1. Relax. Let go. It seems simple, right? Not for everyone. When you get on that table let your body fall limp. You don’t need to hand your arm to your therapist or hold your leg up for them to tuck the sheet. Your therapist prefers you to be limp so they can do all the work. In fact, it makes it harder on your therapist when you try to help. The only time you need to work during your massage is when it’s time to flip over. Or if your therapist requests your help with something. Other than that, you should be lax.
2. Turn off your brain. Empty your thoughts. It’s only for a short amount of time. When you are finished your thoughts will still be there. Taking a break from these thoughts will allow your mind to refresh and maybe you will come up with resolutions and become more creative after you let your mind take a break.
3. Communicate. Tell your therapist if something is uncomfortable or hurts. Tell them when something feels good or feels like it is helping. You don’t have to think about how much you wish they would work on a specific area more than what they are doing. You can speak up and let them know that spot is where I want you to work longer.
4. Empty your bladder. Maybe you did right before you got on the table but drank a little too much water. Feel free to tell your therapist you need a minute to use the restroom during your massage. The whole purpose of a massage is to relax and well, you can’t really relax if you must pee.
5. Eat a small snack prior to getting on the table. You don’t want to overeat and feel uncomfortable while face-down. You also don’t want to be starving and have a growling stomach throughout. Eat an apple or just enough to keep you comfortable during your massage.
6. Self-care/after-care. After care means to relax and let the massage settle into the muscles. You want it to be effective, right? As far as self-care, do all the things you know are good for you throughout the day, every day. Eat nutritious foods, stretch, and exercise, meditate to clear your mind. Do the things that make you feel good.
7. Create your safe space. The ambiance of the room can change the entire perspective of your massage. If you’re room is messy, loud, or bright you will get a different effect than if your atmosphere were quiet, clean, and dim. This will most definitely change how you feel and how much you can relax.
8. Relax afterwards so your massage can settle in and be more effective. Take the time to nap or sit and read a book. Take the time to just enjoy the serotonin and dopamine that is coursing through your veins. Turn your massage day into a self-care, self-love day.
9. You are allowed to change positions and move around to be more comfortable on the table. Don’t feel like you must be as still as possible. Once you are in your comfort zone it won’t take long to become Zen and therefore motionless.
10. Turn off your electronics. Do not bring your phone to your massage. There are always exceptions, but for the most part this is necessary. I get it if you have children or are on-call for work and may need to accept that phone call. I’m sure there are other necessary reasons to keep your phone nearby. If you don’t have any necessary reason then your phone should be off, or at least silenced. Why interrupt the most relaxing time of your day? You deserve to go off-grid for a moment. In fact, I challenge you to do this for an hour every day!