1. Answer all questions about your health honestly and completely. Discuss problem areas needing extra attention. Mention medical conditions (high blood pressure, heart problems, chronic headaches, varicose veins, etc), any recent injuries, or recent surgery.
2. Most therapeutic massage may be received with the body completely unclothed or wearing only underwear bottoms. Your body will be covered with a sheet (and blanket, if desired) except for the area being massaged. If this is not comfortable for you, let the therapist know and bring a swimsuit to wear.
3. Shower up prior to your appointment.
4. Conversation can be distracting to you and the therapist. Give feedback. Ask any questions. But don’t forget to relax. Talking about your job and the daily grind might prevent you from relaxing.
5. Close your eyes. Allow yourself to relax as completely as possible. Focus your attention on your breathing, which should be slow, deep, and even.
6. Allow the therapist to move your limbs into various positions. Be limp – like a rag doll – and do not try to help. Speak up if anything is too painful, too ticklish, or uncomfortable in any way.
7. Contrary to common notion in our society, massage is an ancient healing art and not a sexual service. The body might become aroused as you experience total relaxation; however, sexual behavior during the massage is inappropriate and will result in termination of the session.
8. Very often, as the body releases tension during a massage, the mind will release emotion. If you are suddenly sad, angry, or joyful, do not be alarmed. Allow yourself to express these feelings by crying or laughing. At the very least feel free to sigh with relaxation or hum with pleasure.
9. Many people fall asleep during a massage. This is an indication that the body and mind are releasing stress and tension. The therapist will gently wake you when it is time to turn over or end the session.
10 Ways to Preserve the Effects of Your Massage
1. PRIOR TO YOUR MASSAGE – Drink at least .5 oz of water per 1 lb of body weight. This keeps soft tissue well hydrated and helps move the toxins that your massage will stir up in your body.
2. AFTER YOUR MASSAGE – Drink just as much water. Your body will be working to flush out toxins and muscular metabolic waste. If there is no water to be found in your tissues, your body will start to drain it from your brain…so drink up!
3. Stand up just a bit straighter during the day and stretch. Now that your muscles are loose, it’s very important to ‘remind’ them how long they really should be.
4. Apply ice to sore areas 20 min at a time.
Make a cold gel pack by mixing 3 cups of water with 1 cup of rubbing alcohol in a baggie and freezing.
5. If pain has been there a while (chronic), use heat for 20 minutes and then follow with ice to “pump” in fresh, oxygenated blood. Apply each for 20 min at a time and always end with cold.
6. Decrease neurostimulants (caffeine/sugar). They increase pain perception, dehydrate the body, and add to the aging process – age spots, wrinkles, all those fun things!
7. Breathe deeply. Extend your exhale. Use essential oils to freshen the air rather than canned, chemical deodorizers. Make your own by filling a fine misting spray bottle with water and adding your favorite essential oil – 8 drops/ounce of water.
8. Take a bath.
Add 3C Epsom Salt and 1C baking soda to your bath water. Squeeze in the juice from a whole citrus fruit (orange, etc) or add your favorite essential oil. (Note: Avoid menthol containing oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, etc. They will cause your body to chill and your warm bath will become a polar dip!)
9. Simplify. Try answering the next request for help with, “I just can’t say yes right now.”
10. Schedule another massage…soon!