How to get ready for a massage?
Getting a massage is a relaxing and enriching experience. Many people come to the massage table unsure of what to expect. Even with the widespread use of therapeutic massage, so many people have not experienced a massage and are not sure how to take an active role in getting the most out of their massage. However, it’s hard to know a lot of times what to do before and after your massage. Massage is the system of repetitious touch that allows healing and balance to develop in the body and mind of the receiver. The intent of therapeutic touch is not to affect change in a specific area of the body, but rather to affect change in the whole body. Thus, every cell of the body after a treatment of therapeutic touch can be working more efficiently. Massage helps improve the body’s circulation, increases blood and lymph flow, stimulates the nervous system and affects internal organs as well as all of the muscles.
Be on time. If you arrive in a frenzied, rushed state, it may take longer to relax.
The most important preparation: Prepare to relax. The more relaxed you become before your massage, the deeper the relaxation you’ll experience at your massage and, if you’re being treated for an injury, less time and energy will be spent getting to the problem and more time and energy will be spent treating the problem. It’s very important to relax your muscles and your mind. Tightening up by contracting or hardening your muscles during the massage is counterproductive.
Before your massage, you’ll be asked to remove clothing to your level of comfort. Lie on the massage table, underneath the provided sheet or towel, which will cover your body except for the part being massaged. Take off only as much clothing as you are comfortable removing. If you don’t want to remove your clothing, wear clothing that will be comfortable during the massage and will allow the massage therapist to touch and move the areas of your body you expect will need to be massaged.
If you have possibility prepare your body with a bath or shower. Bathing before your massage will warm you and your muscles up, making you and your muscles more relaxed! Be as receptive and open to the massage process as possible.
Don’t eat just before a massage session. Let your body digest your meal first. You don’t want to be starving, but you might be uncomfortable during your massage if you’re stuffed.
Some massage therapists play recorded music during the massage session. Others find music distracting. If it’s provided, let your massage therapist know if you have any music preferences or if you would prefer they turn off the music.
Communicate with your massage therapist before the session, give accurate health information and let the massage therapist know your expectations and reasons for the massage. Massage therapists often use oil or lotion. If you’re allergic to oils or lotions, tell your massage therapist beforehand. If you’re receiving hot stone massage, make sure you’re comfortable with the temperature of the stones. Depending on your needs, the massage therapist will massage either the full body or only specific areas that need attention, such as especially tight muscles. Remember to breathe normally. Breathing helps facilitate relaxation. People often stop or limit their breathing when they feel anxious or a sensitive area is massaged. Table massage usually lasts between 30 and 90 minutes.
Some people like to talk during a massage, while others remain silent. Tell your massage therapist what you prefer. During the massage session, report any discomfort, whether it’s from the massage or due to any problems or distractions related to the environment, e.g., room temperature, music volume, lighting, etc.
Give feedback to the massage therapist during the massage on the amount of pressure, speed of hand movement, etc. If anything happens that you dislike or seems improper, you have the right to ask the massage therapist to stop. If necessary, you also have the right to end the session.
Drink extra water after your massage. You need to keep relaxing. During massage, toxins are pushed out of your muscles and released into your bloodstream. Drink lots of water to help flush out the toxins. You may also be sore – massage is almost like a form of passive exercise.
Don’t get up too quickly and do allow for some open, quiet time after your massage session. If you’re dizzy or light headed after the massage, do not get off the table too fast. It also may take a little time to integrate or absorb the results of the massage session.
Be prepared to schedule several massage sessions. Massage has its greatest benefits over time. The therapeutic effects of massage are cumulative, so the more often you get a massage, the better you will feel and the more quickly your body will respond. Have a great massage session!