How To Prepare For A Massage According To A Massage Therapist

There is a first time for everything, including getting a massage. If you are reading this, you are probably wondering how to prepare for a massage. Not to worry because you have come to the right place. What will follow is a complete guide to getting prepare for a massage. These are the tips on how to prepare for the first massage that I wish someone would have told me the first time I scheduled my massage session.

The best tips on getting prepared for a massage

  • Get informed and choose a desired massage style before the appointment

Let me tell you about the first mistake that I made. When I called to schedule my first ever massage appointment, the first question that the nice lady on the phone asked me was what kind of massage I wanted. Needless to say, there were a couple of seconds of dead silence afterward. I was freaking out, trying to find the right answer. Of course, I could not think of anything since I did not know that there was more than one massage style.

Lucky for me, the lady on the phone recognized that I was a first-time caller and helped me out. She quickly listed the massage styles that they were offering. Then, she explained the major differences between them. Having that kind of information was enough to help me make a decision. The first thing that I did after I hung up the phone was researching each of the massage styles that she told me about.

Although my first session was a nice, relaxing Swedish massage, I wanted to experiment a bit. And so, I tried out some other popular options as well. Shiatsu massage and sports massage are some of my faves. But my all-time favorite has to be reflexology. If you do not want to repeat my mistake, I kindly recommend doing your research at home.

  • How much water should I drink before a massage

One tip that my favorite massage therapist gave me was to drink water. Proper hydration is essential at all times. But it is also very important that you drink enough water before and after a massage. You see, water helps with the toxins elimination and the cleansing of the body. During a massage, the therapist will help the muscles to loosen up. This will help to break down the build-up toxins. Logically, to eliminate them, you will need water, hence why proper hydration after a massage is a must.

  • Workout before, not after a massage

The second mistake that I made was working out after my massage. I thought – Why not workout now when my muscles are nice and relaxed. Little did I know, that was not such a good idea. I ended up feeling sorer and more exhausted than I normally do. When I asked my massage therapist about it, she gave me a big no-no.

Working out after a massage puts more strain and stress on your already relaxed muscles. The risk of injury seems to be bigger as well. This is especially important for those of you interested in deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage can cause micro-tearing of the muscle fibers. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Micro-tearing also happens during a hard workout, and it is how our muscles grow stronger.

If you know anything about working out, then you know that recovery is the best medicine for sore muscles. Your muscles need proper rest to recover. The same kind of rest and recovery is needed after a massage, especially a deep tissue one. My tip would be to skip your workout session right after getting a massage. Instead, allow your muscles to absorb all of the nutrients and recover in peace. Take advantage of that relaxed state that you are in.

As for working out, my massage therapist advised me to sweat out the toxins before my appointment. Warm-up and exhaust your muscles before getting a massage. Then, the massage would work to your advantage and relax you. And if you plan on getting a deep tissue massage, it may be for the best that you skip on working out altogether that day.

  • Plan your meals according to the appointment

Before you eat a whole burger before your massage appointment, you should think twice. Eating a big meal before getting a massage is not advised. The last meal should not be later than 2-3 hours before your appointment. That would give your body enough time to digest all of the food and absorb the needed nutrients. You will feel light and avoid any digestive disturbances during your massage.

On the other hand, eating a big meal will probably disturb your digestive system. Massage is stimulating the digestive system, encouraging toxins elimination. The reason why I used a yummy burger as an example is that that is exactly what I had on my lunch break before I headed out to get my massage. It is not uncommon for people to get a massage during their lunch break. It helps relax them and be more productive for the rest of their workday.

But if you do decide on running to the spa to get a massage while at work, skip that burger. The goal is to avoid eating 2-3 hours before a massage. But if that is impossible for you, then settling for a small salad will do the trick as well. Starving yourself is not an option either. So be smart about your eating choices before getting a massage.

  • Do not be afraid to ask questions and speak up

Over time I learned to communicate with my massage therapist. I now use any opportunity that I get to schedule a massage, and I want it to be as relaxing as it possibly can. But everyone is different, and my massage therapist needs to know more about my personal preferences to make my experience more pleasant.

And so, I am not ashamed to tell her where I would like for her to focus. Like the other day, for example. I slept pretty badly, and my neck was killing me. That was the first thing that I told my therapist when I entered the spa. My point is – Do not be afraid to speak up. If something is not the way that you like it to be, say it. Maybe you are right, and maybe that is how things are supposed to be for the massage to work. But if you keep silent, you will never know.

  • Treat any sore muscles afterward

As I mentioned earlier, you can expect some muscle soreness, especially after getting a deep tissue massage. If that is the case, make sure that you treat it right. Whether it is a hot Pilates class, a run, or a massage that it has caused your muscles to ache, you need to treat it.

I find light yoga to do the trick for me. Being no expert as I am, I settle down to doing a few slow poses to get some stretches in. Icing the aching spots seems to help as well. Whatever does the trick for you, do not skip it. Your muscles will not forgive you, and chances are you will be waking up to sore muscles the next morning as well.

  • Should I shave before a massage?

Women are living in a world where it seems unacceptable to have some body hair. Whether it is on our arms, legs, or armpits, many of us are somehow ashamed for not having it shaven off. But here is the thing – Most people do not care about body hair, including your massage therapist.

Once, I forgot that I had scheduled a massage session. Luckily, my phone reminded me, but by the time that happened, I was in such a hurry, I did not have any time to shave my legs. I was hesitant to call the spa and cancel, but my back needed that massage. And so, I went. As soon as I saw my therapist, I started apologizing.

Do you know what she did? She laughed. She said that she massages men with hairy backs and legs all the time. So why should I be worried about mine? And she was right. I got my massage, and I enjoyed every single second of it. To answer your question – No, you do not have to shave for a massage unless you want to.

  • Should I shower before a massage?

You may be wondering whether you should shower before or after a massage. My personal preference is to get a nice hot shower before the massage. This helps me relax, and I feel clean and prepared for what is to come. And if we are being completely honest, I think that my massage therapist appreciates it. Shaving may not be a must, but in my opinion, a shower before the massage is.

  • What is the best time to get a massage?

Speaking of what is the best time of day to get a massage, I would say whichever time works best for you! Some people like to get their weekly massage in the morning. Some, like me, like to use their lunch break to get relaxed. And others prefer getting a massage later in the evening. I find that idea quite intriguing. I have gotten a massage once or twice nearly closing hours. After feeling the toll of the long workday, massage was the only way to relax both my body and mind. And it was great. It helped me to fall asleep faster, and I slept like a baby the whole night. The next morning, I was feeling refreshed and ready to seize the day, all thanks to my massage therapist.

Conclusion

In today’s article, we covered topics such as shaving, showering, how massage feelings differ before and after a massage and even eating before getting a massage. I shared the biggest dos and don’ts that I wish someone would have shared with me in the past. Hopefully, you will find these tips useful as you schedule your first ever massage session.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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