It’s not just the massage therapist’s job to make sure that you have a fantastic experience every time you show up for a massage session; there are things you can do that will make sure you get what you want and need every time you have a massage.
Relax and unwind
We know that a massage is supposed to relax you but if you show up late, stressed and irritated, or on a timer you’ll not get the best out of your treatment. Turn off your cell phone to make sure you’re not interrupted. Better still, schedule your session for a time after work or when you’re not working. If you have time, change out of your work clothes too and wear something easy to pull back on when your treatment is over.
Keep it clean
We shouldn’t have to say this but here goes: please shower before you come for a massage if possible. If it’s not possible, at least try to freshen up. We all sweat a little during the day. It’s not usually a problem, but if you’ve been working out hard, tidying the yard or it’s unusually warm, it’s best for everyone if you make an effort to have a quick shower before your massage appointment. If you’re too slippery it’s harder for a therapist to work properly and it can be quite unpleasant too.
Ask us anything
This one is most important if it’s your first time, or if you have any health issues you’re worried about. Therapists are used to first-timers feeling shy, so any questions about undressing, what happens in a massage or the nitty gritty of the session are welcome. During your massage, speak out if the pressure isn’t what you’d like or the room isn’t the right temperature. Even tell us if you really hate the music! We want you to enjoy the massage, so we would prefer to know if you’re not.
Make it a regular appointment
The more regularly you have a massage, the more the effects will build up and you’ll start to feel the benefits. Just having a massage once a year at Christmas is nice but you’ll have to undo all those knots all over again each time.
Let us know when you’re ill
We’ll ask you about long term or chronic conditions when you first come to us, but if you pick up an injury or develop an illness, we also need to know. Although pregnancy isn’t an illness, please tell us about this, too, as it can affect some of the techniques we use and what essential oils can be used in some types of massage, like an aromatherapy massage. If you have a minor infection, like a cold or flu, call your massage therapist in advance to see if it’s wise for you to attend. Sometimes, a massage can make illnesses worse because while your body is already using your lymphatic system to fight the infection, a massage can stimulate it even more. This is especially true for deep tissue and Swedish massage. If you have any contagious skin conditions, such as athlete’s foot, you should also let your therapist know.
Most of these tips are common sense really, but keeping them in mind should make all of your massage treatments more enjoyable and effective.
Enjoy your massage!
13 Things You Didn't Know About Massage
Only 32% of adult Americans got a massage in the past 5 years. And only even fewer get massage regularly. So it's not surprising that most people don't know much about massage.
Here are some fun facts to build your knowledge:
Massage can help you sleep better. (Even if you don't nap during the actual massage.)
When your back hurts, that might not be the only area that needs massage. Sometimes back pain comes from the hip, legs or even the abdomen.
Likewise, sometimes hand and arm pain is caused by dysfunction in the neck and shoulder. The body is so crazy and weird and neat-o!
You can stop a massage session at any time. You never cede control of your body. At any time during a massage you can say "no", "stop", or even "can you just work on my neck for the rest of the time and skip everything else?" If you are uncomfortable or feel like the therapist isn't hearing your feedback, or if you just feel like the table is too hard and you have to pee and gosh, this is awful. You can end it.
Massage can help your mood. It's been shown to be helpful in treating both anxiety and depression.
Even small therapists can provide deeeeep pressure. It's not about size, it's about the techniques we use!
Massage doesn't 'detoxify' your body. That whole thing is a silly myth. It was taught in many schools and you may have heard me say it, back before I knew better. But we know now that it's just not true.
Massage is safe in the first trimester of pregnancy (unless there are unusual health issues). Some practitioners choose to not do it, but that's a liability choice.
Deep tissue massage, or any massage, doesn't need to be painful to be effective. For reals. Run screaming from any practitioner who insists there needs to be pain in a treatment.
Scars are living tissue that can be transformed with massage and other manual therapies, no matter how old they are. And they can be affecting you in places farther away from the visible scar than you'd ever suspect.
It's OK to focus on certain areas of discomfort and not always get a full body session. If you only want your arms massaged, that's fine, too.
Your massage therapist loves feedback. We like to know if you hate having your feet touched, and if you looove having your ears massaged. We like knowing your musical preference and if you prefer to start face down or face up.
We're also cool if you just want to chill and let us use our judgement to design the treatment.
Do you have questions about massage? Contact me 603-475-9975 or ask at your next appointment and I would LOVE to answer them!
Every day! Well, maybe that’s not practical, even though it would be nice. This is one of the most common questions clients ask about massage therapy, and it really all depends on WHY you get massages. Do you get massages for health benefits? Or, to help you relax and handle the stress of everyday life? Most likely it’s a combination of the two, so let’s look at some of the most common reasons to get regular massages:
Relaxation & Stress Relief
One of the very best reasons to get a massage is for relaxation. Relaxation massage helps to support your body, including blood circulation and flexibility of joints. Regular massage can help prevent pain, muscle tension, and stress points from building up and causing problems. Why wait until you have a problem to get a massage? Massage is perfect for preventing issues with your tissues. Relaxation massage is usually recommended at least once per month, or as often as you want!
There may be times in your life where you experience higher levels of stress and more muscle tension than normal. It is especially important to practice good self-care during these times. When we “don’t have time” for a massage, is usually when we need one the most. Make yourself a priority even during stressful times, your health is worth it.
