Set a Goal
Before EVERY massage, identify what you want to get out of your session. Are you looking for relaxation, relief from reoccurring headaches, help with chronic pain? Each massage is customized to your goals for the session and your goals can change each time!
Communication before, during and after your session is KEY to your experience! Before your session, you and your therapist will go over how you are feeling, your health history and your specific goals.
During the session, keep in mind that pressure is relative to each individual and your specific pressure preference can also change from session to session. The therapist will not know what pressure to use if there isn't clear communication. Make sure you speak up at any point in the massage if the pressure is anything less than perfect!
After your massage, your therapist will recommend a time to come back and also suggest any after-care tips you can use to continue your wellness off the massage table.
Be Present in the Moment
By intentionally slowing down your mind with simple mindfulness exercises during your massage treatment, you can significantly enhance the positive effects of massage.
The first place to start when attempting to calm your mind is to focus on your breath. Relaxing, long deep breaths, not only relax you mentally but also helps your muscles relax.
The second place to focus is on the therapists touch. It can act as a wonderful focal point that helps keep your mind in the present moment.
Mindfulness may come easy to some, but for others, not so much. When a thought comes up, observe it, non-judgmentally, then let it pass by refocusing on your breath. Realize that this is perfectly normal, and that after racing in circles a while, most of our minds will eventually slow down, providing us with a deeply restorative experience.
After you've just spent the last hour or more focused on relaxation, the last thing you want to do is run full speed back into your busy day. Make the most out of your experience by establishing a post massage routine.
Try to schedule your massage on a day off or at the end of your work day. After your session, add in a gentle yoga flow, guided meditation practice or even have a hot epsom salt bath to relieve any soreness and keep the muscles loose.
Post-Massage Suggestions at Home
After your massage you will be given post treatment suggestions. These are designed to continue your wellness at home between massages. Be sure to do the "homework" to maximize the results from your session.