I run across a lot of people who have never had a massage and don’t know what to expect when they book their first appointment. Sometimes, people are hesitant to book a massage simply because it’s a new situation, and they don’t know what to expect. Here is a quick guide for what to expect when you book a massage.
- License Please. Make sure that you are receiving a massage from a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT). This will guarantee that your massage therapist is a formally trained professional and will have knowledge of proper technique and safety precautions.
- Make an Appointment. Most independent massage therapists require an appointment to be made ahead of time. Some establishments do allow for walk-ins, but it is not guaranteed that they will have an opening available at that time. So, to make sure that your massage fits into your schedule and the massage therapist’s schedule, it is safest to make an appointment ahead of time.
- Communication is a Must! Be open and honest about any and all medical conditions. PLEASE let the massage therapist know if you have been diagnosed with or are experiencing any medical conditions. Some medical conditions are contra-indicated for certain types of massage. On the other hand, other conditions are prime candidates for massage therapy, and will greatly benefit from it’s effects. If you are unsure as to whether or not a certain condition is safe to get a massage, feel free to contact me, your massage therapist or your general practitioner.
- Personal Privacy Will Be Assured.Licensed Massage Therapists are considered medical professionals and are held to HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) laws. Anything you discuss with the therapist will be considered confidential and will not be shared with anyone.
- Don’t be Shy.Don’t be afraid to speak up if the pressure is too hard or too soft. Your massage therapist is not psychic and won’t always be able to tell if the pressure is not comfortable for you. If you feel yourself tensing up, the pressure is too hard and the therapist needs to ease off. The goal is to take away the tension; not put more tension in.
- Modesty will Always be Assured.
- After discussing any and all medical conditions and problem areas, the massage therapist will leave the room.
- Disrobe and remove jewelry. If you are not comfortable removing certain articles of clothing, that is fine. However, it might restrict the massage therapist’s ability to work on that area.
- After disrobing, situate yourself on the massage table under the sheet or towel provided either face up on your back, or face down on your stomach. Position will depend on what the massage therapist has instructed you to do.
- When you are properly situated on the massage table, you can either say “I’m Ready” or the massage therapist will knock prior to entering the room.
- Throughout the session, the massage therapist will keep you properly covered, exposing only the area on which she is working.
- If, at anytime throughout the massage, you feel uncomfortable, please speak up and let the massage therapist know.
- After the massage session, your therapist will leave the room and allow you to get up and get dressed. When you are fully dressed and have collected your personal items, you may exit the room.
- To Tip, or Not to Tip. Tips are not required, but are always appreciated. It is a great way to let your massage therapist know that you enjoyed your massage.
- DRINK WATER!It is always important to remember to drink plenty of water after your massage. A massage, no matter how deep the therapist goes, always releases muscle waste and toxins into the blood stream. It is in your best interest to flush that stuff out. Side effects of sore/still muscles or nausea can result from not flushing out these toxins. It’s not fun, and a terrible way to feel after a massage. So do yourself a favor, and DRINK WATER.
Actress Lily Tomlin once said, “For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” We live in a fast-paced world. Everything is instantaneous. Fast food, Instant Watch, the Internet. We are all about the Instant Gratification. We want it all and we want it now. Instant gratification is not fast enough. We need to have the latest technology as soon as it comes on the market. We hop on social media every waking hour so that we don’t miss a single occurrence or post. (I realize that I am condemning the very means that I am using to share this information.) This state of mind is toxic and contagious. A fast-paced life causes stress, which in turn causes weight-gain and illness. We become so wrapped up in ourselves that we can’t recognize our own basic needs or the needs of others.
I think that it is time that we re-learn the art of slowing down, taking life as it comes, and being patient for the good things in life to come to us. Here are some ways we can do this.
- Get a Massage. Massage Therapy relaxes not just our body, but also our brain. It is a great way for us to get out of our heads and reconnect with our body. Massage lowers blood pressure, increases circulation, bolsters digestion, produces endorphins, and allows muscles (including the brain) to have greater access to oxygen and nutrients. This helps us relax and think more clearly. Problems no longer seem nearly as bad.