If you are in a high-stress job or you work in an environment where you stay in a certain position for a long period of time (at a computer for example), you may begin to develop tight or “knotted” muscles. This will frequently occur in your shoulders, arms, and back. All of this increased muscle tension will make movement harder and can cause a great deal of pain. Regular massage can help to keep you loosened up and will help to prevent pain and stiffness.
Living with high levels of stress for a prolonged amount of time increases the risk of contracting heart disease and other diseases. It has been estimated that 75 – 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems. The good news is, massage can help! Just knowing your massage is coming up in a few days can help to relieve stress, and a massage every 2-4 weeks will help with stress related tension.
Are you a weekend warrior, or do you just like to stay in shape? Either way, massage can help with sports performance and recovery. Many athletes and physically active people receive sports massage because it enhances their performance, prevents injury, and speeds up their muscles’ recovery. Competitive sports can put a lot of stress on a person’s muscles! Research conducted at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging at McMaster University in Ontario shows that massage reduces inflammation and stimulates the growth of new mitochondria, the energy-producing units in the cells, after strenuous exercise. This means that massage can help relieve pain, build muscles and help with muscle recovery too! For these benefits it is recommended that you get a massage up to three times a week or at least three times a month.
Chronic Health Conditions
People with ongoing health issues often find massage very helpful to alleviate symptoms. Chronic health problems that greatly benefit from massage therapy include back pain, joint pain, and localized inflammation. If you get therapy for specific issues, the frequency of getting massage therapy varies with the type of condition you have and how severe it is. Relief from pain can usually be achieved with 2-4 massage sessions per month. Your massage therapist will work with you to help you get on the best schedule for your body.
Pregnant women can greatly benefit from massage therapy! Prenatal massage and is popular among expectant mothers, who often experience a lot of aches and pains as their pregnancy progresses. Many women suffer from back pain, hip & sciatic pain, headaches, and tired legs & feet. But you don’t have to–a certified massage therapist can help to relieve those discomforts.
Going to your massage therapist once or twice a month can help with the symptoms caused by pregnancy, and it can even help you sleep better. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor and your massage therapist to ensure that you don’t have any pregnancy related conditions that would contraindicate massage therapy for you. Most women experiencing a healthy pregnancy can and should enjoy regular massage sessions.
Physical activity is good for our bodies. There is no question about that. The benefits of a good workout are countless. When we break a good sweat, we reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. Our bones and muscles get stronger. We gain mental clarity and relieve stress. But I’m curious, how much are we setting an example for our children?
Whether you exercise or not, your children witness your actions daily. This leaves an impression on them that could impact how they live their lives down the road. Seeing you leave for the gym or take to the streets for a good run is great but what happens when you include them?
August 6-12th, we are celebrating “Exercise with Your Child Week” and we want to challenge you to one full week of exercise with your kiddo. Don’t worry if you don’t have a child, you could always reach out to borrow a friend’s, neighbor’s or take someone who needs a break from “the norm.”
Physical activity is awesome. Here’s why:
Combat health issues.
Conditions and diseases are drastically reduced with frequent workouts. Couple that with weight loss or preventing excess gain, and it’s all around a good idea. Starting your child on the right foot can lead to healthy lifelong habits.
You just feel better.
Exercise is a natural mood elevator. It boosts your mood - not only from the happy chemicals that have been stirred up, but the feeling of accomplishment that comes with a good burn. (Bonus: Going for a run or walk also makes an awesome attitude reset. When a child is in a funk, going for a run is a fantastic way to shake it off. And if that doesn’t seem to work, you could always loop the block one more time. That usually inspires a better mood!)
Sleep more soundly.
Right up there with massage, (Book yours HERE) physical activity can be you (and your child’s) ticket to a quality good night’s sleep.
Truthfully, working out together is a bonding experience. It opens the door to curious conversation, heart to heart chats, and the opportunity to grow as an athlete together.
By committing to working out with your child for one week, you are making a commitment to your health and your child’s health. Don’t worry if you haven’t worked out before. When your child sees your ability to try something new, learn, adapt and push through, you become a role model. It doesn’t have to be pretty and you don’t have to have a degree in health or physical education. You just need a desire to learn and want to spend time with a loved one. So go out there and try something new and bring along your child. We hope your new routine sticks for longer than a week.
Do you feel stretched in a million different directions?
Obligations, deadlines, appointments, meetings, work, housework, sports, vacations. More often than not, it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week for all that needs to be done. We’re on constant high alert. We're always moving.
All this chaos can be hard on your body and mind. When this happens, we tend to be less mindful of our eating. Or chasing sleep like it’s a lively kitten. Or we get snippy with loved ones and coworkers.
The effects of this day to day stress are cumulative for most of us. Stiff joints get stiffer. Cranky shoulders get crankier, then one wrong twist or one heavy laundry basket makes it worse.
Massage is the mini-vacation you probably need. Without the sand in your shoes and having to pull your computer out of your backpack.
Massage therapy is a reboot. It’s the control-alt-delete for your body and mind.
A massage resets your thoughts, slows your pulse, regulates your breathing, and recharges your mind.
Spend some time on my massage table, taking care of you. You can schedule online right here, or call me at 603-475-9975 to make your appointment.