Massage is one of the best things you can do for your health, but just like anything, there are good ones and bad ones. Here’s a bit of advice to make sure yours is awesome every time.
A massage therapist needs to know certain things before they proceed. The most important are any injuries or surgery areas. This is not the time to be shy especially with things like shoulder, back and neck problems. Also, tell the therapist if you have cancer as some cancer patients are not candidates for massage. Massage is usually safe, but if something goes undisclosed, something bad could happen. Also, be sure to talk about any scent or skin allergies.
The massage is your time to relax and get therapy, therefore is something is wrong, please speak up. If you’re cold, hate the music, have to pee, or definitely if you are having pain, speak up! The therapist is there for you and wants you to have the best experience possible.
Scheduling regular massages is going to benefit you greatly. If you can do once every two weeks, those benefits will not only be immediate, but cumulative. Don’t wait until you are in pain to schedule, it’s best to be regular with your appointments.
There are many different types of massage, so know what you are looking for and how you want to feel. Swedish is basic massage, it’s a lighter touch and doesn’t get to the deep layers of muscle. That is probably not the best choice for an athlete. Deep tissue is more therapeutic and really gets into those knots and tight muscles. Thai, Shiatsu, and acupressure are done fully clothed on the floor. If you’re not sure what is right for you, ask the therapist what they recommend.
After your massage make sure you drink plenty of water. Massage releases toxins and you want them out of your body not in. Sometimes people experience what is called a “healing crisis” after a massage. To avoid that, make sure you drink water.
Bodywork is not the place to skimp. Many less expensive massage places are popping up around the country. They’re not necessarily bad, but often you don’t get the same therapist every time or the therapists are fresh out of school and inexperienced. You can get hurt from someone that doesn't’ know what they are doing. Pay a bit more and get the real thing.
Please do your best to not cancel last minute or miss appointments. It’s often very hard for a therapist to fill those spots and this is how these people make their livelihood. Plus it could cost you a late fee if you cancel with short notice. Do your best to be on time and keep your appointments as scheduled and you’ll get better treatment.
Don’t slather yourself in body oil or lotion before the massage. Sometimes that mixes with what the therapist is using and may make it a bit harder for a good massage. It might get sticky or tacky.
Don’t be self-conscious about your body. Massage therapists are trained to see muscle and connective tissue, it’s very impersonal. Seriously, if you think you’re too fat, too thin or too hairy, the massage therapist doesn’t care.
After the massage do your best to ease back into your day. Having a massage and then sitting right back at your desk, or doing a crazy amount of exercise might undo what you just paid for. Take it easy if you can.
Enjoy your massage and follow this advice to help you have the best massage ever. Remember to speak up, come regularly and enjoy your time. May your massages be frequent and relaxing.
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Photo Credits: Massage by Flickr: Nick J Webb; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com