Top 12 Tips To Getting A Better Massage
- Timing Is Everything
Please show up on time for your appointment. Your time is specifically reserved for you and you alone. If you arrive 5 minutes late, your Therapist will be ending your appointment on time to accommodate other appointments in their schedule. When you arrive on time for your appointment, you will feel more relaxed and feel less stress and tension. If you are a new client, please arrive 5-10 minutes early to fill out your paperwork. You will be discussing your health history with your Massage Therapist and may need to discuss range of motion or mobility issues before your appointment starts.
2. Communication Is Gold
This is the time to discuss the reason for your appointment with your Therapist. Is this appointment due to an injury or motor vehicle accident? Are you needing a chance to relax and feel less stress with a relaxation massage? Would like a neck and upper back focused massage? Do you have ticklish feet that you don’t want touched or any allergies that might be a problem? Clear communication keeps your Therapist on track and addresses your individual needs. If you change your mind about any options while you are on the table, please ask for these areas to be included in your session.
It may sound silly to ask you to breathe to enjoy your massage, but most of our day is filled with work and focusing on our day without a lot of opportunities to breathe and relax. If you have arrived at your massage with limited mobility stress or tense muscles, you will be tempted to hold your breath. Try to do the opposite and breathe with a focus on the exhale breath. Our parasympathetic nervous system associated with relaxation has strong ties to a relaxed, slow exhale breath. Taking a few deep exhale breaths before your Therapist has started the massage allows you a chance to let go of your day and relax.
Everyone is different when it comes to the type of pressure they want during a massage. In some areas like shoulders and neck, deeper pressure is enjoyed and appreciated. More sensitive or ignored areas like the calves or quadricep might need a lot less pressure due to the tight muscles in those areas. Asking your Therapist to use less pressure is not an indication of your strength or fitness level. If you require more or less pressure at any time, please communicate this to your Therapist so you can receive the best pressure suited to your body.
For anyone who has ever felt frozen because they sit under the air conditioning vent in winter or who visits older in-laws who keep the house at 40 degrees in July, you will understand how important temperature is while receiving a massage. Please let your Therapist know which direction your body temperature leans towards. I keep a table heater on my massage table all year round to warm up the table. Extra blankets and heat pads can also be applied so that you are comfortable and warm during your massage. Muscles tend to stiffen up and remain tense if they aren’t warm. Run the other direction of always feeling too warm or experiencing hot flashes? No problem, the room can be adjusted to feel less warm for you.
I want to assure you that I am unaware of body hair. Leg hair, armpit hair and back hair do not even register in my massage brain. My room is a judgement free zone and it does not matter to me one iota if you ever shave or wax.
7. Peace & Quiet
I want you to have the opportunity to relax and unwind without worrying about the outside world. I completely understand if you leave your phone on during the massage if you are on call or in case of emergency. If not, please turn your cell phone off for the duration of your massage.
I am always happy to see you and discuss your health during your massage appointment. I enjoy hearing how your life is and appreciate your friendliness. Please don’t feel the need to entertain me while you are on my table. I want you to feel comfortable enough to not talk and relax. A massage appointment is a fabulous time to take care of yourself and zone out. If I am being too chatty, please feel free to ask for less talking so that you can relax. This is your time and appointment. If you fall asleep, don’t worry, I won’t judge your snoring, I will just make sure you are awake before I leave the room at the end of your appointment.
I am always happy to play music during your massage. Music is a way to relax and feel more at ease. Music played in a Clinic is also a way to stifle the exterior noise outside the door of the treatment room. If the music isn’t too your liking, please ask and I am happy to choose another style of music or playlist. If you have a specific style of music you prefer, you can always ask at the beginning of your appointment.
10. Eat Lightly
This is not the time to go for a huge meal that might make you feel uncomfortable lying on your stomach during your massage. Eat a light meal or snack prior to your massage.
11. Book The Right Length Of Appointment
It might be beyond your control, or if you are seeing a new Therapist you might want to book a shorter appointment (like a 30 minute massage) for your first visit. If you have a lot of specific areas that need addressed, you might want to book a 60 or 90 minute massage appointment. I have clients who request a full body massage in a 30 minute appointment and I am happy to address the whole body in that time frame, but booking a longer appointment allows for more time to be spent on each area.
12. Working Out
I always get asked if it is okay to workout after the massage – it depends on you. After a massage it’s typical to feel a little tired and even light headed. Listening to your body is a great lesson to learn from receiving a massage.
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