TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR SESSION
1. DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE
There are many reasons to get a massage, and matching a therapist to your needs is important. Do you have specific issues like a stiff neck, car accident injury, tennis elbow, or chronic back pain? Or is your focus more on relaxing and de-stressing? Are you looking for a girls' getaway experience or are you celebrating in a group? Or do you need quiet time to escape a busy day.
2. Interview your potential massage therapists.
Don't be afraid to call ahead and speak to the therapists. Ask them where they went to school and how long they've been in practice. Ask them if they have any experience with your particular needs (for example: knee surgery recovery, whiplash, plantar fasciitis, marathon runners, pregnant women, etc.). Ask them if they have a lot of return clients or mostly new clients (unless at a resort, this can be telling). Ask them what kind of massage
they like to do, and what continuing education they've pursued. Every therapist is unique, and even if you talk to three from the same class, you'll find one doing myofascial and medical massage, another doing body wraps and hot stones, and the third practicing Thai massage or Watsu.
3. You get what you pay for, but what are you paying for?
You'd think, walking into a fancy downtown salon, or an exotic hotel spa, that you might be poised to receive an excellent massage. And that could happen. But more than likely your massage therapist will only receive 20 to 30 percent of what you've paid. The bulk of the bill goes to the hotel or boss, and to pay for the fresh exotic flowers, marble floors and expensive furniture. Your massage therapist is probably fresh out of school, or not
very invested in the profession. Of course, there are exceptions, but be forewarned. Also, if there is ever any inappropriate behaviour, stop the massage (an easy out is "Suddenly, I am not feeling well. I'm sorry, but can we stop now?") and report it to the manager and/or Accredited Association. Shopping Centre massage shops whilst convenient have been known to do in house training and share credentials and health fund registrations be sure that anyone doing any deep tissue work has proper training!
If you can budget a regular massage for yourself, say, once a month, you can become more in tune with your own body and become more aware of what you are getting and what you might need. Not only is massage really good for you, but regular outings onto the table can help you find someone you really like. You could try 30-minute sessions at a new clinic, office, or spa each month, until you find one that fits your needs. If you have
a session that is less than memorable, painful or just plain bad, don't let it put you off massage. Every therapist is different and there is a wide variety of quality out there. Plus, that practitioner's style just may not be a good fit for you.
5. Do your homework: Self-care.
Ask the therapist for tips on maintaining your healthy muscles and keeping stress at bay. Often, one or two exercises or stretches will be recommended to you. Do them! Try them there, with the therapist, then do them at home for a week and see how you feel.
6. Drink your water.
After a massage, some people can feel under the weather or sore. This is due to toxins, such as lactic acid and lymphatic drainage of colds and viruses, leaving the body. Drinking several glasses of water over the next 24 hours can help stave off those side effects. Also helpful is taking a nice long hot bath after a massage. Add Epsom salt or bath salts for added detoxification. Unless you are recovering or coming down with from say a virus often the more sore or unwell you feel is a sign that you need more treatments or/& lifestyle changes.
Drink plenty of water and avoiding caffeine & food for an hour before will also help get the most out of your session.
7. Be nice to your massage person and speak up.
It is absolutely acceptable to request a change in the music, a different lotion or oil scent, or a bathroom break mid-session. You also are encouraged to ask for less, or more, pressure, as you see fit, but don't be overly controlling. If you trust your therapist, let them do their job. Participate in your own massage -- breathe into the pressure and allow that mind-body connection to grow within you. Let the therapist know if there is something you particularly liked or benefited from, or if you'd rather spend time on specific issues. So if you really appreciated the session, show it with referrals to your friends and family.
8. CONTRAINDICATIONS: COLDS , VIRUSES ETC....
Your body is an amazing survival machine please respect that it is constantly working away at keeping you healthy! Use common sense when booking or honouring your booking, if you feel fever, nausea, lethargy, have had recent surgery, infections, are under a Drs supervision etc.. please let your therapist know! Here is an example to relate to. You are coming down with a cold so your body is trying to contain the cold to make it easier for your immune system to fight it, your germ fighting cells and lymph nodes are battling away hard at work and then massage therapist comes along and stirs the whole system up into overload, add to that the longer you haven't had a massage your body has a whole lot of toxins trapped under the skin...oh and lets remember how stressed you have been lately so we will stir in those stress hormones and you are probably going to feel seriously crap for a few days! having said that if you are at the end of a cold and just cannot shake it this can be a beneficial thing, so talk to your therapist first or you may get turned away at door...if you have a good therapist who is interested in your wellbeing!! Lets not forget also that this is your therapists income I don't know of any massage therapists that are not contractors or self employed if they get to share your cold and cannot work for a week there is no sick pay!