We live in a world that is wrought with circumstances that induce stress. Since there is just so much going on in our society, anxiety is bound to crop up at some point. Having said that, there are a multitude of ways that can help us both mitigate and manage how much stress we actually have to bare.
One of the best ways to do this? Get yourself a massage. Massage therapy is one of the best ways to provide you with physical relief, and also to calm your internal system.
Just be sure to head into your first massage therapy appointment with enough preparation. Here are seven tips on how to prepare for a massage therapy session:
1. Get Hydrated
One of the best ways on how to prepare for a massage therapy is to get hydrated. For any sort of operation that takes a substantial amount of time, your body will have to be primed for the entire procedure. Getting a body massage is no different. You will be undergoing a very physical process that you may not be used to. As such, remaining hydrated prior to the appointment is very important.
Since stressed muscles inevitably result in inflammation, this can be mitigated through hydration. Drink plenty of water prior to your massage, but not so much that you will need to visit the bathroom mid-session. Be sure to drink a lot of water after the massage as well!
2. Loose Clothing
Many massage parlours will grant you the option of wearing upper body clothing or not. If the one you have scheduled an appointment with goes with the former, make sure your chosen attire is loose. Wearing loose clothing allows you to feel comfortable during the massage process, as well as influencing the amount of relaxation you inevitably feel.
Restrictive or tight clothing only hampers the ability of your body to feel the effects of the massage. It needs to be exposed as much as possible, so that your muscles are worked on as directly as possible. Skip the compression shirts for vests or tank tops!
3. Warming Up
Although this may sound counterproductive, it actually works to your benefit prior to your massage. Don’t be afraid to get a light workout in before you head into your appointment. This helps with blood circulation, as well as allowing your muscles to be in a prime position to be worked on.
Going all in on your CrossFit workout isn’t recommended; your workout shouldn’t leave you so tired to the point of complete exhaustion. As such, a small jog or body circuit should be your best bet. You’ll naturally be able to feel the effects of the massage in a gratifying way.
Like working out, this is another preparation idea that may turn some heads. However, scheduling in your massage appointment at a specific time of the day is incredibly important. For example, make an appointment at a time that simply makes sense for your personal circumstances.
Since we all have our own personal calendars, a massage at 8 p.m. for someone may make more sense than one at 8 a.m. for another person. Take into account how your body feels at certain points of the day. Once you have determined which time slot you think is viable, pencil in your appointment.
Prior to heading into your chosen massage parlour, it is important to speak with your therapist beforehand. This grants you the opportunity to speak to them regarding your body’s functions. Although they are experts of their craft, they will only be able to do so much with the preliminary information you give them.
In addition, some massage therapists use lotions or oils to help supplement the overall process. If you have any skin allergies, speaking with them beforehand allows you to address all health concerns. You’re paying for a good service; make sure all of your worries are taken care of!
This part is incredibly vital during the process, but is just as important prior to receiving a massage. Don’t feel like you are being put into a claustrophobic situation; breathe normally when getting ready for your appointment. Your massage therapist should be able to prepare you with inhaling and exhaling techniques if you speak to them before your appointment!
7. Avoid Eating Beforehand
Although getting in enough water is recommended prior to your massage, eating a full-course meal is not. Make sure you skip out on the burger combo, in favour of getting in high protein snacks such as almonds. Save the good meal for after the massage when you decide to treat yourself!
A massage is one of the most cathartic experiences you can receive, especially as it pertains to your busy schedule. Just be sure to make sure you are adequately prepared for it, prior to heading in. That way, your body will feel all of the effects in a naturalized way!