How to Maximize Your Massage Benefits

We can all agree that everyone loves a good massage. Who doesn’t like relaxation, pain and stress relief, and overall well-being? However, with so many options out there, choosing the right one can feel a bit like ordering Chinese takeout.

That’s where I come in. Who am I? Just your friendly neighborhood massage therapist, here to break it down for you.

Types of Massage

On the regular line up: Deep Tissue & Swedish Massage (also called Relaxation). These are mostly just levels of pressure. “Deep” means more pressure and more focus on problem areas. “Swedish” means light pressure and a more general, full-body approach.

If it’s available, I always recommend Integrative Massage (sometimes called Therapeutic Massage). This means that a combination of techniques are going to be used to treat you, rather than sticking to just one. This doesn’t mean it won’t be relaxing, but it will be more specific to your pain and/or dysfunction.

If you’re an athlete of any sort, say, a weight lifter, cyclist, horseback rider, or are training for your first marathon, you’d definitely benefit most from either Sports Massage or Therapeutic. Sports Massage will focus on muscles and movements specific to your sport and can even be tailored for before or after an actual event.

Before and During Your Session

The absolute best way to get the massage that’s right for you is to communicate with your massage therapist. Give us a quick rundown of what you’d like us to focus on before the session.

Here’s the most important part, though: during the massage, let us know if you’d like us to change something that we’re doing. If you tell us right away that the pressure is too deep, or not firm enough, we can adjust and make sure the rest of your massage is awesome.

Body cues can only tell us so much. People may feel like we’ll be offended if you say something, but a good therapist won’t mind.

It’s your massage and we want it to be what you want and need. Massage therapists are known for being intuitive, but as it turns out, we can’t read your mind as well as we can your muscles.

Other Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Massage

1. Get massaged frequently. This isn’t a ploy to make more money. You wouldn’t exercise once a year and expect to see lasting results.

2. Do your homework. We might give you stretches or exercises for you to do on your own time. These are to enhance the massage benefits and help maintain what we’ve worked on. Try to add them into your daily routine, that way you don’t have to think about doing them. Maybe while you’re on your coffee break, after your workout, or while you’re dancing in front of the mirror planning your outfit for the day; whatever works for you.

3. Drink water. There’s a reason we offer you a drink immediately after a massage. Massage moves cell waste through your body faster and water helps flush it out. You’ll also have a higher chance of being sore and fatigued after a massage if you’re dehydrated, similar to after a workout.

4. Find a therapist that’s compatible with you. Recommendations are great, but remember that everyone likes and needs different things and therapists have different styles. The therapist that your best friend loves might not always be the right therapist for you. Also, don’t feel bad if you want to try a different therapist. Personally, I see a few depending on what type of massage I want that day.

To wrap it all up in an expensive sheet with a swan shaped towel on top: Get massaged often. Make sure you’re getting the type of massage that will be the most beneficial for you. And don’t forget to tip your therapist. 🙂