- Meditate & Deep Breathing. Meditation clears away information overload that builds up throughout the day bringing a sense of calm, peace, and balance. Deep breathing is a very basic form of meditation consisting of breathing deeply in through your nose, then breathing out through your mouth. This is the easiest and most efficient way to bring oxygen to your brain and to your muscles. When your brain and muscles have adequate oxygen levels, it is easier to relax, and think clearly.
- Make a Nice Meal and Sit Down at the Table to Eat. “A meal should be the result of reflection and study [with] menus prepared in advance. It is said that without the culinary arts the crudeness of reality would be unbearable”*. When you take the time to prepare a meal and then sit down at a table (not the couch, or in the car) to eat it, not only will you enjoy your food more, but you will also feel far more rejuvenated.
- Notice your Surroundings. Stop being so fixated on the end result or destination and take notice of the scenery. Did you stop to hear the birds chirping? Did you see last night’s harvest moon? Did you inhale the scent of flowers or fresh-cut grass? Did you feel the sunshine on your skin? Use your senses to enhance your experience of each day and live it to the fullest.
- Turn Off the Noise and Enjoy the Sound of Silence. This includes the noise coming from the TV, radio, social media and the news. Turn off all electronics every once in a while and enjoy the stillness. Listen to your thoughts and to the other people in the room. Enjoy the physical company of friends and family without having your face glued to a screen and your thumbs vigorously engaged in texting.
So, that is my short list of ways to simplify and slow down our crazy, hectic, fast-paced lives. Try one or a couple, or all of them and find out for yourself how they affect your life, your health, and your overall outlook on life. I think you will be please with the results.
* Kate & Leopold. Dir. James Mangold. Perf. Meg Ryan, Hugh Jackman, Liev Schrieber. Konrad Pictures, Miramax Films. 2001
Why should I get a Massage? Besides the fact that they feel good, there are a myriad of really good reasons why a massage is actually really good for both your Physical Health and your Emotional Health.
Massage and General Health:
We know what Physical Health is; it is health relating to our physical body. Emotional Health can include the ability to accurately express emotions, the ability to learn, and the ability to have meaningful social interactions and connections. Massage is a great way to reconnect our Physical and Emotional health. You will never feel more healthy than when you have a balanced connection between the two. Anxiety, depression, stress, or heartache – all of which can affect your mental and emotional health, will eventually cause your physical health to suffer as well. Massage is a wonderful means of connecting and healing the connection between our Physical and Emotional Health. We know that getting a massage is relaxing. and that can be attributed to the fact that massage lowers bodily levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone. When cortisol levels drop, so does overall blood pressure, resulting in lifted spirits, and a more positive outlook on life. Massage also increases serotonin and dopamine levels. Let’s face it. The world seems a lot better (and happier) right after a relaxing massage session.
Some Conditions for which Massage is Indicated:
- Carpal Tunnel
- Chronic & temporary pain
- Circulatory Problems
- Digestive Disorders
- Headaches (especially for tension headaches)
- Myofascial Pain
- Reduced Range of Motion
- Sports & Auto Injuries
Of course, there are many more conditions and reasons than the ones listed above to get a massage. Even if you consider yourself to be generally healthy, massage is still a great way to help maintain your good health. It can be a wonderful means to take charge of your Physical and Emotional health. Massage Therapy is no longer only a luxury or an indulgence, but a great way to treat illness and injury, maintain wellness, and reconnect with yourself. If you have any questions regarding whether or not you should get a massage, feel free to contact me.
A few years back, I was working in Medical Administration. I was at a desk, in a chair, behind a computer, and I was STRESSED OUT. I found myself driving home each day in tears from the shear stress of the job, and I realized something had to change. So, I thought to myself, “What is the least stressful job I can think of?” I decided that Massage Therapy could very well be the job that I was searching for. A wonderful friend of mine suggested that I audit a massage class that a former colleague of hers taught. So I went, and I was hooked. I signed up for school the next day. This was just the beginning of my journey in learning natural methods of healing and general healthy living.
Fast forward a few educational and eventful years.
Now, I am a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) living and working in Ogden, UT. I specialize in Deep Tissue, Injury, Prenatal, Swedish, and Deep Relaxation. I also enjoy and dabble in making natural products and herbal remedies. My hope is that through this site, I can share what I have learned with those who, like me, are on a journey to re-discover the harmony between nature and ourselves.