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15 Great Tips For A Better Massage
Whether you are a regular massage client, are having a massage as treatment for an injury, or just fancy a treat – here are 15 ways to get a better massage experience.
- Try to relax – this is the most important one, taking deep breaths is a natural way to relax. If you are tense your muscles will not relax making it more difficult for the therapist and you to get good results.
- Use a properly qualified professional therapist who you are comfortable and you have a rapport with – this will help to give you confidence and trust in your therapist and will assist relaxation.
- Communicate with your therapist. Discuss with the therapist what type of treatment and pressure you want. A professional therapist will tailor this to your needs and preferences while giving advice on what would be the most effective treatment in your particular circumstances.
- Tell the therapist if you are too cold as you and your muscles cannot properly relax when you are cold. Warmth is one of the factors that give hot stones massages real benefits.
- Make sure you are comfortable on the couch – all good therapists will have bolsters for the knee or ankle if required. Towels can also be used to support the shoulders. If you are not comfortable then its difficult to relax.
- Be honest with your therapist, particularly if you have suffered an injury or are on pain relieving medication.
- Help to choose the massage music that you like – this aids relaxation and creates another focus actually making it easier to reduce muscle tension.
- Try to relax into any pain – think of it as healing pain that is good, and ensure you communicate if pain levels are too high.
- Help the therapist find the real tender points in a muscle – these are often ‘trigger points’ for referred pain.
- Be aware that muscles/fascia are connected and, for a back pain problem, treatment will often include massage work on the gluteal area, hamstrings etc.
- Aim to be a ‘floppy doll’ (with relaxed not stiff engaged muscles) so you do not fight the therapist when they use mobilisation techniques etc.
- Don’t leave it too long to get a treatment if you are injured as the harder it will be for the therapist to fix you! However if you have a serious injury talk to your GP first before undergoing treatment.
- Acute sports injuries need ‘RICE’ (Rest Ice Compression and Elevation) with inflammation heat and redness gone (around 4 days) before a massage should be undertaken.
- Have realistic expectations. Whilst a professional massage properly given will always have benefits, some conditions e.g. sports injuries or long held problems will often require additional treatments. Even the best therapist cannot repair a torn muscle in an hour!
- Try other therapists or treatments if you are not getting the results you expected. All therapists are different and it’s good to try other therapists in either massage or something different e.g. acupuncture so you get the maximum benefits for a problem area. But be sure to you communicate with the therapist on other treatment you had or are having, and give feedback on what was good or worked for you at another practice.
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