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How to Enjoy Your Massage

Tips for Getting the Most From Your Massage

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Whether you are new to massage or an experienced spa-goer, there are things you can do get the most from your massage.

* Don't eat a heavy meal or drink alcohol before a massage session.

* Arrive well in advance of your appointment. It gives you time to check in and relax before your spa treatment. If you get there five minutes before, you might miss some of your treatment time. And if you have rushed, it will take longer to relax.

* Take advantage of the sauna, steam bath or hot tub. It will warm your muscles and make it easier for the therapist to achieve results. If the hot tub has chlorinated water, be sure and shower before your massage.

* Most massage takes place nude but you are fully draped at all times. If you do not want to remove all your clothing, wear clothing that you will be comfortable wearing during the massage and will allow the massage therapist to touch and move the areas of your body you expect will need to be worked on.

* Be receptive and open to the experience and trust in the professionalism of the therapist.

*Good communication is important. Before the session, let your massage therapist know what your needs are. During the massage session, report any discomfort, whether it is from the massage or anything else -- room temperature, music volume, lighting, etc. Feel free to give feedback on the amount of pressure, speed of movement, etc.

*Don’t be afraid to discuss any apprehensions or concerns. Your massage therapist is a professional dedicated to do his or her best to help you feel at ease.

*Some people like to talk during a massage session, while others remain silent. In general the massage therapist will follow your lead.

*Deep breathing helps you relax. People often stop breathing when they feel anxious or a sensitive area is massaged. If this is happening, let yourself breathe.

*Tightening up during the massage is counterproductive. Let your massage therapist know if this happens. They can adjust the massage technique or help you relax.

* If your thoughts race, try to quiet your mind by following the hands of the massage therapist. Focus on how the touch feels.

*If anything happens during the massage that seems improper, ask the massage therapist to stop. You also have the right to end the session.

*If you are dizzy or light headed after the massage, do not get off the table too fast.

*Drink extra water after a massage.

*Allow for some open, quiet time after your massage session. It helps your body absorb the results.

*Massage has its greatest benefits over time. The therapeutic effects of massage are cumulative, so the more often you get a massage, the better you will feel and the more quickly your body will respond.

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