This is a guide on how to make the most out of your massage treatments. Please take the time and read through the information, so together we can archive some amazing results.
PRIOR TO YOUR APPOINTMENT
Almost everyone has heard that drinking water after a massage treatment is important to help your body eliminate the waste products that massage is ‘releasing’ for processing. Making sure you are well hydrated prior to your treatment means less viscous blood and therefore the process of eliminating toxins begins as early as when your muscles feel those first glorious strokes of your massage!
Arrive a few minutes early
Plan ahead so that you are not running late. Give yourself time to clear your mind and not feel that your appointment is rushed. Expect that your appointment will always end at the scheduled time regardless, so if you are late you only short-change yourself. Getting there a few minutes early will give you a chance to calm and centre yourself before climbing on the table, allowing you to unwind further in your massage.
Use the facilities
If you don’t get the chance to do this at home or work before you arrive for your treatment, do yourself a favour and do it when you get to the clinic. Anything that draws your attention away from enjoying the bodywork is going to restrict the benefits to some degree. If you find yourself lying on the table with the urge to go, don’t be afraid to excuse yourself! A five-minute delay is better than 60 minutes of discomfort.
Turn off your mobile phone
Is that phone call or text message really worth the distraction?
Earrings, necklaces, watches and rings can all make it difficult to work around those local areas. Take them off and be sure to place them in a safe place where you won’t forget to put them back on or take them with you when you leave.
Honest & clear communication
You and your therapist should both have a clear understanding of what is going to be worked on during your treatment. Communication is a very important key to an effective massage. Your therapist should be made aware of any concerns, health issues or questions you may have which could affect your treatment. Special requests are always welcome with regard to room temperature, lighting and music selection or volume. You should always feel comfortable that you know what items of clothing to remove, how you should be positioned on the table and what will happen with towels/draping. Your comfort is paramount!
DURING THE MASSAGE
Focus on your breathing
You can notice how your breath naturally falls into a deep rhythmic pattern the more you let go of thoughts that might be going around in your head.
Remember to breathe!
When your therapist finds areas of muscle tension many people have a tendency to hold their breath without even being aware of it. Muscle tension often releases during an exhale, so when your therapist finds a tight or ‘sore’ spot, remember that your breath is your best ‘healer’ and can support you to release whatever you are holding in your body. Let your body lead the way – as while you may want to ‘get rid’ of tension, the body has its own rhythm and it is the breath that can work with your body to release tension.
Make the session feel just right for you. Let the massage therapist know how you are feeling and what you want out of the massage. It can simply be that you want to relax and let go of some tension you are holding, or it could be that you want specific pain or tension addressed in a particular part of your body.
If you find your position on the table isn’t quite comfortable, or the room temperature needs to be adjusted, or anything else is drawing your attention away, speak up. These things are easily remedied and the more comfortable you are the more you can release and return to your vital state.
Do not be afraid to fall asleep on the table. It has been shown that many non-physical benefits of massage can happen at this time, such as your energy balancing and clearing. It can also be a compliment to a therapist to note you have fallen asleep during a relaxation massage treatment! So think twice the next time you find yourself resisting falling asleep during your massage.
AFTER YOUR MASSAGE
Take your time getting up off the table
Sit up slowly and allow yourself to adjust to your body which is in a new state. With decreased tension, increased blood circulation and lymphatic flow, it is important to take great care with how you move your body. Do not rush because you are worried about the therapist is needing to go to their next appointment, or because you are jumping ahead in your mind to what you need to do next. Take your time.
Not getting enough water after a massage treatment means that the toxins that your body has released, can get reabsorbed by the muscles and tissues rather than getting flushed out. This can result in muscle soreness, fatigue, or nausea. It is a simple and self-caring step to support your body to eliminate those toxins by drinking a glass of water. Most often your massage therapist will have one to offer you at the end of the massage.
Try to take it easy and be present with your body. Take note of what benefits you experience from your massage – such as increased energy levels, more stable moods and improved quality of sleep. Taking note builds an appreciation of the benefits of the massage which leads you to more likely support yourself in the future when you might need it.
The following tips all support you to maintain connection and support for your body after and between massage treatments:
Incorporate gentle exercise which does not harm the body, instead releasing tension in gentle ways.
Notice foods which may dull the connection and stillness you are feeling. Choose light food which supports your energy flow and vitality.
Notice your breath throughout your day. The quality of your breath is an indicator of your presence and well-being. A slow and deep breath is a sign of connection and stillness, whereas holding your breath or a short fast breath is often a sign of anxiety and tension.
You may feel to plan ahead and book another appointment straight away, however it is through listening to your body day-to-day that will guide you to know when you need your next massage. It could be that you notice tension building in a particular area of your body or simply that you are not feeling quite yourself and want to re-connect back to yourself and the quality of stillness that is always waiting there.