Upon the suggestion from a reader, I here give my advice on how to gain the most benefits from a massage. This is by no means any final list or true for everybody, but aimed to give you inspiration on how to make -your- next massage experience something even better than normally.
Before the massage, as a physical and mental preparation:
- Bathe or shower so you’re clean and not embarrassed about how you might smell. Shave or wax if you’re worried about body-hair and how you might look.
- Don’t wear heavy make-up or spend hours on your hair. It’s likely going to be messed up anyway during the massage session.
- Turn of your phone, redirect calls and make sure you’ve blocked this time in your calendar. There’s nothing worse than a phone ringing while you’re in heaven.
- Look forward to the massage, think about it as something great that you deserve.
- Before the massage, mentally prepare yourself to receive and enjoy. Deep breathing, a quick meditation, sitting in silence for a couple of minutes will all help achieve this goal.
- Don’t drink alcohol or eat just before a massage. If you’ve been intoxicated, wait at least 24 hours until you have your massage.
During the massage:
- Breathe deeply, focus on your breath and feel how you relax. The therapist will often work with your breath, pressing while you exhale and releasing while you inhale. Stretches also benefit from deep breathing.
- Dismiss unrelated thoughts. Let go of that meeting next week, don’t worry about the shopping list, don’t think about work, studies or family. Just be in the now and enjoy it. Your brain will be grateful for that break from daily stresses.
- Focus on the massage and use it as a means of meditation. Notice how your body reacts to the touch, where sore points are and how everything eases up and relaxes as the therapist works her magic, or
- Focus on the music and allow yourself to drift away in relaxation and pleasure.
- Dismiss all worries about how you look or your body reacts. You’re lying there, passive, receiving a massage. There’s nothing you can do about those unshaven legs or your bad hair-day. There’s nothing you can do about those thick thighs or that erection. Just stop worrying, and be assured that the therapist has seen it all before and doesn’t care one tiny bit about it.
After the massage:
- Take time to come back and don’t instantly jump into the stress of life and work. Give yourself time to feel your body and your relaxation afterwards. Accept if they offer you a cup of tea or glass of water.
- If the spa/clinic offers it, take a shower, sit in the hamam/steam-room and enjoy their services for a bit longer.
- Drink plenty of water then next couple of days. It will help detoxify your system after the massage has kicked things into motion.
- Eat a good healthy meal. You’ve just treated your body wonderful, keep it up for a while longer. Listen to your instinct, it’ll often tell you to eat lightly and lots of greens.
- Don’t become intoxicated for a day or two after the massage. The metabolism is working at a higher speed than usually and the harmful effects of alcohol will be greater. That said, there’s nothing wrong in enjoying a glass of wine with a meal.
- Laugh and appreciate beautiful things.
With some massage types it’s beneficial to work out just before or after the massage to help the metabolism and gain greater results from both exercise and massage.
Do you have any ideas and suggestions on how to make a massage experience even better? Please share your thoughts below in the comments.