The first time you visit a massage therapist, you may be unsure about the whole procedure. Preparing for a massage is a lot like getting ready to go to the gym and workout minus all of the huffing and puffing. Here’s what you should do to prepare for a massage as well as some tips to get the most out of your session.
Did You Know?: Buying Your Own Massage Chair Will Pay for Itself in 14 Months. More info.
How to Prepare for a Massage
Getting the most out of your massage doesn’t just mean you let the masseuse do all of the work. As a patron, you have to prepare for your massage session and take the necessary steps to experience all of the benefits of massage therapy. Start with your diet and then with the things you wear to your massage session.
Eating and Drinking
The first thing you want to remember is that you should drink lots of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol will dehydrate your body and lead your body to be tense. Drinking water before and after will reduce muscle soreness by removing waste products that have been worked out during your massage session.
You don’t want to stuff yourself prior to your session. Eat a light snack prior to your massage to make sure that you’re not starving but not stuffed at the same time. Exercising and eating right can help prevent lower back problems. It’s been proven that obesity has a direct connection to lower back pain.
Did You Know?: Eating the right foods can help improve your skeletal structure.
Make sure that you stretch prior to your massage. Stretch your upper and lower body, relaxing your neck and loosening the muscles throughout your body. There are many stretching guides that you can follow like this one that will show you how to loosen up all of the muscles in your body.
What to Wear
Wear loose and flexible clothes. Think of something that you would wear to the gym or to yoga class. You want to be able to move your body freely without any limitations caused by your attire. Dress appropriately so that everything goes smoothly.
Getting the Most out of Your Massage
If this is your first time, you may feel a little uneasy about what to expect and what you can and can’t do but that’s okay. It’s normal to feel nervous. The first thing to remember is that you don’t want to resist. Relax your muscles and allow the masseuse to do their job. When you tense up your muscles, the masseuse will have a harder time targeted those deep muscles and relax all of trigger points that may be causing your discomfort.
Massage therapy is as much of a mental experience as it is for your body with immediate psychological benefits. What’s good for the mind is also good for the body. To do so, allow your mind to relax and try not to think so much. Keep a calm and consistent breathing pattern to keep your heart rate low.
Don’t be afraid to ask your massage therapist to apply more or less pressure during the massage. You can also ask them to focus on or avoid certain areas that may be painful or require more attention. There are many type of massage. Learn about reflexology and shiatsu massage to see if they are right for you.
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About the Author
Jelani Burton is a sports enthusiast who enjoys leading an active lifestyle. He has experience with chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, and various other sports medicine treatments. You can find him volunteering at training camps for local San Diego youth.