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7 Questions to ask yourself before getting a massage:
- Have you ever had any massage?
- How long was the longest massage you have had?
- Do you know what kind of massage(s) you have had?
- How long has it been since your last massage?
- Do you know what kind of techniques the practitioner used?
- What kind of pressure do you like? If you are unsure that’s ok too.
- Are you currently in pain?
*People who generally do not pay attention to how they feel are far more likely to wait too long to seek treatment of any kind.
Is there more than 1 kind of massage?
- Massage is like food. You will feel different depending on the type of massage an pressure being applied.
What happens before a massage?
- First timers please be 10-15 minutes early. You will have to fill out an intake form before the massage begins. This is similar to a doctor’s visit. Pertinent medical information needs to be written down so the therapist can make sure to NOT hurt you. Some medications and medical conditions are direction contraindications for massage.
- If you have been doing yard work and your body hurts everywhere, this is the time to speak up. Remember most people cannot read your mind, so asking questions and giving information is the best way to ensure you get the most out of your massage.
What happens when the massage is over?
- Your therapist will leave the room and you may now get up and put your clothes back on.
- IMPORTANT: do not get up quickly. While laying down your body has adapted to this position. Before moving, take a few breaths, role to your side and slowly sit at the side of the table and take a few more breaths.
- The therapist may give you stretches to try or inform you of nutritional concepts or any number of things.
- Your therapist will meet you in the hallway or outside the room. Usually you will be given water.
- It is really important that you drink water for the rest of the day/night to flush out the toxins that have been removed from your muscles. Even very relaxing massages can have a great effect on how much toxin release there may be. The type of massage sometimes is not important because everyone detoxifies differently.
- Some therapists have the ability to do a massage with the intention of your body recovering in a very specific way (i.e. you will continue to feel looser over the next few days, etc). It is important to listen to your therapist for their professional opinions about your body care and massage, because in many cases (not all), they will have a better understanding of how you should feel or what will keep you pain free. But good advice falls on deaf ears a lot.
How often should a person get massage?
- The actual frequency of sessions should diminish over time. This means your body is feeling better for longer. “Maintenance” massage is a tricky term. Does maintenance mean every week for the rest of your life? Therapist who do not possess the ability to reduce session frequency either do not have the ability to do so (for a variety of reasons), or do not have the desire to do so.
- A relaxing massage doesn’t always mean pain free. Many people really enjoy knowing they will be receiving deeper pressure while others do not. The therapist should be communicating throughout the massage to make sure you are ok with the pressure that is being applied.
- For a first time massage (if its only Swedish technique), think of a 1-10 scale *10 being unbearable pain). Do not go over 5-6. IF you are feeling a 7-8, say out loud “that’s too much pressure”, or “that’s too hard”. Remember mind readers are few and far between in this profession.
- If a 7-8 feels good then it can be ok to receive, but if you do not know how your body recovers from massage, then its best for the first time to just relax or receive less pressure.
- For deeper massages, a 7-8 is the target pressure you should be feeling. Endorphins (Enkephalin’s) are released in the body. Endorphins are the bodies natural pain killers.
**You have the power to end any massage if you feel the therapist isn’t listening, or taking your needs into account, or being unprofessional.
**Therapist are trained to immediately end a massage if the client is inappropriate in any way.The truth: clients are thought of like meat or shapes. Our basic job is to tenderize you. To always keep things professional. A therapist will look at the body also in sections. Each shape and section of the body needs to function correctly so that other parts do not have to compensate for the lack of mobility in any particular area.
I approach people with information I believe will be pertinent to you at any given time.
The Anti-inflammatory Smoothie
1 cup berries of your choice (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries)
1 cup leafy greens of your choice (kale, spinach, beet greens), compressed
2-inch (5 cm) piece of ginger
1 tablespoon unrefined organic coconut oil
1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) of fresh chia seeds
Green tea, steeped to desired strength
Honey, maple syrup, or stevia to taste to sweeten, if desired
Put all ingredients in a blender and mix well. Drink immediately to enjoy the most nutritional benefits.
Berries contain antioxidant phytonutrients called flavonoids (specifically, anthocyanin) in their skins that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. They are the pigment that give berries their color.
Dark leafy greens are full of nutrients: vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support every system in your body. Magnesium in particular is important for inflammation regulation and spinach, kale, beet greens, broccoli, okra, are especially rich in this mineral.
Ginger is a magical plant. It eases arthritis pain, aids digestion, prevents cancer, and inhibits the formation of arterial plaque through its anti-inflammatory phytochemical gingerol.
Coconut oil is a healthy, nutrient-rich saturated fat that has a positive influence on your body.
Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids (with eight times more than salmon!) which are critical for cell health. These building blocks reduce inflammation, thereby decreasing the risk for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease. Flax seeds and walnuts are good substitutions.