People are always eager to experiment with brand new experiences at any cost. From that perspective, investing time & money to a massage for the sake of relaxation and health benefits are encouraged by numerous health experts& therapists.
A perfect massage can present you a relaxed and comfortable physical & mental health.
For this, you require to know some fundamental ideas regarding how to prepare for a massage as well as what to do before & after a massage.
Various types of massages are available in different spas & physiotherapy centres. You may check our article for learning the difference between Swedish and deep tissue massage, the two popular categories of massage. We are here to proffer you some core information about how to prepare for a massage and what to do before & after a massage that will aid you in making yourself for ensuring an ideal massage.
What Is a Massage?
What is a massage? According to the encyclopedia,
“Massage is known to affect the circulation of blood and the flow of blood and lymph, reduce muscular tension or flaccidity, affect the nervous system through stimulation or sedation, and enhance tissue healing.”
Benefits of Massage
A massage offers you many benefits:
- alleviation of muscle tension and stiffness
- release muscle spasms
- the superb relief of stress and anxiety
- the superior flexibility and range of motion
- up-gradation of deeper and easier breathing
- improvement of the circulation of blood and movement of lymph
- discharge tension-related conditions like headaches and eyestrain
- elevation of faster healing of soft tissue injuries
- the decrease in the formation of excessive scar tissue
- improvement in posture
- promotion of a relaxed state of mental attentiveness
How to Prepare for a Massage
'How to prepare for a massage', this is a common question & the answer to this question relies on various factors from choosing a massage therapist to what to do before & after a massage.
In this part of the article, we will narrate how to prepare for a massage & what to do before & after a massage for your convenience.
- Choose a Massage Therapist
Choosing a certified massage therapist is always difficult. But you have to find out the best one for you based on his/her license & certification, professionalism, and your satisfaction or preferences. Doing research, discussing massage techniques, taking doctor's recommendations are the salient features for getting an opportunity to meet a qualified therapist.
- Gather Health Information
Gathering relevant health information on various issues like skin allergies, side effects of massages, your pain-related issues & your preferences on aromatherapy scents may be beneficial for you before an appointment with a therapist.
- Communicating with the therapist
Never afraid to communicate with your therapist. You need to inform him/her if you have a specific problem like allergic to any ingredient, or if you have any preferable massage techniques. Your massage therapist will probably use oils or lotions to avoid or reduce extra friction during your massage, here you have to confirm whether you will face allergies on your body or not.
Again, your therapist may use numerous techniques to make your tight knots, or scar tissue flexible, however, a consultation is required with your therapist regarding your specific areas where you may feel pain or discomfort, whether you are new or old that doesn’t matter.
Besides, a licensed therapist may not handle you if you don’t communicate properly about your physical requirement because he/she will stay in the dark concerning your comfort level, in some cases, you may face hard pain. Communicating or consulting with your therapist before a massage is recommended.
- Hydrate Your Body
If you have a massage appointment, make sure you are hydrated before that appointment. Stressed muscles are responsible for inflammation & toxin build-up that restricts vital nutrients & oxygen from going to their respective area. As a result, pain & stress arise.
In a massage, your therapist starts to break up knots & release those built-up toxins from the muscles. This process increases your blood & oxygen circulation. As a massage is dehydrating in nature, you may feel fatigued or nauseated after the massage, that’s why you are supposed to be dehydrated before and after a massage.
If you are hydrated before starting your massage, your body will respond properly to help to flush those released toxins out. And water after a massage is essential because it assists the kidneys to process numerous toxins passes through the body that makes the muscles pleasant & pliable-hence drinking too much water before & after a massage is recommended by the majority of health experts.
- Keep Calm & Take a Deep Breath
Before taking your massage, deep breathing is essential to accelerate your relaxation. Deep breathing can be a pleasant experience for anxiety & stress reduction. Also, it is regarded as the simplest way to placate your mind. If you hold your breath, it will shrink your muscles more that make your therapist harder to breakdown
Controlling the body & mind is key for you to have a perfect massage. Complete exhale & inhale practices help to input the air directly to the belly and oxygenate the muscles that enhance the digestion process. So, keeping your mind calm & taking a deep breath before the massage is congenial for you.
