Try to avoid eating a large meal at least 1 hour before your treatmentMake sure you go to the toilet! You don’t want to have to get up in the middle of your treatment!
Arrive on time. This insures that you don’t arrive flustered and stressed. It also means that you will get more out of the massage.
Talk to your therapist. If you are concerned or anxious about anything to do with your massage let us know. We want to make sure you are comfortable.
What’s your goal? Let us know what you hope to achieve out of the treatment and any medical history you may have. Do you want just a relaxing massage or would you like to work out some your tension spots?
I want to tell you a little something about our bodies’ reactions when we are receiving a massage, in particular a deep tissue massage. It can be like a workout on your body. In massage when we work on your tissues to help reduce stiffness, pain and dysfunction, your muscles release toxins stored in your tissues (can be due to lack of circulation/fluid in the tissue or due to fascial constriction etc). We are also working with your nervous system, trying, with your conscious help, to reeducate your neuromuscular connections to release chronic tension and 're-wire' tension patterns. In reaction to this your body also releases lovely endorphins, a natural pain killer. It’s a ‘happy hormone’ and can help you feel relaxed and happy! In order to insure that you are physically and mentally able to deal with this ‘manual breakdown’ of tension please keep the following in mind!
Instinctively the first thing we do when something feels sensitive or sore is tense up and hold our breath!
Remain conscious of your body. If you feel yourself tense up, try to visualise that the area is softening and relaxing, if that does not work, talk to your therapist. It could be that a different technique needs to be used or that the area is simply too sensitive or overstimulated to relax.
Your breath is the key to managing discomfort! Keep breathing! Often a few deep controlled breaths can dispel discomfort.
How to take a deep breath: Breathe slowly in through your nose (if possible). Imagine that you are first berating into your abdomen, when that is full and with the same breath, imagine that you are filling your ribcage. Your ribcage can expand front and back and side to side. When that is full and with the same breath fill your chest! When you exhale you can do it slowly through the nose or quickly through the mouth! It really helps to visualise breathing into the pain. Pushing into it and challenging it. And on the out-breath, releasing it, letting it go. Sometimes if something feels quite intense, I like to let the air whoosh out nice and fast! (I have a terrible pain tolerance so I tend to do this a lot when I’m getting a massage!)
If you find your mind racing with stressful thoughts try practicing a body scan. This is where you return your focus to your body. First bring your awareness to your right toes, then to your sole of your foot, top of your foot, ankle etc. Working your way up to your right hip. Then return to your left foot. Carry this through to your whole body. This works wonders for calming the mind and returning yourself to the present!
Some people find it relaxing to talk and some don’t! So the best advice I can give you is talk if you feel the need to.. unless that need arises from feeling awkward about the silence! Then it is ultimately better to stay focused on your body.
Try to take at least 15 minuets before you go back to work or drive anywhere. You are in a state of relaxation although you might not realise it. This means that you need to give yourself a bit of time to ease back into the normal flow of things.
Drink water after your treatment.
If you are feeling a little achy (in deep tissue massage after pain can happen 1–2 days after your massage), go for a light walk or take a warm (but not hot) Epsom salt bath.
If you ever have a worry about an after effect of a treatment, contact your therapist. We are always available to answer any questions you might have!