It is not a secret that receiving a massage can have a positive effect on your quality of life and health. For many it is a vital part of their wellness routine.
As a therapist I always try to provide my best and most beneficial treatments but here are a few things that you can do to enhance your experience and allow the results to last longer and get the most from your massage.
Plan the timing of your treatment
Allowing time before and after the massage will help avoid stressors. Avoiding a rush to the clinic will mean you arrive in a calm state and ready for relaxation. Try not to arrange your treatment before an important appointment or when you are off for a heavy night out with friends!
Plan your food and alcohol intake
Try to eat at least 2 hours before your massage and try to go for something light. Massage can stimulate the digestive processes and you may feel some discomfort. Massage can increase the effect of alcohol and can increase the toxic load on the body systems so it is best to avoid before and after a massage.
Switch off your mobile
Use the massage as your time to relax and to ‘stop,’ allowing you quiet, reflective peace. This time is for you, and time to stop worrying about others.
Wearing minimal or no jewellery will be beneficial to the flow of the massage. Certain obtrusive necklaces, bracelets or earrings may hinder the flow of the treatment and may become uncomfortable.
By expressing your desired result from the massage you will receive a more complete treatment. If you want more attention paid to your legs then tell me. If you want to feel calm and relaxed then say! Ask any questions about things that may be bothering you. By not expressing your concerns you could be impeding the potential outcome of the massage.
Use the loo
There will be nothing worse than really needing to go to the toilet during your treatment.
On certain occasions it may become unwise for you to receive a massage. In those circumstances it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment. If you are unwell you may be contagious and may put the therapist and future clients at risk. It also means that your body is busy fighting an infection and needs rest.
Communication is key for you to feel more beneficial results of your massage. If any element of the treatment is not working for you, then you must say. I will not be offended in any way. Some clients prefer it really warm yet some prefer it cooler. One type of music is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people don’t like their face touched and yet some find it really relaxing. It is all about your own likes and dislikes. If there are any areas that give you discomfort then don’t suffer in silence.
Focus on your breath
Most of us are guilty of shallow breathing and even holding our breath during our daily lives. Let this treatment become a time for you to breathe… By focusing on breathing evenly and deeply, true ‘belly’ breaths, you will find it easier to empty your mind. The deeper breaths will also aid in the physical effects of the massage due to the increase in oxygen circulating.
Having tense, sore muscles are often a reason for seeking a massage. I can usually find the sore spots. If I ask you to relax, please try, it is usually because you are tensing the muscles I am working on. Trying to massage a muscle that is engaged and tense will be counterproductive.
Our body’s react in ways that are often out of our control and during a massage noises can often be heard. Our digestion is improved during a massage and your body is going into a deeper state of relaxation. Due to this it is not unusual for a rumbling tummy or other body noises to occur. I have heard it all before so there is no need to be embarrassed.
To Talk or Not To Talk
Some people thrive on talking and yet others love silence. There is no right or wrong. You must feel comfortable, therefore do not feel you need to start a conversation. I will gauge this from you.
Time on the Couch
When the massage is over you will be given time to stay on the couch and continue feeling immersed in calm and peace. This will prolong the results of your treatment.
When getting up from the couch make sure you do so slowly, you may feel slightly light headed.
It may sensible to avoid any strenuous exercise or workouts for 12-24 hours post massage. Your muscles have been manipulated, become softer and more ‘gel like’ and this can lead to soreness and increased risk of damage. Gentle walking or swimming is a good alternative.
Water is an essential part of a massage. It may be good to have a glass prior to the treatment to hydrate the muscles. This is not as essential as water will be given after the treatment. During the massage large amounts of ‘toxins’ are released into your body and the water will help to ‘flush’ them out. The water will also rehydrate the body; during a massage the muscles will lose a large amount of water. The process of drinking the water will also enable you to come back to the ‘real world.’
Alcohol / Caffeine
As mentioned above the effects of alcohol can be heightened by a massage. It can undo all of the good your body has just received. Drinking caffeine will dehydrate your body further and this could lead to soreness in the muscles.
Having a massage gives you time to become more body aware and aware of how you are feeling. Think about how your body and mind felt prior to the treatment and focus on how you are feeling now. You may feel more upright, your shoulders may be more flexible, your head may feel lighter and you may feel a sense of calm. You need to be aware of possible heightened emotions; this can manifest as laughter or even crying dependent on your connection with the massage.
Massage is a treatment that works better over time. The effects it has on the body increases the more often you get a massage. This means the more regular your massage, the quicker your body will respond and the stress patterns in your body will reduce. One massage is not usually enough to address specific muscular tension. So discuss the time frame for your next session and make sure you rebook before you leave.
The information on this site is provided for your information only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your GP or other healthcare professional. The information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease.