First Time Massage
Before the Massage Begins
Arrive early for the appointment. You don’t want to be rushed or miss out on valuable minutes because you’re late.
When you meet your therapist, they’ll take you back in to a treatment room and ask how you’re feeling and if there is anything specific you would like them to work on, or any areas you would like to avoid. They’ll want to know about any allergies you might have to the lotions and oils used, and also if you have any previous surgeries or injuries your therapist should know about.
During the Massage
Massages generally begin with the client lying face down on the table, unless otherwise instructed. All tables have an opening to place your head so that your mouth and nose are completely exposed and breathing remain normal.
Before entering the room again, the therapist will knock and ask if you’re ready. During the massage, don’t hesitate to speak up if something is uncomfortable such as the pressure being applied (too much or too little), heat (too hot to too cold) or if an area is just more sensitive than expected. Asking for modifications is encouraged. Your therapist is a licensed professional and can adjust to accommodate personal preferences.
The time during a massage allows you to go into a deep state of relaxation and maybe even sleep, which is OK and happens frequently.
At a little more than halfway thru the time, the therapist will ask you to gently change positions and flip over onto your back.
After the Massage
Plan on drinking at least two liters of water after the massage. Metabolic waste, minerals and toxins are removed from the muscle tissues and are working their way thru the lymph system which needs help excreting the material. Water is the most important element in making that happen early and efficiently.
If possible, plan on the hours after the massage to be easy and relaxing.
Depending on how much work was done during the treatment, some muscles might feel a little sensitive or even sore the next day. This is perfectly normal and is just a reflection of how much change the therapist brought to the muscles.
Soaking in a hot bath with epsom salt also releases more of the by-products of muscle function. Epsom salts are inexpensive and can be found in the personal care area of most grocery stores.
Massage has its greatest benefits over time. The therapeutic effects of massage are cumulative, so the more often a person gets a massage, the better they will feel and the more quickly one’s body will respond. From one session to the next, relaxation deepens as the chronic patterns of stress in the body are affected and released. These changes are readily felt in day-to-day life as well, which adds another dimension of reinforcement.
Bruising and Soreness
Some people may have no visible reaction to massage while others may experience bruising or swelling. Some people just bruise easily, plain and simple. This is not because the therapist hurt them in any way; it’s just their bodies’ natural reaction to the breaking down of tissues in the skin. A Swedish Massage or another lighter pressure massage would be the best choice for someone that knows they are sensitive and bruise easily, as opposed to a Deep Tissue massage which would be a very firm pressure and may cause abrasions on someone with sensitive tendencies.
Soreness from a massage generally should not last longer than 2 or 3 days. Just like after a hard workout, the muscles have been worked and manipulated. It happens the same way after getting a massage. The tension in the muscles and knots are being released, instead of built up like when exercising. All in all, the soreness or bruising is totally normal after a massage. The extent of the soreness and bruising depends on each individual person and the amount of sensitivity in their skin and muscles.
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