Tips for Enhancing the Benefits of Massage
There are many reasons you may seek massage therapy from reducing muscle tension and releasing stress to stimulating the circulatory and lymphatic systems, the benefits of massage are multifold. As the recipient of the massage, there are many ways you can enhance its benefits. So with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some tips for enhancing the benefits of massage.
Massage therapists are registered health practitioners that train for years to provide client-centred therapy, and thoughtful feedback and communication can help them provide you better treatments. It can certainly be difficult to speak up if your treatment was unsatisfactory for any reason, but RMTs (registered massage therapists) are usually very open to receiving feedback about their approach. Before your massage, your therapist will usually ask what you would like to work on and this is a great time to clarify your goals and concerns. During the massage, you can tell the therapist if you need them to adapt their approach, especially if something has been uncomfortable or painful. After the treatment, you should also feel comfortable reflecting on your session and offering any overarching feedback. Ultimately, communicating your goals, needs, and experiences will improve your massage experience.
Prepare for Relaxation
Your massage should help you relax and also offers a great opportunity for you to become more mindful of your body. In preparing for relaxation, there are a few steps you can take. First, eliminate unnecessary distractions by turning off your mobile devices. Remember, your massage session is a time for you to escape the responsibilities and pressures of your day-to-day. Turning off your cell phone will help you be present for your massage and will allow you to relax even more.
Incorporate other Strategies
Sometimes during massage, your therapist will be working on an area that is particularly sensitive for you. Those areas where we hold the most tension can often be the most troublesome during massage. You definitely do not want to ignore your pain signals. During massage, many of us have a tendency to become even tenser and even hold our breath when those areas are being treated. This is a great time to practice communication to help your therapist provide you the best treatment possible. However, another successful technique to manage the discomfort is breathing! Instead of holding your breath and adding to your tension, concentrate on taking long, deep breaths to promote the release of that tension.
Finally, on the day of your massage, try to avoid caffeine. As a stimulant, caffeine can actually prevent you from relaxing into your massage – both in mind and body. Caffeine has many effects on your body that can interfere with your experience of your massage. It increases heart rate, acts as a diuretic, raises blood pressure, and may contribute to muscle twitching or gripping. As you can imagine, many of these physiological responses to caffeine are counterproductive for achieving the full benefits of massage.
As you can see, a few simple strategies can help you enhance the benefits of your massage. Of course, if you have questions or concerns about how to make the most of your massage, talk to your RMT.