Feeling safe, comfortable, and at-ease during your massage is most important and will dramatically increase results.
The massage therapist begins the session by asking you how you feel, and may ask you to fill out a brief intake form concerning your medical history. Massage may not be appropriate for people with certain medical conditions like heart disease, certain edemas, acute inflammation, trauma and recent injuries. If in doubt, always contact your physician.
After discussing what you and your massage therapist would like to accomplish, it's time to relax and enjoy!
The therapist will leave the room while you undress to whatever level is comfortable for you. You then relax on the table and cover yourself with a warm cotton or flannel sheet, soft body towel or both. Undressing completely is preferred to take full advantage of massage strokes in combination with oils or creams.
Massage therapists use various techniques for draping the body. The only exposed area will be the one that the therapist is working on. The rest of your body will always be completely draped. In addition, the therapist may use various cushions and bolsters in order to place your body in optimum position and comfort for the massage.
The therapist may ask whether you prefer massage oil or massage cream. If you have a particular essential oil or cream that you like, tell the therapist prior to the session. Music is a nice enhancement to the massage experience and is usually supplied,but feel free to bring the music of your choice.
A good massage will start with light, introductory strokes in order to build trust and get a sense of the therapist's touch. Gradually, the therapist will bring a deeper and more specific feel to the strokes. Steady pressure and rhythm are key. Always feel free to express to your therapist any discomfort you are experiencing, especially when he or she is addressing a problem area.
You may experience strong emotions, which is natural, or you may fall asleep which is also natural. Massage will bring you back in touch with yourself and relieve those aches and pains.
Once the massage is complete, relax for a few moments. Listen to your body and reconnect with it. Tell the massage therapist how you feel. You may also want to discuss the direction to take at your next session.
Massage is most beneficial over an extended period of time. Regularly scheduled sessions (weekly) will provide the most healing and relaxation, and you will recoup the cumulative benefits of the massage.
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