Massage therapy has a multitude of benefits, and you might be interested to try it for yourself. According to a study by Tiffany Field, PhD, “Massage therapy is one of the most effective and widely used alternative therapies. Although most massage therapy sessions are for pain, recent research suggests that it is effective for other conditions including growth of premature infants, ADHD, depression, and immune conditions, most especially cancer.”
In case you have only gotten a glimpse of a massage room on TV, and you’re about to try it now, many questions may be running in your head. After all, it’s hard to believe that you only need to lie down on the table and the masseuse already knows what you want.
Well, you’re right about mistrusting that idea. There are indeed a few things you ought to remember when getting a massage.
- Don’t Eat Right Before The Appointment
What usually happens during a massage therapy session is that the therapist smooths out every knot on your body. They apply much pressure on those areas as they rub down with their bare hands. It may be painful, but you’ll find that there’s no other way to deplete those air pockets everywhere.
Now, imagine how you’ll survive that if you’ve inhaled a bowl of ramen and two sets of dim sum on the way to the establishment. Once the masseuse asks you to lay on your stomach and starts to knead your back and sides – usual spots where the knots are – the food might go back up. Hence, if you want to stay on schedule and not have to wait for an hour or so before being allowed to rest on the massage table, eat hours before you go to the spa.
- Feel Free To Use The Shower There
It is convenient that massage centers have a shower installed in the facility for the customers. It lets the clients freshen up or get rid of any foul odor that stuck with them after traveling for miles or working out at the gym. Nevertheless, that’s not the only reason why showers are in spas.
The other – and more accurate – the cause is that the warm water can prepare the customer for the massage that he or she is about to receive. It won’t be cold in the therapy room, after all. You will most likely sweat out the air trapped within your body, yet it will not be stinky. That’s why it’s better to wash off before that.
- Staying Warm Is A Must
It also seems ideal if you wait until 24 hours before you take a bath post-massage. That’s because the therapy opened up the air pathways throughout the body. Even letting water to touch your skin will merely make the massage pointless.
Similarly, if you don’t mind going to the extreme, the therapist may recommend wearing a sweater, not drinking cold water, and turning off sources of cooling air wherever you may be. You want to seal the heat inside your body, so doing otherwise won’t be beneficial for that goal.
- You Have A Choice
Last but not the least, you should recognize that your options do not end once you choose the massage style. According to Jeffrey E. Barnett, PsyD, ABPP, and Allison J. Shale, MS, “There are several different types of massage, each utilizing slightly different techniques. For example, Swedish massage, the most commonly used form of massage in the United States, involves ‘a combination of long strokes, kneading motion and friction on the layers of muscle just beneath the skin’. Other well-known forms of massage include sports massage, deep tissue massage and trigger point massage.”
Although you are already on the table and the masseuse is performing their know-how on you, you can speak up if you think that the rub down is too hard or too light for you. They can increase or decrease the pressure from their hands upon your request, but they won’t know what you prefer if you remain quiet. Thus, for the best experience, don’t be afraid of talking to the therapist throughout the session.
After all, the therapist is there to help you. Stephen L. Salter, PsyD, said, “The massage therapist is as much a student of the mind as they are of the body. The massage therapist bears witness to our mounting stresses and vulnerabilities, and helps unblock the passageways that allow us to fully breathe in life.”
You got to admit – these things are not challenging to remember. So you’ll know better now than to do the opposite of them when you finally get a massage.