You’ve been looking forward to a massage all day long. You really need the downtime to relax and release the tension you have been experiencing all day. Then, you finally get on the massage table, but you have a difficult time relaxing because you can’t turn off the activity in your brain.
This doesn’t have to happen to you. Here are four things you can do to make the most of your massage.
• Schedule your
massage at a
time of the day
when you don’t
have to rush
back to a project
that will create
more stress and,
the positive effects of your massage.
• Keep your eyes closed throughout the
entire massage. Shutting off the vision
turns off any outside stimuli to your brain.
You will be amazed at how quickly you are
able to enjoy your massage without using
your eyes to take everything in.
• Don’t help the therapist, unless asked,
when he or she goes to move your arm,
leg or head during your session. It’s not
necessary to be helpful during your massage. It’s more helpful if you don’t anticipate your therapist’s next move. Part of you getting the massage is allowing the therapist to do the work, all of it. If you are helping the therapist, then your brain is still too much engaged.
• Don’t feel you need to carry on a conversation with the therapist. Other than for the few pertinent questions at the beginning of your massage, the massage therapist should be quiet. After all, your time on the table is your time. It’s not about the therapist talking about all their stuff. I know I have had to learn this one through experience and now work at being quiet and respectful of my client on the table.
Sometimes new clients will ask me a few questions about my practice. I answer them and then they are quiet the rest of the session. Occasionally, I will get someone who is new to massage ask me about talking. I always tell them it’s their session and they can choose to talk or not. I also state that I will only talk to them when they talk to me first. From personal experience, I have found that when I am quiet, I get a more relaxing and longer-lasting massage.
I know it’s hard to not talk sometimes when you and your therapist have built a comfortable relationship and want to catch up with each other. That’s OK, too, if that’s the unspoken agreement you have with each other.
At some point, you may have a day when all you really want to do is just be on the table and not converse with your therapist. Don’t be afraid to let your therapist know that today is a nap day and you just need some quiet time. Any therapist worth his or her weight will take the hint and let you have that time.
In summary, for you to have a truly enjoyable, relaxing massage, schedule your massage at a less stressful time of day, keep your eyes closed during the massage, don’t help the therapist move your body and, finally, just “be” on the table during your massage.
Susan Santi is a certified massage therapist and owner of Ahhh Massage in Virginia. Feel free to contact her with questions at 218-410-2144.