Massage is a powerful antidote to stress. It improves circulation, reduces blood pressure, strengthens the immune system & relieves muscle tension. But beyond the obvious benefits there’s a lot to wonder about. Few therapies are quite so up-close-and-personal. To help avoid awkward moments, potential pain, and wasted money, it’s important to be in the know. We asked our Massage Therapists for the inside scoop on how to have the best possible massage experience.
Be receptive. Be open to the experience and trust in the professionalism of the therapist. Don’t be afraid to discuss any apprehensions or concerns. Your massage therapist is a professional dedicated to do his or her best to help you feel at ease.
Breathe deeply. It does help. You’ll begin feeling better, as more oxygen floods your tissues. Deep breathing helps you relax. People often stop breathing when they feel anxious or a sensitive area is massaged. If this is happening, let yourself breathe.
Provide feedback. If the therapist is using too much pressure, say something. Likewise if it’s barely noticeable pressure! Good communication is important. Before the session, let your massage therapist know what your needs are. During the massage session, report any discomfort, whether it is from the massage or anything else — room temperature, music volume, lighting, etc. Feel free to give feedback on the amount of pressure, speed of movement, etc.
Tell the therapist what sort of pressure is best. And then once she starts, make sure you both are working with the same definitions! To some, deep pressure means a lot of force. To others, deep pressure really means less. Make sure you don’t endure a torture session; deep tissue massage may hurt, but it shouldn’t hurt so badly that you feel like passing out.
Consciously work to relax your body, from your toes to your head. Focus on one part of your body at a time. If your thoughts race, try to quiet your mind by following the hands of the massage therapist. Focus on how the touch feels. Tightening up during the massage is counterproductive. Let your massage therapist know if this happens. They can adjust the massage technique or help you relax.
Be prepared. Remove earrings, necklaces, watches and any jewelry. Put long hair up – we have hair ties and clips available for your convenience. If you wear contacts and have had problems with them getting dislodged in the past, you might want to bring a contact case so you can take them out during your massage.
Drink plenty of extra water for the rest of the day. Water will help your body flush out cellular debris from knots that were broken up, and also any toxins that might have been released. Staying hydrated can help prevent soreness if you’ve had a really deep tissue massage.