5 Ways to Get the Most Out Of Your Massage

purple massage tableYou’ve scheduled your massage and you’re eagerly awaiting the moment you can lay down on that warm, comfy table. How can you get the maximum benefit from your 60 minutes (or more!) on the massage table? Here are a few ways you can help ensure you get the most out of your massage appointment.

1. It Starts on the Phone

When you call to make your appointment, or even when you email, message, or book your appointment online, let the therapist know what you’re looking for in your massage.

  • Do you have chronic neck pain?
  • Aching shoulders?
  • Plantar fasciitis?
  • Anxiety or depression?
  • Or do you just need a simple hour of relaxation?

Knowing what you’re looking for gives the therapist a chance to plan your treatment, consider specific aromatherapy, or even adjust the music.

In addition, it’s important to share any health concerns. If you have heart problems, circulatory issues, or particular types of acute illness, these may affect the type of massage you receive. This is a good time to let them know if you’re allergic to any scents, such such as essential oils, or to tree nuts, as many massage products contain those.

2. Hit the Shower

If you’re leaving from work,  this may not be possible, but if you have the opportunity, a shower can enhance your massage. The effects of a nice hot shower on both your mind and your muscles can help you get a head start on your relaxation and reduce body insecurity. Don’t worry if you didn’t shave your legs!

3. Save the Potions for Later

potion-1249050_1280If possible, try to skip the perfume, cologne, or aftershave on the day of your appointment. You don’t want your scent-sensitive massage therapist sniffling their way through your massage. It can also drown out the effects of aromatherapy.

If you use topical medications (such as pain relief lotions and gels), try to wait until after your massage to apply them. They can do strange things in combination with the massage lotion or oil your therapist is using, and pain relief products can decrease your pain response to deep tissue pressure. On another note, your massage therapist is also absorbing those medications into their body when they get them on their hands, so also it’s safer for them if you wait until later to apply it.

4. Arrive On Time

By “on time”, you might want to consider arriving a few minutes early. Depending on how the therapist schedules their appointments, they may have a finite amount of time for your appointment. If your massage appointment is at 2:00, they likely mean that they would like your massage to start at 2:00.

Allow yourself a few extra minutes to check in, use the restroom, and get undressed and on the table. If you arrive AT 2:00, or 2:05, and they have another client right after you, you could miss out on some of your massage. That would be sad! If you’re not sure, check in with your massage therapist about when is the best time to arrive for your appointment.

5. Give Feedback

A good massage therapist wants to make sure you’re getting exactly the massage you’re looking for. This means that they want to know if the pressure they’re using is too much – or could be more. They want to know if something they’re doing hurts.

Knowing what is causing pain is especially important, even if it’s causing pain somewhere else in your body. These can be important clues as to what is going on in your muscles. “A good hurt” is okay, if you’re okay with it. Some clients LOVE that, but if you don’t, don’t be bashful. Let your therapist know that it’s painful, or that they can back off the pressure a little bit.

Even outside of the massage itself, it’s good to give feedback. If you’re too hot or too cold, changes can be made to the table temperature or blankets & sheets. If something about the position you’re laying is uncomfortable, let them know. Many times extra pillows or an adjustment to the face cradle can make a big difference.

It Takes Two to Make a Great Massage

massage, massage therapy, scalp massage, neck massageEven the best massage therapist is not necessarily a mind reader, so it takes both of you to really make sure you’re getting the best out of your massage. A little planning ahead, and good communication with your therapist can make all the difference. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before, after, and even during your massage. We’re here to work with you to make your massage a wonderful experience!

If you have any questions about massage therapy or its benefits, or are ready to schedule your massage appointment,  you can call Tricia at Birch Tree Wellness (207) 370-4668 or birchtreewellnessme@gmail.com

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