How to Get the Most from Your Massage

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Massage is not a common part of out contemporary cultural expereince, and many people are uneasy about receiving a massage. Here are a few tips to help you feel at ease during the session and gain the most benefit from it. 

Hydrate - Drink lots of fluids before your treatment. The more hydrated your body is, the easier it will be to manipulate and move your muscles.  Staying well hydrated will allow your muscles to remain flexible. 

Arrive - Plan to arrive 10 minutes before your session is scheduled to begin. This allows for the therapist to get to know you and understand what you are looking for from the massage. The time will also give you an unhurried moment to get comfortable on the table and let your mind slow down.

Inform - Let the therapist know about any areas in your body are injured, tight or sore. You should also notify your therapist of any medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, skin disorders or a heart condition. This will allow the therapist to design a treatment which is safe and effective for you. 

Relax - Do the best you can to let go of the day's worries when you get on the table. The mind and body are fundamentally connected; any tension in your mind will increase the tension in your body. To assist in your relaxation you can focus on your breath, slowing it down to a steady, deep rhythm.

Get Comfortable - Most massage treatments are traditionally performed with the client either partially or fully undressed. While it is most common to be fully undressed or have only underwear on, you are always welcome to keep as many articles of clothing on as makes you feel comfortable. Less clothing allows the therapist to access muscles more fully, but it is more important that you feel relaxed and comfortable. The therapist will always keep you draped with a sheet, revealing only the part of the body that she is currently working on. 

Communicate - During your session speak up if something is painful or tender. In the same manner, let the therapist know if a certain area of your body requires more pressure. This helps the therapist adjust the treatment to suit your body. It also provides your therapist with good information about how to help relieve your specific pain or tension. 

Relax -  Allow the therapist to move your limbs into various positions. It is easiest for your therapist is you become limp, like a rag doll and do not try to help move your limbs. The therapist will be slow and deliberate in the movements so are not to hurt you, but if anything is uncomfortable for you, speak up and tell your therapist. 

 Release - As your body releases tension during a massage, it is not unusual for your mind to release thoughts and emotions as well. The body may release during the massage;  snoring, drooling and stomach growls are all normal responses which one need not be embarrassed about.  Keep in mind that it is normal for certain feelings to arise during the session. If you feel anger, sadness or joy allow yourself to feel them.  It is also normal to fall asleep during a massage and if you do, your therapist will wake you up when it is time to turn over and when the session is finished.

New to massage and want to learn more? Check out this simple and informative article from WedMD about the benefits and types of massage.