- Avoid Eating Right Before
Avoid eating within 2-3 hours before your planned massage so that your body has adequate time to digest & prepare your stomach for responding during a massage. Finish your lunch with light food if you have a scheduled massage for a lunch break. It helps you feel comfortable.
- Take a Warm Shower
You are taking a warm shower before the massage helps you to slacken up your muscles and engage you in a tranquil state. A warm shower not only offers you a fresh & clean body, but it also prepares you to have a more pleasurable experience.
- Wear Comfortable Clothing
You are wearing loose& comfortable clothing to a massage assists you to feel extra relaxed and make the process of undressing at ease. You will be asked to undress to your comfort level, and you will then realize the importance of wearing loose clothing rather than a tight one. This loose-fitting clothing offers to remove your dress smoothly & to feel tenderness or just having extremely calm after a massage session.
The Task During a Massage
During a massage, you need to stay your body & mind calm & relaxed. Before starting a massage, you may explain your medical history, symptoms if any, and what you are expecting from him/her. Then your therapist informs you which kind of massage & techniques he /she will go to apply considering your medical history, stress levels, your physical condition, lifestyle, medications, and any spaces of physical pain that could disturb your massage therapy result.
You may speak up asking for lighter pressure if your therapist presses too hard. If you feel pain or soreness or uncomfortable, feel free to inform your therapist, he/she will stop or change the technique. You may ask relevant questions to your therapist during a massage session.
A massage session depends on the type of massage & how much time you spend. Usually, it’s range is 10-90 minutes. Whatever the time & types of massage, the main task is to experience deep relaxation.
Watch the video on YouTube: What to expect during a massage session.
After a Massage Session
After a complete massage session, you require to do the following things:
- Drink water as much as you can
- Take a relaxing shower
- Eat healthy food
- Take vitamin C
- Take rest
- Welcome any emotions
- Notice your body reaction
You are drinking much water to hydrate your body aids to flush the released toxins from your body & reducing muscle soreness. Don’t get panic if you experience some sort of muscle soreness during the first 24 hours of getting a deep tissue massage.
Risks of massage
Massage may not be appropriate in the following conditions:
- if you have bleeding disorders
- if you have burning or healing wounds
- if you have acute thrombocytopenia
- if you have deep vein thrombosis
- if you have fractures
- if you have acute osteoporosis
You may consult with a physician if you are pregnant, or you have cancer or a pacemaker or heart disease.
Warning: Massage is regarded as the safest choice to relax your body & mind, but it may not be secure. You have certain health conditions like:
- blood clots
- osteoporosis &
- unexplained pain
Please consult with a certified therapist or physician if you have the above-mentioned issues before lying down on a massage table. Again, make sure an appointment if you are pregnant & you want to have a massage.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Should I feel soreness or pain during a massage?
Yes. You may feel a little bit soreness or pain during a massage. If you have the experience, don’t forget to inform your therapist, he/she will stop or change the steps.
- Should I remove the cloth for a massage?
Normally, a massage therapist will request you to undress to your level of preferences. Most of the people prefer to retain their underwear on during a massage, while others choose to be nude.
- Should I make a conversation during the massage?
You can make a conversation during a massage:
- if you feel too hot or cold
- if you are in pain
- don't forget to mention a health concern during the discussion
- How often should you get a massage?
It depends on the massage you are taking as well as the requirements of your body. For gathering more info, you can read our article on how often should you get a massage.
- What happens if I fall asleep?
Falling asleep at the time of a massage is very common. Your therapist doesn’t bother with that.
A massage is a substantial way of relaxing your body & mind with some health welfare. A professional therapist assists you to enjoy a massage till the end, and the sensation of it stays for a longer time in your body.
Preparing yourself for a massage session is a crucial task for you because, through this little step, you will go to a realm of the cosy world. For enjoying the sensational feeling entirely, there is no alternative to know how to prepare for a massage and what to do before & after a massage.
A massage session signifies that it’s only for enjoyment, so enjoy it effusively. The experience of a lovely massage session awakes you until your next massage. So, take tuition on how to prepare for a massage and what to do before & after a massage for your next session.