What to Expect During Your Massage
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity, which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water afterward.
Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork are also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety, and create an overall sense of well-being.
Yes. That’s why it’s imperative that before you begin your session, the practitioner ask general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor’s care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Many practitioners may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.
Your session will be conducted by a professional who has received proper training, often in a variety of techniques. Some massage and bodywork practitioners are licensed by the state, while others are locally regulated. Although no two massages are exactly alike, you may request a certain technique or modality. You may also request your preference as to a male or female therapist.
Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, you may decide what amount of clothing you prefer to wear for your own comfort. You will be properly draped during the session.
The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet or towel.
You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.
You and the practitioner will discuss the desired outcome of your session. This will determine which parts of your body require massage. A typical full-body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. You will not be touched on or near your genitals (male or female) or breasts (female).
A light oil or lotion may be used to permit your muscles to be worked on without causing excessive friction to the skin. The lubricants used should hydrate the skin and be readily absorbed.
It depends on the techniques used. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help to calm your nervous system and ease exterior muscle tension. As your body unwinds, pressure will gradually be increased to relax and relieve specific areas of muscular tension. You should communicate with your practitioner immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork. Various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement reeducation, application of pressure to specific points, and more. Ask the practitioner about the methods she uses.
The average full-body massage or bodywork session lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, for instance the neck and shoulders, back, or legs and feet. Many people prefer a sixty-to-ninety-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session. Hot tubs, steam baths, and saunas can assist in the relaxation process.
Make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax. Others like to talk during their session. Feel free to ask the practitioner questions about massage and bodywork in general or about the particular technique you are receiving.