What’s not to love about massage?
According to the Mayo Clinic, studies of the benefits of massage show that it’s effective for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. And, many people report reduced anxiety, insomnia and even fewer headaches with regular massage.
We asked Feeling Groovy’s massage therapists Alisa and Keika for are a few tips if you’re new to massage, or you’re looking to get the most out of your next massage.
1. Know you’re seeing a professional.
Massage therapists undergo training in multiple disciplines such as anatomy, physiology, health and hygiene, and business ethics. Just like any professional, they’re there to do their job the best they know how.
“If a body part needs moving, we’ll move it for you,” says Alisa. “You just get to relax.”
And yes, you can leave your undies on. But, be aware that “we can’t massage any place where you’re clothed,” adds Alisa. So, ladies, please remove your bra if you’d like your back to be massaged. If you’re modest or shy, don’t worry—you’ll be draped the entire time in a sheet.
2. Tell your massage therapist your concerns.
Plan to arrive for your massage appointment about 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time. You’ll be asked to complete a short questionnaire that will help you identify areas of concern.
Maybe you strained your back cleaning out the garage last weekend, or you’ve been sitting at your desk more than usual so your neck and shoulders are tight. Whatever is bothering you, let your massage therapist know!
Your massage therapist will review your answers and come up with the right massage technique for you.
“If you’re dealing with chronic tension or an area has been painful for awhile, a deep tissue massage actually might not be ideal,” notes Keika.
“Deep tissue does tend to hurt. We want to break through the tension and knots, but it shouldn’t be excruciating,” he says.
Different massage techniques can address different needs. For example, massage cupping offers a gentle way to break up adhesions in the fascia (the layer under the skin) and loosen up tight muscles and tendons.
3. Speak up during the massage.
As Keika says, “We’re not mind readers. We need an open line of communication.” He explains that everyone’s nerve receptors are different, so what might be soothing for one person might be painful for someone who is more sensitive or older.
So, speak up. During your massage you can simply say, “A little lighter,” or, “A little more pressure, please.”
Your comfort is paramount, and Keika says your pain level should never be above an 8 (on a scale of 1 to 10), depending on your goals for your massage. Injury during a massage is extremely rare, but if anything ever feels painful or uncomfortable, speak up right away.
4. Drink lots of water after your massage.
Massage not only helps relieve sore muscles, it helps purify the body as well.
As a result of a massage, fluids are being pushed and moved all around the body—and that includes toxins. After your massage, your therapist will offer you a glass of water. They’re not just being courteous—that water serves a purpose.
“Water helps remove the toxins, so it’s not about drinking a specific amount,” says Alisa. “Just drink as much as you can; we want those toxins to leave the body.”
5. More is better.
If you have a sedentary job in an office or you drive long distances frequently, you’ll need more frequent massages. Alisa recommends one massage per week if you’re able, or at the very least one per month. (A Feeling Groovy membership would be perfect for this!)
“We can’t expect to undo six months of damage in one one-hour session,” she explains. “The body needs to be loosened up to move more freely, and massage can do that.”
With the variety of massage offerings at Feeling Groovy Wellness, there’s a perfect massage for you. And, massages are frequently on a monthly special! To find out more about our massages, click here to download a brochure, or call our team at 909-480-1711 to book your next massage with us.
Disclaimer: Massage is not a medical treatment. Be sure discuss the pros and cons of massage with your health care provider if you take blood-thinning medication, or have DVT, fractures, severe osteoporosis, cancer, or unexplained pain.