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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.
One old home remedy that works is an Epsom salt soak for sore muscles. The scientific name for Epsom salts is magnesium sulfate. When you soak sore muscles in Epsom salts, your body absorbs the magnesium and the sulfates through your skin. Research supports that an increase in your body’s magnesium levels can improve circulation, ease muscle pain, flush toxins and heavy metals from cells, improve nerve function and relieve stress. Your skin also readily absorbs sulfates through an Epsom salt soak. Sulfates play a role in forming joint proteins and help detoxify your body.
A foam roller can be beneficial for most people, however there are a few exceptions:
· If you have any balance issuers including vertigo, then a foam roller is not recommended.. You may however be able to use the half moon rollers which do not roll as much.
· If you have hyper-mobile joints, they can be injured from the motion of the roller over those joints.
· Check with you physician if you have any skin conditions.
· Do not use the roller over joints, It is for soft tissue only.
· Any questions, check with your physician, a qualified personal trainer or a certified massage therapist.
The foam roller helps to create and maintain long, smooth muscles, by treating knotty, tender muscular areas (also called trigger points) with deep tissue massage.
Here are some benefits of long, smooth muscles:
- Longer, smoother muscles are stronger.
- Long and smooth muscles help your body become more injury-resistant as strength, mobility and posture are improved.
- Long and smooth muscles train more readily.
- Long and smooth muscles recover faster, so you can train again sooner.
- Long and smooth muscles don’t become as sore as knotty muscles.
- Short, knotty muscles are pulling your skeletal-framework out of proper-alignment, so longer muscle can improve posture.
- Longer muscles allow for a greater mobility.
- The act of foam rolling itself trains balance, encourages symmetry and improves body-awareness.
- Long and smooth muscles themselves are more injury-resistant than short, knotty muscles.
Foam roller massage, along with other recovery work, will help you become mobile and strong. Learning how to move like you body is designed to move, and learning how to be strong throughout functional movement patterns, will make you stronger and more confident during any sport or activity. Plus, when you put effort into recovery and mobility, you will be less likely to develop overuse injuries, setting yourself up for a lifetime of pain-free, strong movement.
The reason recovery work is so beneficial for most people, is that most people haven’t done any consistent recovery work. Because recovery work is about half of the fitness equation, and it can be eye-opening.
To be safe, don’t roll on joints or any other boney prominences. And remember to be patient – becoming mobile and strong throughout basic functional movement patterns requires a long-term commitment to foam roller and deep-tissue massage and other recovery work.
Although the techniques are called exercises, you should focus on relaxing your muscles, not flexing them. The rolling is best done very slowly and deliberately, and is the way that you scan your body for trigger points. As you roll, note any areas that feel unusually dense or tender. Pause at those points for several seconds to allow your body to sink in deeply. Gradually the muscle will begin to loosen and the pain will begin to dissipate. For best results, focus on the exercises that provide you with the most relief and do them consistently. If you’re an office worker, that might mean rolling your back for a few minutes each night to help reverse the damage caused by slumping in a chair all day. If you’re a runner, it might mean rolling your glutes, IT bands, and calves after each run to improve recovery. There’s no right or wrong time for rolling. Many athletes, to loosen up their bodies immediately before training or competing. Others keep it at home and roll at night while watching TV or listening to music.
There’s no right or wrong time for rolling. Many athletes, to loosen up their bodies immediately before training or competing. Others keep it at home and roll at night while watching TV or listening to music.
Before You Begin
Basic instructions for some of the most common foam roller exercises.
For more advanced or individualized instruction, please consult Tony to determine which class would be Best for you. I am offering a level 1 intro to basic stretches of the entire
body, also Advanced class that will address strains, tears, injuries past/present and chronic pain/muscles tensison.
All of the exercises can be done with either the full or half size roller. You will need to perform some of the lower body exercises (e.g. Quadriceps, Hamstrings) one leg at a time.
Start slowly. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend on an exercise, and it’s not necessary to count repetitions. Your goal is simply to increase the suppleness of each muscle. Some exercises will be surprisingly painful the first time you try them, but that may simply be an indication that you have a lot to gain from that exercise. Within a few weeks, the quality of your muscle tissue will improve, and those same exercises will become much more enjoyable.
Caution: Discontinue any exercise that causes your pain to worsen.