What to Do Before, During, and After Your First Massage Session
If all you know about massage therapy is the freaking idea of a stranger touching your body while all the flaws of your half-naked body are exposed, then you should probably know more in order to reduce your anxiety and be prepared for your first massage session.
What to Do Before the First Massage Session
What you will experience during a massage therapy session depends directly on what you do before the first session.
- Choose the right massage therapy clinic:
You can gain proper knowledge of your local massage clinics and spas. You can also google online locations or ask from those of your friends who have attended one of these clinics. The quality of the clinic you choose and the competency of the clinic’s therapists determine the overall quality you experience during the therapy. Whether at a massage clinic or a spa, you will be given a form to fill in information such as contact information, health history, the goal you want to achieve by massage therapy, medical conditions, medications you are taking, any recent surgery, etc. Try to write your information as accurate and precise as you can since your therapist will carry on your massage therapy primarily based on the information you provide in this form.
- Choose the right massage therapist:
There is probably a reason for which you are attending a massage therapy session. You may want to reduce your physical pain, accelerate your body’s process of healing, relax your mind and body muscles, remove muscle tension and spasm, or any other massage benefits. Although all these advantages are delivered in a package called “massage therapy,” each of them requires a special set of skills for which your massage therapist should be trained differently. Talk to your therapist about your goal, what you want to attain in these sessions, and your overall treatment plan.
- Stay hydrated
Drink as many glasses of water as you can, both before and after the session. Drinking water before a massage session will help your muscles’ tissue to stay more pliable, flexible, and receptive to the massage strokes.
- Do not eat heavy meals a few hours before the massage session
Your body needs a lot of time to digest heavy meals, during which you may feel uncomfortable with any extra pressure. A full stomach will probably stop you from receiving a relaxing massage treatment.
- Stay away from caffeinated drinks
While deeper relaxation can help you truly benefit from the massage session, drinking even one cup of coffee can alarm your body and brain and prevent them from being relaxed. Moreover, caffeine is a diuretic which means that it produces more urine and therefore can dehydrate your body, which is an undesirable condition before a massage session.
- Rest enough
As mentioned earlier, the more relaxed you are during the massage session, the better the results will be. Having enough sleep as well as taking a warm relaxing shower – which loosens up your muscles – before a massage session can reward you even more. Always remember that massage therapy is not only a therapeutic but also a very enjoyable experience. Having a deep and restful sleep after the massage session can also be great. We will deal with that later!
- Stay away from panic or stress
During a frenzied day full of stressful work meetings or family complications, you may not feel psychologically ready to free your mind and fully enjoy a massage session. Although what you will receive during a massage session will help to reduce your pain and stress, it is much better if you also be more prepared and ready for receiving and perfectly benefiting from a sedative treatment. Stay away from anything that causes discomfort. If you need to go to the bathroom, then do it, even if it is in the middle of receiving the massage.
What to Do During the Massage
- Get undressed to your comfort level: At first, you will be given some privacy to take off your clothes and be prepared. There is usually no inconvenience since you are mostly covered with a sheet or towel during the massage and you can also have a pair of shorts on. Think of it as the time when you can let your body free of clothes and your mind free of thoughts. After you get undressed, you have to lie down on a massage table and cover yourself with a sheet or towel. When you are fully covered and ready, the therapist will knock on the door and enter the room. He/she may need to uncover some areas during the massage.
- Communicate with your therapist: Be open with your therapist. Talk to him/her about any allergies you may have to massage lotions or oils. Also, inform him/her of any pain, tenderness, or uncomfortable you feel during the massage. Tell him/her if you are ticklish so that your therapist knows the spots he/she should avoid touching. As well, tell him/her about what you enjoy like the level of massage pressure you prefer. Your therapist needs to know your feedback so that he/she can manage his/her movements accordingly. In any case, your therapist will probably ask you a few questions about how you feel during and after the massage.
- Be relaxed: Try not to think of anything annoying. Set your mind and body free. Breathe normally and let your body become weightless. Keep calm and enjoy the service!
What to Do After the First Massage Session
- Wait for a few minutes: When the massage is finished, stay lied down on the massage table for a few minutes. Do not get up too fast or you may feel dizzy or lightheaded. Wait for a few minutes and then get up slowly to get dressed.
- Arrange for the next time: Schedule more massage sessions if you have enjoyed the first one. Massage therapy should be a continuous treatment in order to be remarkably effective.
- Stay hydrated: As mentioned previously in this article, try to drink as many glasses of water as you can, both before and after the session. After an effective massage session, your blood circulation has been enhanced. Higher levels of oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your massaged tissue cells and, in return, toxins have been extracted from the area. Now, you have to help your body to remove harmful materials more quickly from your body. One of the most helpful ways is to drink as much water as you can, so that this vital liquid can collect harmful materials and remove them through urinating, sweating, etc. Drinking enough water and removing toxins can also reduce the muscle soreness you probably have after a massage session.
- Rest enough: Again, as we mentioned earlier, getting enough rest can help the effectiveness of the massage session. The same is true for your body condition after the massage session. Although getting back to work right after having your body massaged can increase your work efficiency, it is better to let your body and mind be even more tranquilized and healed.