Massage 101 (continued)

Ernie Miller Nature Center
Ernie Miller Nature Center

Now you have decided to treat yourself to a massage, but you don’t know a massage therapist.  A good source is to check out professional sites such as AMTA for listings of therapist’s near you.  Another is to ask friends, family or co-workers if they know someone.  But think about what you want to accomplish.  Are you after relaxation only?  Or do you have soreness from workouts or maybe an injury from the past?  Many of my client’s use massage as a maintenance for over-all wellness.  Others find the time a relaxing way to end a busy work week or just a way to enjoy some quiet time.  Many people new to massage believe it’s necessary to talk during the session, thinking it rude not to.  Everyone has a different approach to what is relaxing for them personally, but a good rule of thumb is to expect the therapist to be quiet and allow you to set the tone.  There is no rule that says you must talk or remain totally silent during a massage.  However, closing your eyes and concentrating on your breathing while the therapist works can be  quite beneficial.

Now you have found a therapist and have made the appointment.  You arrive perhaps with some apprehension of what to expect?  The massage therapist should ask you specific areas that you feel need attention and areas to avoid, such as ticklish feet or no facial massage.  They should also explain to you the type of massage they are trained in and what you should expect.  They should ask you if you need to use the restroom and they have a good reason to do that!  Massage will lower the heart rate, reduce the core body temperature but will increase the movement of fluid through the lymphatic system and sinus.  The massage therapist should instruct you on whether they will begin working on you face up or face down.  You should disrobe down to your comfort level, but depending on the massage style or technique, an article of clothing can obstruct the overall level of effectiveness.  A good massage therapist will be aware of this and help you to understand.  But your comfort level is the most important thing.  If you have barriers to massage because of disrobing, an excellent alternative would be a Thai massage.

Next topic:  Thai massage


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