or your underwear and you’ll cover up with a warm sheet (and blankets, if needed.) Women may ask for a breast drape to ensure extra covering if very modest. The drape will go under the sheet and blankets and will cover you since it is easier to massage the shoulders and back without a bra in the way. You will also be offered a pillow to go under your legs if you’d like. (The therapist will talk to you about the pillow later, after he or she does a postural assessment of you. The pillow can be hindering to sore muscles depending on postural issues.)


When you are ready, and fully covered, the therapist will come back in the room and begin your massage. The room needs to be warm enough for you to feel comfortable, so be sure to tell the therapist if you are not warm enough. At this point, the massage will begin. Different therapists have different starting points when giving a massage but I like to start a massage with people lying on their back. I begin by massaging the sinuses and scalp. From there, I move to the arms, then legs and feet. I start a massage by having the client on his or her back first. As each limb is massaged, it is the only body part showing and the therapist will take great pains to drape around the limb so that the patient is covered everywhere else.


After massaging the head and limbs, I ask the client to flip over onto the stomach; from here I do backs of legs and back. The neck and head may be massaged again as well. As you are asked to turn over, the therapist will make a tent over you (and can’t see your body that’s under the sheet) and you will be asked to turn away from the therapist.

The massage routine can go in many ways and should be done to the client’s satisfaction. If you prefer only lying on your stomach, talk to the therapist about this. Much of a massage can be done this way if needed. A good therapist will be able to find muscle tightness in the client’s body without being told where to look. Tightly knotted muscles will be warmed up with sweeping strokes (called effleurage) and then worked on more as they are loosened. Many times, a tight muscle can be released by having the therapist work on muscles around it.

Many therapists will use hot towels on your body if you are cold or after massaging a certain area. These feel so good!

When the massage is done, the therapist will make sure you are covered nicely and will then leave the room. You will be left to get up and dress on your own and you will come out of the room when you are ready! (If you request help getting up off the table, the therapist will help you.)


A professional Swedish massage is something that everyone should have! If you are very modest, then this is a massage for you. All massage information is kept strictly confidential as well. A good therapist will make you feel very comfortable and will be very discreet. You will feel relaxed but glowing after a good massage.

Shirley Wright, LMT, RMT

Shirley Wright, LMT, RMT

Licensed Massage Therapist and Reiki Master Trainer at Healing Center of Maine
My mission is to help people manage pain and injury, reduce stress, and promote healing.

Contact me today!
Shirley Wright, LMT, RMT

Latest posts by Shirley Wright, LMT, RMT (see all)


  1. Jean Maddocks July 31, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    Nice points to ponder especially for those who are receiving massage the first time

Leave a Reply