How To Make The Most Of Your Massage
Have you ever left a massage feeling less than satisfied? Maybe you had a hard time relaxing or finding a comfortable spot on the bed. Maybe the music was too loud or your brain was moving a million miles a minute.
Every time you start a massage session, there are dozens of external and internal influences at work. Whether it's an active mind after a busy day or an external element that attracts your attention, getting the most out of your massage can be challenging some days.
Thankfully, there are strategies you can employ before and after your massage appointment to set you up for success. Adopting these four techniques will not only help you enjoy your massage more but it will also maximize the results.
Show Up Early and Decompress
When you make your next massage appointment, be sure to leave plenty of room in between any activities you might have planned for the day. Do you like to make a massage appointment directly after work? If so, be sure to give yourself a window of wiggle room for things like bad traffic or minor delays.
Rushing to an appointment where relaxation is the intended outcome is counterproductive and will always work against you. Give your mind and body the space it needs to prepare and unwind. I always recommend arriving 10 minutes ahead of your scheduled appointment.
Take a moment to use the washroom or have a glass of water. Take a few breaths and begin to soften your mind. When you get on the table, continue that slow and purposeful breathing. Not only will your heart rate naturally slow down, but you will find your mind begin to slip into a more relaxed state.
Racing out the door or trying to squeeze in a massage appointment on your lunch break will never quite deliver the relaxing results you want. By blocking off time after an appointment, you can enjoy your massage knowing you don’t have to race off to the next commitment.
Relax Your Mind
Turning off a busy mind can be one of the most challenging tasks we face in a day. Especially if the day has been particularly busy or stressful. While it might be easy to say you should leave your troubles at the door, it’s not always easy to do.
An important part of a massage session is remembering that this is a special moment for you, your mind and body. Before you get on the table, take a second to remind yourself of that. Then, if possible, quiet the mind and let it turn off the troubles of the day.
Avoiding your cellphone before your appointment can also help slow down your thoughts. Oftentimes, if we scroll through work emails or engage on Instagram directly before, we spend the first few moments on the table running through those digital experiences in our head.
Whether it was a busy day, a heated argument or a stressful week ahead, try to set those internal thoughts aside for a few moments. Your massage will be most effective if you allow your mind to settle and focus on the moment at hand.
Leave Time to Unwind Afterward
Once the massage has ended, allow yourself time to get dressed and head home. Avoid making appointments or engagements immediately after. Instead, set an hour or two aside to unwind and relax.
Depending on your preferences, some patients like to go home and enjoy a small snack. Blueberries or bananas are a great post massage fruit to enjoy. Others enjoy taking a relaxing bath with Epsom salts to soothe any soreness post treatment. Whatever route you take, make sure it is a relaxing one, whether at home or somewhere else you find comfortable.
Communication is Key
One of the most integral parts of a good masseuse and patient relationship is communication. Be sure to voice specific trouble areas or painful tension spots before your appointment. Also make sure to communicate what areas you are most looking to work on and what your desired outcomes are for the session.
During the appointment, remain committed to an open dialogue. A good massage therapist will check in with you to make sure you are comfortable throughout the appointment. Use this as an opportunity to voice any concerns you may have or if you're feeling any discomfort.
By keeping the channels of communication open before and during your appointment, you're able to better enjoy the massage as a whole. Together, we can work towards a treatment plan you can feel good about, both on and off the table.
Maximizing the Benefits of a Massage
Getting a massage can be one of the most relaxing and rewarding experiences you can treat yourself to. However, if you don’t practice these healthy habits before and after your massage, you may not enjoy the full benefits. Maximize your experience and try these simple tips the next time you book an appointment.
While the massage therapist is working to reducing the tension in your muscles, you are also responsible for settling your mind and focusing on the present moment. Together, your massage therapist and you can work together to create an experience that is beneficial for both the mind and body.