Massage Therapy is So Much More than Just a Spa-Day Luxury
Massage Therapy has come a long way. It has moved past the days of being something you do for yourself as a luxury to something you do as a holistic treatment – a tool that you can use to optimize how you use your body and as a preventative approach for a healthier lifestyle.
Every year the number of Americans who integrate massage into their lives continues to rise. Last year, 43% of Americans received at least one massage. There is long list of documented research that demonstrates the benefits of regular massage. It is now offered in Rehabilitation Centers, Gyms, Medical Spas, Hospitals and Integrative Healthcare Clinics. When intertwined with healthcare, massage helps individuals live more productive, happier lives.
What Are the Benefits of Massage Therapy?
- Lowers cortisol levels; reduces stress
- Reduces swelling and inflammation
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increases circulation
- Provides pain relief
- Decreases anxiety and replaces it with the “feel good’ hormone dopamine
- Helps reduce fatigue of overworked muscles
- Increases quality of sleep
- Helps prevent injury/ or speeds up recovery after injury
- Boost overall health by removing toxins and flushing out metabolic waste
What to Expect During a Massage
You will lie on a warm heated massage table, covered by a sheet and blanket. Make sure you are comfortable and always let your therapist know if you are not. Tell the therapist if you are cold, want to be covered, do not want an area of your body touched, do not like the music, or are experiencing discomfort with the technique or how it is being applied. Remember, you are in charge, and can ask for changes or stop the session at any time.
A professional massage therapist will never expose genitals or breasts, or any other areas you identify. Only the area the therapist is working on will be exposed. The therapist will play soothing music which aids the body into deeper relaxation.
How to Get the Most from Your Massage
Be Open. Relax and try let your thoughts go. One way to do this is to focus on how the touch or technique feels.
Remember to breathe, as this helps you relax. Sometimes people hold their breath when a sensitive area is massaged, but it is best to breathe through it. In the same way, tightening your muscles during the session is counterproductive. If you cannot seem to relax your muscles, let your massage therapist know. He/she may need to adjust the technique.
Be sure to inform the therapist if something feels uncomfortable or if you would like the therapist to adjust the pressure. Your therapist will adjust the pressure to your level of comfort to ensure that you feel safe, warm and comfortable throughout your entire massage.
Be Prepared. In the days before your session, drink plenty of water. Do not eat just before your massage. Give yourself enough time to arrive on time and relaxed. If you are rushing and arrive stressed, it will take longer to get into a relaxed state. Arrive with enough time to provide a health history and be prepared to offer information including medical conditions, areas of concern, level of pain or discomfort on good and bad days and contact information.
Meeting Your Massage Therapist
Before your massage, the therapist will review your health history and ask questions. Because massage can affect multiple body systems, be honest with the massage therapist about your health. You should also let the therapist know about any pharmaceutical drugs or botanical medicines you are taking. Knowing your history allows a therapist to determine if there are any reasons you should avoid massage or a particular technique. The massage therapist will ask questions to customize a session that meets your needs, concerns, and goals within the time allotted. Let the therapist know what areas of your body you would like worked on, if there are any areas to avoid, and if you have any techniques that you would like to use or avoid.
If you are concerned about undressing, discuss it with the therapist, who should be able to offer you some options. Do not be afraid to discuss any apprehensions or concerns. All information you give is confidential.
When it is Over
At the end of the massage, your therapist will leave the room so you can dress in private. Wait a few minutes on the table as you get grounded. Feeling light-headed is common and not concerning. Take your time getting off the table to get dressed. You should be offered a glass of water. Drink lots of water to help the body rid itself of toxins that may have accumulated. If possible, allow some quiet time after the massage and do not go back to work or other responsibilities immediately. How you feel after the massage will vary based on the style of massage used, the length of the session and the demands you place on your body afterward. Feelings range from being relaxed, renewed and centered, to invigorated, excited or experiencing a rush of clarity or new energy and insight. Different types of massage may leave the body free from chronic tightness or acute pain patterns but may replace it with a mild soreness from the pressure applied.
Realize that the benefits of massage tend to be cumulative, so typically, you will feel better as you schedule massages on a regular basis, generally every 2-4 weeks, depending on your goals and lifestyle needs.
Schedule a Massage with an Experienced Therapist
At Jersey Shore Aesthetics and Wellness, we are dedicated to meeting your wellness goals. Our experienced therapist has a tremendous amount of advanced education. She is focused on offering you a breadth of personalized, high quality massage therapy techniques to meet your health and lifestyle needs. Call 609-732-2244 or visit us ONLINE to schedule an appointment.