Ah, finally. The moment you’ve been looking forward to weeks, maybe months. It’s time for a massage to work out those kinks and muscle aches. But how do you make the most of the experience and reap the benefits afterward? We asked Shelene Taylor, founder and owner of Rubs Massage Studios in Tucson for her suggestions. Committed to helping her clients to live healthier lives through lowering stress and anxiety, Shelene has been practicing the art and science of massage for more than 20 years. Here’s her Top 10 for stretching, maximizing and benefiting from your massage service.
1. Start by taking a moment before leaving your car to breathe and let go of any worries or concerns.
2. Arrive early for your treatment to allow yourself time to use the restroom, get some water and sit quietly. Also, pay for your treatment beforehand so that you can leave quietly.
3. Allow yourself to feel the tension in your body so that you can let your therapist know which areas need the most attention.
4. During the treatment, make sure that you are comfortable with the lighting, music and temperature.
5. Communicate with your therapist to receive the right amount of pressure. One of the most important components to an effective massage is the pressure; it needs to be firm enough to encourage muscle relaxation and to release endorphins.
6. Keep quiet. It is generally better to receive your massage quietly, this really allows you to feel the sensations of your body and to allow tension to release, when we are talking we are truly in our heads and this prevents an overall relaxation response from happening.
7. After the treatment allow yourself to consciously feel the difference and bring yourself back to that quiet zone each time your mind starts to race ahead again.
8. Ask your therapist if he or she would recommend stretches that you can do it home to prevent your muscles from tightening back up.
9. During the hours and days after your treatment stop to breathe and reconnect with the feeling of relaxation and stillness within.
10. Consciously re-relaxing your tension areas allows you to become more in touch with your body. Find music that relaxes you, for some it will be classical, Celtic, rock, whatever works! There are also a number of artists that have created CDs designed to engage your brain waves, balance your chakras or subliminally encourage relaxation. Use aromatherapy lotions and candles daily to evoke that sense of relaxation in your shower or bath at home.
Visit Rubs for more information on the benefits of massage.