We all love massages, don’t we?! Receiving a massage from a skilled therapist can change our body, mind and even life! Sometimes a massage is for relaxation, but often times, we are looking for relief from sore, stiff, aching muscles, anxiety, headaches or because something in our body isn’t functioning properly. Our posture, daily habits and accumulated stress all have a hand in creating issues in our tissues, ligaments, joints, emotions and energetic body. Research (for example) has shown that Massage Therapy has positive effects on many conditions and is good for almost everyone.
When you receive a massage, if you simply just lay back and enjoy, you will reap some benefits. However, as a massage therapist who has been in the business for 17 years now, I will tell you that there are different levels of healing that can be achieved. All of it is great, but if you want to, you can change your life with a great massage!
Here are a few easy tips on how to get more out of your session!
1. Show up on time
Don’t be late, because as much as we want to give you your full time, sometimes we have other bookings and need to keep our day on track. When you’re late, the therapist is pressed for time to try to achieve the same results in a shorter session. And you may feel anxious, stressed and guilty over being late. If you must be late, at least call and let your therapist know so they can be prepared.
Before the session let your therapist know exactly what you are looking to achieve. Our bodies and minds change daily and so every session should be based on how you are THAT DAY, even if you receive regular massages. Tell them any recent injury or surgery, any allergies, and the pressure you are expecting. A good therapist will ask these things but if they don’t, it’s up to you.
During the session, don’t hold your tongue! If you want the pressure to change, if something feels uncomfortable, if you’re ticklish, SAY IT! Maybe there’s a smell you don’t like, you need a bolster, or the face rest is uncomfortable. Whatever the issue, the sooner you communicate it, the sooner you can sink back in to enjoy the massage. You are after all paying good money for this! Might as well have it exactly how you like it. Most therapists aren’t mind readers, so even though you are butt naked on a table, speak up and we will listen!! After the session, tell the therapist if you are feeling better, worse or the same, so the next time, he/she can alter the message accordingly.
3. Stay conscious
As lovely as it is to take a nap during your massage, it’s important to stay somewhat present. Why? Because your body is talking to you! When you fall asleep, you are shutting down your senses and the therapist might go too deep or not deep enough. Also, deeply guarded issues won’t find their way to being released without your awareness. By staying present, you are able to facilitate your own healing by really feeling what is happening. You will inevitably drift off now and then but try to avoid paying big bucks to take a long nap.
Yup, I have to remind you to breathe. It’s common to hold your breath when something hurts. When a therapist is working on a stubborn muscle knot or trigger point, it may be painful. I personally do not believe in the ‘no pain, no gain’ theory when it comes to bodywork. I believe in a more methodical approach of slowly sinking into the deeper layers where true chronic ailments exist. This is where your breath comes into play. Did you know you are able to direct your breath to go where you want it? Try it! Place your hand over your belly right now and try to breathe into your hand. It may take a couple of tries, but you’ll do it! This is what I’m talking about. Breathing into the therapists’ hands focuses your attention in a meditative way and allows for deep release.
5. Lose your inhibitions
Listen, we don’t care if you didn’t shave. Have unwashed hair? No problem. Only have 4 toes? Cool. We’ve seen it all people. Not much jars us anymore. The one request I personally have is to come with clean feet! I’m more likely to do give you a longer foot massage if your feet are clean.
I hope you’ll book more massages and follow these simple steps and be on your way to a balanced body, mind and spirit!