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How to receive a Massage

Because Massage is not a common part of our contemporary cultural experience, many people feel uneasy about receiving their first massage. Here are a few guidelines to help you feel at ease and to gain the greatest benefit from your massage session.

Tell the massage therapist about areas of your body, which are injured, tense or sore. Also mention any medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart problem, chronic headaches, varicose veins or recent surgery. Most therapist have you fill out forms with these questions prior to your first session as they want to be sure there are no contraindications with the massage . With this knowledge they can decide which treatments you would benefit with the most.

The best way to receive a massage is with the body completely unclothed. The therapist is sensitive to the need for privacy and will keep your body covered with a sheet or blanket, except for the area being massaged. It will be uncovered while being massaged and then recovered when not. However if this  is uncomfortable in any way you may choose to wear under garments or a swimsuit, the client may choose to leave on as much clothing as needed for comfort.  This is your massage session and you should be as comfortable as possible.

Conversation can be distracting to you and the therapist. Good massage often requires the therapist to focus her thoughts and energy and concentrate on what your body is telling her and what she needs to do for your body to receive the healing process through the massage. Try to confine your conversation to feedback about the massage. Some people don’t realize that conversation is distracting them from truly feeling the sensations a massage gives. Try just concentrating on those sensations and you might be amazed at the difference it does actually make.

Once you are on the massage table close your eyes and allow yourself to relax as completely as possible. Focus your attention on your breathing, slow deep and even, allow yourself to experience all those relaxing sensations.

When the therapist’s hands locate areas of pain or tension in the body, try doing this mind exercise …consciously try to relax the area being massaged and as you inhale deeply visualize the breath flowing to the tense area and relaxing it then as you fully exhale visualize the tension leaving the body with the breath.

Allow the massage therapist to move your limbs into various positions. Be Limp, like a rag doll, and do not try to help move your arms, legs, or head. The therapist is a trained professional who will not do anything to hurt you. However, feel free to speak up if anything the therapist does is too painful or ticklish, or uncomfortable in any way. Most therapist ask the client about the pressure they are using if it is to much or not enough and when doing deep tissue they will most likely use a pain scale for you to communicate with them about the pressure being used as a trained professional they know the importance of pain scales and how to much pain can actually hurt you more than help you. So be sure and take the responsibility to inform the therapist of any discomfort so that adjustments can be made to the pressure and/or techniques being used.

Very often, as the body releases tension during a massage, the mind will release emotion. If you suddenly feel sad, angry or joyful do not be alarmed, allow yourself to express these feelings by crying or laughing. At the very least, feel free to sigh with the relaxation or hum with pleasure.

Many people fall asleep during a massage, an indication that the body and mind are releasing stress and tension. The therapist will gently wake you when it is time to turn over or end the massage.

Contrary to a common notion in our society about massage, it is an ancient healing art and not a sexual service. The body might become aroused as you experience the pleasure of total relaxation.  However, sexual behavior during the massage is inappropriate and will result in termination of the massage session. A professional Massage Therapist will not tolerate any sexual advances as this is her profession and looks at Massage as the Healing Art it actually is.

Enjoy your massage and I hope that your experience will be the beginning of a lifelong practice to help you enjoy the benefits of massage for your overall health and well being.