She pulled into the parking spot and put the car in park. She sat this way with the engine idling for a few minutes thinking. “What did I get myself into?”
This was her first time ever receiving a massage. She didn’t know what to expect, and what she had heard from friends and family was vague and sounded shifty.
“It’s okay though, right? I’m allowed to feel nervous when I try something new. Plus if it’s awful, I’ll just never do it again.” Her thoughts were racing with all the possible things that could happen.
She took a deep breath and slowly turned the key in the ignition. The car turned off, and she was left in silence. Another deep breath and she opened the car door and stepped out.
“It’s not to late. I could get back in my car and drive away and no one would ever know. “
But then she thought about the massage again. It was a gift from her favorite person in the world. She couldn’t disappoint them could she?
Bzzt Bzzt, It was a text from the person who gifted her the massage. “Have fun today, Sara! I know you’re gonna love it.”
Sara smiled her nervousness receding just a little bit and began walking towards the building.

The door pulled open with ease, and she was greeted with a mix of delicious fresh and earthy smells. The room was flooded with natural light coming from big windows. And there was a desk in one corner with potted and hanging plants scattered tastefully around the room.
A young woman seated behind the desk smiled warmly as she stood and said, “Hello, what can I help you with?”
“Hi. I’m here for a massage. It’s a gift.” Sara responded
“Wonderful!” The lady replied. “Have you been here before?”
“No. This is my first time.”
“Okay, no worries.” The woman said cheerfully. “I just have a few quick forms for you to fill out. It’s just basic contact information, a brief medical history, and a consent form that lets you know some basic guidelines for our studio.”
“Sounds easy enough.” She replied back as she grabbed a pen and took a seat.
When the forms were filled out, signed and dated, she handed them back to the lady at the front desk and returned to her seat.
The atmosphere of the place was starting to rub off on her, and she was feeling more and more at ease with each breath she took.

A few moments later, a dark haired young women walked into the room. She was wearing all black and had a big smile on her face. She went and stood behind the front desk and began chatting with the other gal. They were laughing about something when an older gentleman came out of a room towards the back.
The dark haired woman looked at the man and said, “How are you feeling?”
“Great!” He replied. “You have worked your magic once again.”
The dark haired girl beamed even brighter. “Is there anything else I can do for you today?”
The gentleman looked at her and smiled, “Nope, I’m all taken care of. Thanks again!”
“You’re very welcome.” The girl responded as she walked back to the room.
The gentleman turned to the woman at the front desk who asked, “How would you like to pay for your massage?”

A moment later, the dark haired girl emerged from the room. “Sara, I’m ready to take you back for your massage.”
Sara stood up. All of her nervousness flooding back over her.
“Hi Sara, my name is Lizzie, I’ll be your massage therapist today. “
“Hi Lizzie.” Sara replied.
Sara followed Lizzie to a room in the back right corner.
Lizzie stopped just outside the doorway and gestured for Sara to go inside. “We’ll be right in here.”

Sara stepped through the doorway into a smaller room. It was the size of a small bedroom. A massage table had been set up in the middle of the room. In one corner, a full size mirror hung on one wall. A chair and a little table were set up next to it. On the wall next to the mirror were a couple of hooks hung in various places.

“What are your goals for this massage?” asked Lizzie.
Sara looked at Lizzie and replied, “I’m not sure. I was given this massage as a gift, so I don’t know what to expect.”
Lizzie smiled and looked back at Sara. “No need to be nervous. I’ll walk you through a basic protocol so you know what to expect.”

“The hooks on the wall, the chair, and the little table there are yours to use to set your clothing and personal belongings.” Lizzie began gesturing to the corner of the room.
“Right before I leave the room, I will invite you to undress down to your comfort level. For everyone, this is a little different. Some people will undress completely. Others will choose to leave their underwear on. But it’s completely up to you. The more skin to skin contact I have, the easier it is for me to manipulate the muscle tissue. If you do choose to leave on any clothing, I will respect it as a boundary and will either work around it, or if you still want me to work the area covered by the clothing, I will work through the sheet.” As she said this, she gestured to the rich purple sheet lying on the table.

Lizzie pulled back the corner of the sheet and blanket lying on the table as she said, “Once you’re undressed, you’ll climb underneath this top sheet and blanket. I’ll have you lie face down with your face in this cradle.” Lizzie pointed at a circular cushion with a hole in the middle.
Then, she gestured towards the opposite end of the table. “This cushion will go underneath your ankles while you’re lying face down and underneath your knees when you’re face up. The cushion helps support your joints.”

“I like to start by massaging the back,” Lizzie said. “So I’ll uncover your back first. Once I’m done with the back, I’ll cover you back up and move down to your legs. I’ll uncover one leg at a time and then cover you back up. A little over halfway through the session, I’ll invite you to flip over to lie on your back. Then I’ll work the front side of your legs, your arms, and finish up with your neck.”
“Do you have any questions?” She asked.
Sara thought about it briefly. “No I don’t think so.”
“Okay then” Lizzie said. “I’ll give you a few minutes to undress down to where you’re comfortable, and then I’ll knock before I come back in.”
“Okay.” Sara replied as Lizzie shut the door behind her. She felt a little less nervous than before.

She quickly began to undress hanging her clothes on the hooks and setting her bag and phone on the chair. Then she climbed under the sheet and blanket and pulled them on top of her. The bed felt warm and was a lot more comfortable than it looked.
Knock, Knock, Knock “Sara, are you ready?” came Lizzie’s voice from beyond the door.
“Yes. Come in.” Sara replied.
Lizzie walked in and turned the lights down low. She also turned on some music that was calm and mellow. “How is everything feeling so far?” She asked.
“Really good.” Sara replied.
“Good.” Lizzie said. “You can probably tell by now that the table is nice and warm. If it gets too hot, let me know and I can turn it down. ”
“Okay.” Sara said.

And then the massage began. . . .