5 Things Your Massage Therapist Wants You to Know
Massage therapy can ease your muscles, relaxing you both physically and mentally and helping you manage pain better. But if you’ve never had a massage before, you might be intimidated or unsure of what to expect. You can always ask in person once you get to your appointment (all good massage therapists will create a comfortable environment in which you feel free to communicate with them), but if you’re shy, a little preparation in advance can’t hurt. Here’s what massage therapists want new clients to know:
- Massages Shouldn’t Hurt
The pressure associated with some types of massage can be intense, but you should not actually be experiencing pain during a massage. If you are, you should speak up and tell your massage therapist what hurts so he or she can adjust; it’s possible to get all the benefits of massage without excruciating pain.
- They Won’t Judge You
Getting a massage can put you in vulnerable position, particularly if you’re stripping down to your birthday suit. But you should know that massage therapists are professionals, and they won’t judge you for any of your perceived flaws. You should also know that some digestive noises — even flatulence — are common during massages, and you don’t need to be embarrassed.
- Be Sure to Hydrate Well
Massage therapy tends to dehydrate muscle tissue in similar ways to exercise, so you’ll want to drink plenty of water after your appointment. You may not want to drink too much water prior to your massage, however, since it’s hard to relax when someone is pressing on your full bladder.
- You Should Rest Afterward
Right after a massage, you muscles will be tired and probably a bit sore. This means it’s not the best time to hit the gym. If you’re hoping to fit both your workout and your massage in on one day, exercise first so that your muscles will be warmed up and ready to relax during your massage.
- They’re Not Chiropractors
Massage therapists should be honest about the fact that massages cannot replace chiropractic adjustments if you have alignment problems. But you’ll find that probably many of your local chiropractors offer a unique treatment plan including both massage therapy and chiropractic services under one roof, so that may be a good option if you’re not sure whether massage or chiropractic is the right route for you.
Have you gotten massages before, or are you contemplating one for the first time? Share your thoughts — and any other tips for newbies — in the comments.