It takes a lot to give a great massage, and your therapist at Warrior Massage will always do everything in our power to make your experience a great one. But there are also some things you can do to make sure you get the most out of your massage. Whether you are a massage veteran or are nervous about your very first massage, you may find the following tips helpful when you go in for your next massage therapy session.
Before Your Massage
1) Arrive early. Especially for your first visit, there will probably be some intake paperwork for you to fill out (just like when you see your doctor or any other medical provider). Even when you have no paperwork, it is good to arrive with enough time to catch your breath, so you are not still tense from your commute when you get on the table.
2) Use the restroom. Few things disrupt a massage more than this pressing need. It can be hard to relax when you really need to go. Do yourself a favor and go before your massage starts, even if you don't think you have to. Also, this is another reason to arrive early!
3) Schedule a time buffer. If you have somewhere very important to be ten minutes after your massage, chances are you will be too worried about that to be present and body-aware.
4) Ask questions. If there is anything you are unfamiliar or nervous about, ask! We love to answer questions.
During Your Massage
1) RELAX! We work on your muscles and other soft tissues, and the less active tension in your muscles, the better work we can do.
2) If you have any questions, ask them! We are happy to answer them. If you have any feedback, tell us! Sometimes we know when something is a tender spot, but often it is impossible to know unless you tell us. If you are cold, we can help by turning on the table warmer or giving you another blanket, but we won't know unless you tell us.
3) Do not attempt to "help" your massage therapist. Unless your therapist specifically requests that you lift an arm, bend a knee, or perform some other motion, chances are that we want your muscles completely relaxed. Though we know you're trying to make our job easier by helping us move your limbs, it is actually making it more difficult by increasing muscle tone while we are trying to decrease it.
After Your Massage
1) Drink plenty of water. If you've had lots of massage, you've probably been told it has something to do with flushing toxins out of your muscles. There's actually very little, if any, evidence that this is true. But it's still a good idea. Being well-hydrated is good for your health in general, and good or the health of your soft tissues specifically.
2) Pay attention to how you feel not just right after your massage, but in the days/weeks following your massage. Then the next time you have an appointment you can let your therapist know if something we did made you sore, or if you had particular lasting effects. This way we can adjust our treatment appropriately and help you get the most out of it.
3) Schedule your next appointment! Getting massage therapy regularly is a great way to increase wellness and quality of life, and will have much better effect than just trying to squeeze in an appointment when you are in pain. No matter what frequency works for your body, lifestyle, and budget, if you always know when your next appointment will be, you won't find yourself suddenly realizing you haven't had a massage in years.
This area of the blog is for discussion on topics specific to massage, wellness, and the massage industry. If there is a topic you'd like to see discussed here, please ask!