This may be more for the first timer but I’m sure more experienced massage goers can get a tip or two here.
What is it that you like? Even if you have never had a massage before you know you better than anyone. I’m sure you have had someone “rub” your shoulders. What pressure did you like? I’m sure you have some sort of an idea. Don’t ever be afraid to speak up during your session. What feels good to one client may not on the next, so weather it’s the therapists technique, pressure or combination of the two your therapist can always adjust. I’ve heard many times you are the therapist, you know best. While there is some truth to that if my client can’t relax my client won’t get the most out of his or her treatment. We are massage therapists not mind readers. Please interrupt the massage to ask questions or ask for something to make you more comfortable. It’s not a bother it’s our job! You may like a particular pressure on your back and not on yor legs. Speak up, share your thoughts, and if all is good relax.
What do I choose?
There are many different styles of massage to choose from and it can be pretty overwhelming. A simple breakdown is easy to share.
If a client is just looking to relax and be pampered your massage is Swedish. This is a light to medium pressure massage using gliding strokes and very calming. If a spa menu doesn’t offer this it is usually labeled as their signature treatment or given another name. Usually the base priced massage.
Deep tissue which is my favorite. This massage is firm to deep working out knots or adhesions to achive a therapeutic benefit. This can be done as a full body but an area or two is the main focus. This should be a good hurt (if that makes sense) if it is painful or you get bruised the next day, not a good deep tissue. You should never feel bruised or beaten. Sore is okay. It should be the kind of sore as if you worked out. Don’t fear this massage and if it doesn’t feel good revert to rule #1.
Hot stone or bamboo
These massage modalities use heat to loosen stiff muscles. The magic is all in the tools. Rolling out the tissues with heated bamboo or stones is another great way to ease tension therapeuticly without deep pressure. The pressure is usually light to medium but if you would like more ask if your therapist has a few tricks up their sleeves to incorporate some deeper work.
This is a form of deep tissue that incorporated some stretching and range of motion work. This and deep tissue is great for athletes, and people that have physical jobs. When working with athletes it’s great to customize a pre and post event massage to prepare as we’ll as assist in recovery.
AKA the lazy mans yoga. This is traditionally done on a futon on the floor but can be adapted to the table. This massage is done wearing comfortable clothing and focuses on lengthening and stretching. If you want to work on flexibility or if you love yoga this is a must try! It is one of my favorites.
When you are receiving bodywork simply let go ( not always so simple for some) and relax. The more you let go the more therapeutic your massage will be. If you “fight” your therapist it may feel as if you need a massage from your massage. Release controll and remember you are in a safe enviornment. The more relaxed in body and mind the more tension can be released from the muscles.
Book your next season with your local therapist. Remember you know your body best, feel free to communicate, try different modalities and reax!