It’s no surprise that a massage can seriously soothe your mind and body, and you already know a solid rubdown has impressive health perks, like better blood circulation, amped immunity, anxiety relief, and even improved sleep quality.
But beyond the obvious, there’s a lot to wonder about the magic of massage. Few therapies are quite so up-close-and-personal, so to avoid awkward moments, wasted cash, and most importantly potential pain, it’s crucial to be in the know.
How to have the best possible massage experience
It’s Fine to Get Naked
It can be a little uncomfortable to strip down to your birthday suit in front of someone you’ve never met, but really, it’s totally normal. Remember, massage therapists are trained professionals and your undressing can actually lead to a better appointment. Undress to the point of where you feel comfortable, professionals keep you covered with sheets or draping where appropriate, but you should know that undergarments can sometimes get in the way of long strokes or pressure points and inhibit you from experiencing the best massage possible.
Remember to Breathe
When your massage therapist is working out a particularly bad knot, it can be tempting to tense up a little bit and hold your breath. Please, don’t do this, or you may miss out on one of the major benefits of that rubdown. It’s crucial that you breathe fully and deeply when difficult areas are being worked on so as to oxygenate your blood supply and aid tense muscles.
Drink a Ton of Water After Your Appointment
It’s especially important to hydrate post-massage. Like when working out, your muscle tissues can become dehydrated during a massage. Drinking plenty of water after your massage is very helpful in rehydration, building healthy muscle tissue, and removing wastes that accumulate as your muscles are worked out.
A Warm Shower Before
For the best possible rubdown, it’s important to take care of yourself before you step foot in the spa. The easiest and most relaxing way to prep? A long, hot shower. The relaxation effect of a warm shower on both the mind and the muscles will help you be less tense during the session, which will benefit you as well as the therapist. Also, being and feeling clean can help mitigate body insecurities if they come into play. Plus, the therapist will appreciate your cleanliness for obvious reasons
Hit the Gym Before Your Massage
Definitely pump the weights, cycle or take the run before, not after, your massage. The muscles you work may be a little tired from the exercise itself, but should be nicely warmed up for the massage. Working out immediately after a massage is not a good idea as you are likely to stress and strain the muscles that were just relaxed.
Request Your Preferred Massage Style When You Schedule
There’s nothing worse than leaving the spa feeling, well, meh. While they’re trained to help your body, massage therapists can’t read your mind, so it’s best to tell the receptionist if you have any preference of therapists, pressure, or massage types when you book your appointment. This will help ensure you’re matched with someone who will be able to best work with your needs—for example, relaxation vs. deep tissue injury work.
Be Strategic About Timing
While there’s no perfect hour to schedule a massage, you still probably want to consider the timing of your appointment. To do this, think about what makes sense for you and your schedule. Some people feel invigorated after receiving massage and use it to start their days, while others like to eliminate stress from work and life with massage after a long day, and relax knowing they are done for the day.
Bodily Functions, Well, Happen…
Massages are sure to chill you out, but did you know they can also improve your digestion? So, if you’re getting a rub down and hear some grumbling noises and yes, even flatulence, don’t freak. It’s easy to be embarrassed, but there’s absolutely no need to be: “It’s not uncommon for people to pass gas during a massage session, it’s completely normal,” says, Dr. Helen Litovsky, Massage Therapist at Zen Massage. If you’re worried, avoid any high-fiber foods before your appointment. Litovsky also suggests hitting the bathroom before your session and not drinking too much water right before you hit the table, since there’s nothing worse than having to pee while someone is pressing on your bladder.
Avoid Eating Right Before
Generally, a full meal right before you hit the spa is a no-go, as massage certainly stimulates digestion. Eat lightly right before a massage, and have a meal a few hours prior. Don’t starve yourself in the preceding hours, as you may feel dizzy or light headed during the massage as a result. Eating lightly one to two hours beforehand will allow for digestion while not making you feel uncomfortably full.
It may seem out of place to tell your massage therapist to do “more of this” or “less of that,” but that’s exactly what they want you to do. In fact, the worst thing you can do is say, “I just want a good massage”. During the massage, you shouldn’t be afraid to tell your therapist if something is uncomfortable, the pressure is not right, or if you have a question about what your therapist is doing. Be sure to ask them to spend more time on a certain area if that is what you want—at the end of the session is too late, and this is your massage.
It Shouldn’t Hurt
A little pain is necessary to get the job done, right? Not necessarily. There may be slight pain in stretching or having tight or tensed muscles worked on, but relaxation really is the key. If too much force is provided, the muscle tightens up more and creates even more pain and possibly bruising muscle and damage. So, again, be sure to let your therapist know if something hurts. We promise, they won’t be offended.
If You Feel Any Soreness, Treat It
Your muscles can get a little sore after a massage for the same reason they do after a stellar exercise session: They’re being worked pretty hard! You wouldn’t ignore tight or painful muscles after a long run, so you shouldn’t after an intense rubdown either. After deep work, icing is recommended to lessen the immediate soreness. Light stretching is a nice touch too, because the muscles are warmed up, so light yoga or even getting an adjustment at a chiropractor after is perfect harmony.
Communicate any distractions
If the music makes you uncomfortable in any way, or the temperature of the room becomes too cold, let your therapist know immediately. These distractions will take you away from your body, and ultimately your relaxation.
One Rubdown Every Few Years Isn’t Going to Do Much
ZEN Massage in Salt Lake City. Has monthly memberships to make your massages more affordable. We know you live a busy life, we are here to help take your mind off the daily stresses and make your massage therapy experience as relaxing as possible. Try our online scheduling feature to schedule your next massage.
Reduce stress and feel great, with the best masseurs in Salt Lake City, Book with ZEN Massage today!
5520 South Van Winkle Expy
Salt Lake City, UT 84117