Here are some ideas to help you get the most from your massage therapy treatment - for the experienced massage clients and for the new.
1. Don't eat a large meal within one hour before your treatment.
2. Talking during your treatment is optional. Letting your mind rest can contribute to the overall experience. Talking can be relaxing - but silence can be, too.
3. Focus on deepening your breath.
4. Draw your attention to the muscles being treated, and deliberately allow them to relax.
5. If you had massage treatments from me or another Massage Therapist in the past and found a specific technique to be effective, it's helpful if you let me know.
6. By the same token, it is also helpful to let me know what has not been effective or comfortable. Even if you have been having regular treatments and never mentioned it before, it's better late then never. I do not not take this kind of feedback personally; my primary concern is how best to treat you.
7. If a technique feels uncomfortable or non- therapeutic, let me know so I can adjust the treatment.
8. During deep techniques, some tenderness or pain is usually felt. However, pain should not go higher than an 8-9 on a scale of 0-10. If pain goes higher than a 9, the rest of your body may tighten due to the stress, and then the experience is no longer effective and therapeutic.
9. When referring to a pain scale of 0-10, '0' means no pain at all. '10' means excruciating pain. Each person's pain scale is their own - it's not relative. Don't worry that your '8' might be someone else's '4'.
10. If possible, plan to have thirty minutes free after your treatment, to ease yourself back into your day.
11. If you have a specific musculoskeletal condition you need treated, make a series of appointments (I can recommend a treatment plan) and stick to them. A chronic condition has taken a long period of time to settle in to your body - you should expect to spend some time re-training your muscles and joints.
12. If your treatments are more about stress reduction and preventive care for your body, consider booking your appointments either ahead of time - i.e. on the same day every month or week, or book right after each session. So often, people tell themselves they will remember to book in again, and they get busy and find themselves three months later (with aching shoulders) still trying to remember to book.
Most importantly, remember that your treatment is all about you. If you want to adjust any element of it - the technique being used, the position you are in, your draping, the music - let me know and I'll make the change. It's essential you communicate what works for you and what doesn't, because if we're both working with your best interests in mind, your treatment will be its most effective and relaxing.