Dos and Dont's
BEFORE AFTER & DURING A MASSAGE
Talk to your therapist. Let your therapist know of any medical conditions or surgeries, allergies, any current ailments, what areas to focus on and any areas to avoid, and the level of pressure you prefer. Also be sure to mention if you're pregnant or need fragrance-free options.
Avoid eating. Generally, a full meal right before you hit the spa is a no-go, as massage certainly stimulates digestion. Avoid eating a heavy meal, but do eat something lite. Eating to much before a massage will make you tired and lethargic. Eating lite includes a soup, some fruit, and some non-fizzy natural sugar drinks are best.
Avoid alcohol. If you come in and we can smell it we will not perform the service it is to dangerous. Combining massage therapy and alcohol only increases the toxic load on the body. It also desensitizes a person to pain and even clouds judgment. The client may perceive the intent of the massage therapist differently than if just getting a massage. Even one drink – be it one glass of wine – can impede a person. The effect depends on many factors, including body weight, food eaten, prior alcoholic drinks (even if the night before) and general physical condition.
Be on time. Arrive well in advance of your scheduled time. This will help you relax and enjoy your fully scheduled session without feeling rushed. About 5-10 minutes before your scheduled appointment is ideal.
Hit that Boot Camp Session Before Your Massage. In general, working out immediately after a massage is not a good idea as you are likely to stress and strain the muscles that were just relaxed. Also, if you plan your workout for after, you’ll run the risk of being too tired and injuring yourself, or just plain losing motivation after being so relaxed.
Privacy. Before your massage, you’ll be asked to remove clothing to your level of comfort. The therapist will leave the room while you undress. Wait until your therapist has left the room before you begin undressing. No, we haven’t “seen it all,” and we don’t want to!
What to do or don't
Take your time. Don’t immediately jump off the table as soon as your therapist leaves the room. Open your eyes slowly and enjoy the ambience of the room. Gently bring your awareness back into the room. Sit up slowly and remain seated on the edge of the treatment table for a few moments, if you feel light headed. Dress yourself in warm and comfortable clothes before leaving.
Drink even more water. Failure to flush toxins out of the body by drinking a lot of water after bodywork could result in excessive muscle soreness or nausea, not to mention that you’ve defeated the purpose of getting the treatment in the first place. There is no “magic number” of ounces you should consume, but the more water you drink, the better you’ll feel after your treatment. So remember…WATER!
Getting on with it. If you have to return to work after your treatment, try to take it easy, but notice how much more energy and ambition you have! Otherwise, just use the rest of your day to relax. Enjoy your good mood, knowing that all is well with the world - at least with your world, at least for today.
Breathe. If water is the most important element, then oxygen is a very close second. I have always found it amusing and ironic that, at the times we need oxygen the most - during concentration and exertion - is when we “forget” to breathe.
Relax. No. really... relax MORE. Don’t engage your muscles to “help” lift the weight of your leg (or arm) while your therapist pulls the sheet under it. I know that you’re just trying to help, and that’s a really nice gesture. But in reality, it doesn’t help - when your muscles engage, your limb becomes rigid, and this not only makes the act of draping more difficult for your therapist, it has a reverse effect on the therapeutic value of your treatment. Energetically, it is impossible to give (expend energy) and to receive (conserve energy) at the same time. If you’re engaging your muscles, you’re giving. One of the primary objectives of massage is to achieve such a profound state of relaxation that you are able to receive the most healing benefit possible. It takes time to achieve such a relaxed state; each time you engage your muscles, you start the process over. Ask yourself what you’re paying for, and stop giving away priceless therapeutic value from your treatment!
Be mindful about how much you talk during your treatment. I’m not going to tell you not to converse - sometimes a verbal release is just as therapeutic as a physical release. If you need to “vent”, and your therapist is comfortable sharing with you in this way, then by all means - vent! But be sure to ask yourself one question, first: what is it that you want to get out of your treatment? If you want to receive all the wonderful benefits obtainable from your treatment, then don’t distract your therapist - or your mind - with a lot of personal conversation, even if your therapist encourages it. Excited or animated conversation also causes your body to tense up. Consider saving the lengthy discussion for a lunch-date with your friends - it’s free, and you’ll get more out of the treatment that you’re paying for.
Communicate. With the above being said, be sure to tell your therapist if his/her pressure is too soft or too deep. A “relaxation” treatment should never be uncomfortable.
Turn off your mind. During a quiet, relaxing massage is a great time to meditate, “zone out” or even fall asleep. Some people resist falling asleep during bodywork treatments because they don’t want to miss any part of this truly enjoyable experience. However, it is during these altered states of consciousness that you are able to receive the nonphysical benefits of the treatment, such as chakra balancing, energy clearing, etc.
When do I know I did well..
If you reach a state where you’ve lost time, or where you find yourself awake and yet dreaming, you did it right! If you’re unable to “check out” of your mental state, then just try your best not to follow your therapist's movements with your mind. Don’t think about your work, your grocery list or today’s “to do” list, either. Instead, think about a sunny beach, a trip to the mountains, a walk in the clouds, or anything that helps you relax.