Ever wondered how you can make the most of your massage experience every time, or what massage therapists wish you knew about the whole process? Then this two-part series is for you! To see the first part, click here. This second piece will cover some more points about what takes place during the massage as well as some tips about what happens after you get off the table.
- Relax! - Who knew that simply relaxing could be difficult? But it can be! So often we think that we are truly relaxed, but perhaps we haven’t tapped into slow, deep breathing or are subconsciously “helping” the therapist move our arms and legs. Remember that your whole body and all limbs should be heavy and limp during the massage. If the therapist needs to move any limbs for better access, he or she will. The more relaxed your muscles are, the better and deeper the therapist will be able to work. So this is truly one of the best ways to maximize the benefits of your massage! If the therapist hits a tender spot or trigger point during the massage, remember to keep breathing through the discomfort while they work it out. And stay in good communication with them about how it’s feeling.
- Don’t flip yourself – For many clients, turning from laying facedown to face-up, or vice versa, can be one of the most nerve-wracking moments of the whole massage experience. But it doesn’t need to be! Just remember to wait until your therapist specifically tells you to turn. They are well trained in draping techniques so that there is no risk of exposure, but you need to wait for them to have the linens precisely in place. When they tell you it’s time, you can turn whichever way you are most comfortable; the draping will fully conceal either way.
- Progress takes time – Remember that you can’t address all your problems with one massage session. Therapists are trained to maximize progress during a session and also to recognize the body’s limits. Especially if you have not been receiving regular massages or it has been awhile since your last one, you will need to be realistic about the time it will take to return the body to balance. The more consistently you can receive massages, the more progress you and the therapists can make!
- Where you feel pain may not be where the therapist works – Once you have communicated your problem areas to the therapist prior to the massage, trust him or her to address those issues in the most effective way possible. In some cases, this may mean that the therapist will be may not be working directly on top of it your pain points. Because they are trained to work on the root cause of discomfort in the body, massage therapists will know how to locate and work on the source of your tension and pain.
- Take any “homework” seriously that your therapist gives you – After a massage, your therapist will give you follow-up recommendations to make the most of your progress. These will be suggestions like drinking plenty of water afterwards and stretches you can do regularly. These suggestions come from the therapist’s training in the body and bodywork and should be considered as much a part of the massage experience as the massage itself. Any gains that your therapist made during the massage will need your cooperation and consistency to maintain
- Be honest on the feedback form – After your massage at IWC, you will be asked to complete a feedback form on your student therapist and your experience. Please honestly, accurately, and fairly review your student. Students do not receive or lose credit based on your feedback; it is purely for the benefit of the student’s growth, and the student will receive your form directly to read your comments. So do not worry about any repercussions for the student’s academic progress if you provide both praise and constructive critiques. Our students truly want to be the best therapists possible and desire your truthful input! Thank you for helping them in their training and education.