Sometimes there’s nothing more rejuvenating than receiving a magnificent massage. The perfect massage experience can reset your mind, align your body and leave you feeling completely right with the world. But how do you prepare yourself to receive the best massage of your life at Temple? We’ve outlined below the very best practices to do before, during and after your treatment to create the best experience.
For some people, frequent massage remains an absolute staple of their self-care routine, and for good reason. Therapeutic touch alleviates anxiety and depression, which happen to be the most prevalent mental disorders in North America today. Research shows that massage therapy can also play an important role in the aging process by tempering the effects of dementia, high-blood pressure and osteoarthritis as explained in an article of the American Massage Therapy Association.
When you can actually drop in and let go during massage, the results support profound healing. While it’s a good idea to develop a healthy relationship with an experienced therapist, I am going to share how you can receive the best massage of your life.
Before the session
- Get your circulation going; engage in some light stretching or movement before your appointment, in or to get the blood flowing.
- Arrive already relaxed; Many people rush through traffic to get to their massage on time, this is not good. Make it a point to leave plenty of time for transportation and parking when you plan your trip. Walk up slowly, and engage in some deep breathing, which will activate your parasympathetic nervous system, the setting that allows our bodies much needed rest.
- Communicate kindly; There are certain things you can say to your therapist that will inspire them to be more generous with their care. Demanding they work a certain way will not put them on your team as they may feel you don’t respect their expertise. Neither will omit their wishes and expectations, since they are not mind readers. Trust your intuition, will help go the extra mile with you.
On the table
- Switch your mind off; Most of us spend our entire day in doing-mode, focused upon tasks, pushing productivity. On the massage table, relax and let go of the need to do anything, including within the mind. Any thoughts about what you’re doing later, or what you did earlier, or what you have to do next week need to cease in order for you to release. Do this as many times as in necessary throughout your session.
- Visualize; A beautiful visualization of a forest or beach can help calm things down. On visualization that I guide my clients through helps to activate the body’s receiving mode. Imagine a warm and sparkling gold color raining down upon the entire body. Feel the warmth and glow of it being absorbed by your skin. Focus on receiving this gold rain and you will drift off into bliss.
- Let your body be heavy; The heavier you can allow your limbs, torso and head to be, the more relaxed you will become.
- Focus on the body; The most effective place for the mind’s attention during massage is on the sensations of the body – the feeling of the surong on your skin, the warmth of the breath expanding in the lower belly, the cool rushing sensations as it empties out through the lips. These sensations are the key to staying in receiving – mode.
- Let your body warm up naturally; It’s actually common for people to ask for more pressure in the first 5 minutes of the session. Don’t ask for more pressure if you’re not in a state of total relaxation first. Forcing pressure against your tense muscles and mind only creates more resistance, and is not beneficial for releasing your stress. It takes about 30 minutes for the body to warm up on average. Then if you find yourself deeply relaxed in both mind and body, but would still like more pressure, then feel free to make a request.
- Communicate any distractions; If any music makes you uncomfortable in any way, or the temperature of the room becomes cold, let me know.
- Turn up your breath in tough spots; When an area feels tender, the tendency is to hold the breath as a protection mechanism, when I fact the healing thing to do is to deepen and increase the breath. This will allow tension to be softened and dissolve. Holding the breath simply holds the tension.
After the massage
- Take your sweet time; I can tell you right now that many people want to jump right off the table. Please let your therapist leave the room and take at least five deep and slow breaths. Don’t rush while getting dressed, or you’ll throw your nervous system off. Take it as slow as you possibly can. Stretch out on the table. Enjoy your relaxation. Soak it up.
The ability to let go and relax is a much needed skill missing from our culture, as I witness this from the majority of clients that come through my door. These tips will help you become a master of relaxation. If you practice them over time, the capacity to turn off the mind, communicate what you need and focus on the breath, the reward will be transcending for your daily life.
If you want to learn more about the TEMPLE massage treatments, click here.
Much love Always,