Getting the Most out of Your Massage (Part 2 of 2)

July 21, 2011


This is part two of two. The first entry is available here. It focuses on preparing and communicating. Part two focuses on receiving and resting.

Whether this is your first time on the table or your 52nd of the year, you can get the most out of your massage by preparing, communicating, receiving, and resting.

You can enhance your massage by breathing and consciously “letting go.” If your stresses are really are so important, you can pick them right back up on the way out. Breathing, in particular, helps. Center yourself by exhaling gently, and allow your belly to take in new air on its own. If the session presents you with a particularly sensitive or challenging area, focusing your breath there. Asking yourself to relax around that area can be surprisingly helpful. But only go along so far as you feel comfortable. If at times you find yourself breathing too hard, you may need to communicate to your therapist that less aggressive techniques would be appreciated.

Some massage includes stretching and movement, and it may be tempting to help or even resist such efforts. Of course, this usually just slows or thwarts the good intentions of the therapist. Receiving well means inhibiting the inclination to play a part in controlling your limbs, of course within reason.

If you already listen to your body, let me validate your common sense. Take it kind of easy the night you get your massage. Avoid vigorous exercise, work, or partying. You’ll want to drink plenty of water to help flush your system, and there’s nothing wrong with gentle movement and stretching. A quiet walk, a nutritious dinner, and a detox bath can all help. This is also a good opportunity to check in and see what you notice. The massage may have given you a new awareness that will be helpful to you going forward.

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