Make the most of your session
Are you new to the idea of implementing massage therapy to your self-care plan? Maybe you’re just learning to prioritize this healthy habit. Or perhaps you’re pretty seasoned and always book your next session because you know the benefits of nurturing your body, mind, and spirit. Wherever you land on the spectrum, you know how hard it is take the time out of a busy week.
Yay, you, for making the time, and showing up to climb on the table! Time and money are both valuable resources, often in short supply. Have you ever considered how to maximize your ROI (Return On Investment) with your massage therapist? Here are some tips to follow before and after your session to stretch out the numerous benefits:
Pick the best time: Give yourself the space after your session to keep the relaxation going. You took the time to find respite from your physical/emotional demands so don’t overschedule yourself after the massage. This is challenging, but make time to do something that brings you joy. Perhaps take a nap, soak in a relaxing bath, or just kick back and read. Creating intentional time and space after your session really will help cement the benefits of the massage, rather than rushing back to the demands of the day.
Drink a lot of water: It’s very important to stay hydrated before and after your session. Drinking enough water before your massage keeps your tissue hydrated and prevents stiffness. Post massage hydration helps alleviate soreness and assists the kidneys to flush out dumped metabolic waste from tight muscles that have constricted circulation in the tissue. And we all know how water makes us feel – more energized!
Communication: Communicating with your massage therapist is key. Your therapist will check in with your pre-massage to verify any body or stress issues. If you’re new to massage, your therapist should take the time to address your concerns, comfort level, and let you know what to expect before getting on the table. Remember, you know your body best. So if you feel the pressure is too much, the music’s too loud/annoying, your body feels overworked in any area, or you’re just not comfortable, let your therapist know. It’s your massage service and your therapist wants to accommodate you and your body.
Massage shouldn’t hurt: Massage should never be painful! Discomfort may float around the “hurt good” threshold but should not be painful. You will receive the positive benefits of massage without having to experience pain. Professional massage therapists are well versed in body language, listening skills, and palpation skills to help keep you in the “zone.”
Soreness can happen: Some soreness after bodywork is normal depending on multiple factors. Remember to follow your therapist’s post advice. This could include icing a specific area, stretching, deep breathing, meditation, or hopping into an epsom salt bath. Your therapist may recommend to receive frequent/regular bodywork or refer you to another health care provider for additional/complementary treatment.
If you’re experiencing significant muscle soreness or discomfort (what I call “kick back”) that makes you question if massage is worth it, definitely follow up with your massage therapist. As stated earlier, communication is key. This will help you get exactly what you need from your sessions. Remember self-advocacy is self-care!
Reschedule before you leave: This helps you prioritize your self care by blocking out time on your calendar, and ensures you get the day and time you want, helping you get your massages regularly. To fully experience the benefits of massage, it’s best to come in on a consistent basis. Do you exercise once or twice a year? Likely not, because you know that regular exercise is paramount for good health. Massage is no different.
I hope you find these tips helpful, and look forward to seeing you soon!
Take good care~