We all go to massage for different reasons. Some people like Swedish Massage and want to calm their nervous system and just relax. Others like more therapeutic work, using a Deep Tissue or Sports Massage to feel better after injuries, from pain or tension, or to recover after training and competing. Some are going through tough times and even tragic times and are looking for calmness and healing. You may have one of these reasons or a reason of your own. As you read, we hope that these Ten Steps help you to get your best massage possible.
~ Do your homework. Search for a massage therapist that fits your needs. Ask friends or family for a recommendation or spend time searching the internet to find a massage studio, spa, or massage therapist that fits your needs. Look for reviews. Reviews written by other clients are a great way to see what other people think of a specific massage therapist and get an understanding of what kind of work they do.
~ Preparing for your massage. Hydrate the day and night before your appointment. You won’t want to drink a lot of fluids directly before your massage, but it is beneficial to be well hydrated. Hydration goes directly into your muscles and allows for stuck tissues to loosen more easily and helps your body’s own system of cleansing toxins. Consider skipping caff eine the day of your massage. Your body and mind will be able to rest more effectively without caffeine.
~ Show up early! You are coming in for a relaxing and healing experience, plan your time accordingly and show up at least ten minutes early. This will give you time to fill out new client forms, use the bathroom and, most importantly, time to talk with your massage therapist.
~ Communication is key. Your massage therapist should ask you several questions to get an idea of your body and your needs. It is important to let them know of any past or present injuries. It’s also great for your massage therapist to know if you have any areas that you want to specifically work on and if there are any areas that you particularly like or dislike to be massaged, such as
hands, feet, face, or head. Be sure to communicate with your massage therapist about your own specific likes, dislikes, and needs.
~ Undress to your level of comfort. While you are on the massage table, with exception to the area that is being worked on, you will always be fully covered with a sheet and blanket. Your massage therapist may suggest fully undressing. This allows the massage therapist full access to areas that often carry a lot of tension such as the lower back, glutes, and upper leg muscles. Feeling safe and comfortable during your massage is a top priority.
~ Breathe. Long, slow, deep breaths allow the body to let go and relax. Breathing brings oxygen to areas of tension to help your body’s own healing process. Deep breaths are also helpful while working on areas of deep tension such as knots in the upper shoulders or neck. While your massage therapist is working on these areas breathe deeply, helping the body to relax and let go.
~ Let go of the “monkey mind.” Take a few deep breaths. Honor all of the “chatter” that is going on in your head. Put a big ol’ loving bubble around your thoughts. See those thoughts leaving your mind, leaving your body, and floating off into space. Anytime these thoughts pop up, repeat this step. Try to allow your mind to be quiet and to let go, and relax allowing for a healing massage session.
~ Your massage therapist is not a mind reader. Your massage therapist should check in with you at least once, if not more. You may have certain areas that can take more pressure or less pressure and if your massage therapist does not pick up on that, please let them know. You may have areas of injury that cannot be stretched as far or areas that can be stretched further. In general
they will sense this but there are times that it will be important for you to communicate. Music, heat, light, bolster support are all things that can easily be adjusted, so don’t hesitate to speak up.
~ Consider rebooking a massage. Your massage session will help you to feel better, although, if you come in with pain or injury, you may need more than one, maybe even several sessions, to get your body back into balance.
~ Use ice, heat, stretching, or other recommended therapies. Your massage therapist may have some suggestions about how to
continue the healing process after your massage. Ice helps to bring down pain and inflammation. Heat can be relaxing to the muscles and can help bring new blood flow. Stretching can help to keep muscles open and can further improve your areas of tension or injury. To get the most out of your massage and healing, be sure to follow up with these recommendations.
Laurel Rivera, Licensed Massage Therapist, Herbalist, Business Owner
About Radiant Mountain Massage: We are a holistic massage studio focusing on healing and therapeutic massage. We understand that pain and tension in the body is often rooted deeper than what our client is feeling physically. Our goal is to help our clients by encouraging healing as a whole including mind, body, and spirit. We have a wide range of massages to choose from such as Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue, Sports Massage, Prenatal Massage, Ashiatsu, Thai, Hot Stone, Reiki and Energy Work, Sound Healing, Plant Blessings and Acupressure. We have a wide array of add-ons to enhance your experience.
**Locals discount for those who live and work in our community to help off set the high cost of living in a resort town.