You already know about the relaxing and health benefits of a massage. Every time you book a session with a professional massage therapist, you’d want to maximize its benefits to your body and to your health. But how can you do just that if it’s your first time getting a massage? Or maybe you have tried going through a few massage sessions but did not find the experience to be truly relaxing? Here, we will be dishing out tips on how you can maximize the health and relaxation benefits of a massage.
Ways to Get the Full Effect & Benefits of a Massage Session
While your body is being rubbed down and those stubborn knots on your muscles are being worked on by a massage therapist, a lot of things might be going through your head. You might be embarrassed about how you look, so you cannot fully relax your muscles. You might be obsessed about how much time is left, or why the therapist is taking too long to work on your thighs which are quite conscious about. To fully surrender yourself to the massage experience and enjoy its numerous relaxation and health benefits, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Take a hot shower.
Taking a long, hot shower is especially useful for first time massage clients. The warmth of the water will help initially relax your muscles, making it easier for the therapist to work on those kinks. Being squeaky clean will also make you feel more confident about your body, since you’re close to naked during the massage session.
- Set down your expectations.
If you’re booking an appointment for a massage at a day spa, specify the type of massage that you prefer. Are you more comfortable with a masseuse or a masseur? Would the massage be for relaxation or would you rather go for a deep tissue massage to get rid of the knotted muscles? By giving the staff an idea about what you expect from the massage session, they can assign a suitable therapist for you.
- Eat lightly before the massage.
Eating a full meal or drinking lots of water before the massage session is a big no-no. If you’re hungry, do eat a very light meal. Go to the bathroom right before the massage session – you won’t want to get up in the middle of the session while the therapist is working on your abdominal muscles.
- Strip down!
Yes, it’s perfectly fine to be in your birthday suit during a massage – but do leave your underwear on if that will make you feel more comfortable. The therapist will keep your body covered with sheets or draping, but the more skin is exposed, the more thorough your massage would be.
While the therapist is working on a particularly knotted muscle, do not tense up and hold your breath. Instead, relax and breathe naturally so that it will be easier to get rid of those knots in the deeper part of the muscle tissue.
- Communicate with the therapist.
Don’t hesitate to speak up if you think that the therapist is putting too much pressure on a body part, or if the overall pressure is too light. Ask him or her to work longer on a particularly painful part of your body. The more that you speak up, the easier it would be for the therapist to do excellent work on your body.
- Hydrate after the massage.
After the massage, avoid caffeine because it will tense up your muscles all over again. Herbal tea or tons of water will do just fine to rehydrate your muscles which tend to lose water due to the pressure applied. If you do feel a little sore after the massage, ice it or do some light stretching exercises.
- Have regular massage sessions.
Finally, getting a massage once or twice a year will not do your body any benefits at all. Go for more frequent massage sessions – once a month or twice every three months should be fine. Through regular massage, it will be easier to ease out the small kinks in your body and you can experience the full benefits – health and relaxation – of the massage.
In the Austin Area? Try our Student Massage Clinic!