5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Massage
A few days ago, I got my first massage in over 6 months! As I laid there chatting with my friend who was preparing to get started, I started thinking about how much I've forgotten what it feels like to be on the other end of the table. Throughout the session, I had to sort of remind myself what to do and what not to do. In that thinking, I knew that I wasn't the only one who went through these things because I have experienced them first hand as a therapist.
I will soon have other blog posts with helpful tips for before and after your massage, but these are 5 tips are what I came up with to try and help you DURING your massage.
1. Be a limp noodle
As funny as that sounds, it's true. Massage works best for you and the therapist when you are completely relaxed. Many people have the natural reaction to tense up the area that is being worked on. Even I do this sometimes. In my experience, first you must recognize that you are not actually as relaxed as you think you are. Oftentimes, I would feel like I was relaxed, but my muscles in my whole arm and shoulder complex were all engaged. Once you come to this realization, try breathing in deeply and when you release this breath picture yourself melting into the table. Which brings me to my next tip.
Remember to breathe normally during your session. As stated before, breathing helps to keep the body and mind relaxed.
Without trying too hard, try to keep your mind clear of thoughts. If you find yourself thinking about yesterday or tomorrow, pick a word. We’ll use “sleep” in this example. Repeat the word sleep. “sleep… sleep… sleep”. This is called a mantra, a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
I always want to stress this as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Don’t like the music I played last time? Let me know. Too hot or too cold in the room? I definitely need to know. I used to work as a bartender and in car sales so frankly, it’s a bit hard to hurt my feelings. I want your session to be as perfect as it can be and if that means customizing it a bit, then let’s do it.
5. Don’t get up too quickly
Getting up too quickly might cause a lightheaded or dizzy feeling. I try to encourage each of my clients to roll over onto their side after the session has ended and take a few minutes to recalibrate so to speak. Sit up slowly. Wiggle your fingers and toes, gently stretch out your arms, whatever you need to need to wake your body back up. My appointments are set up so that there is plenty of time in-between sessions, so don’t feel that you’re overstaying your welcome and that you need to rush out of the room.
The most important thing to remember is to not overthink anything. Keep in mind, these are just tips based on my experiences as a therapist and as being a client myself. Something might not work for you quite the same as it does for me and that's okay.