Receiving massage may seem like a passive activity, but knowing and following a few important guidelines can make you a better massage recipient and help you to get more out of your massage.  Let these massage-receiving tips guide you to a great experience on the table....

How to be a Good Receiver

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Updated 1/2022

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Unbedazzle yourself: Ladies, being bedecked in jewelry is discouragedyou  when visiting and generally counter-productive to a good massage. Remove any unnecessary watches, rings, necklaces, earring, bracelets or anklets that could get in the way.

Ditch the makeup: If you enjoy facial massage as part of your session, it's best for women to come prepared with minimal or no makeup if possible. Also, if you enjoy msssage of the scalp, please remove excessive hair accessories or keep them to just one pony holder or clip for holding long hair out of the way until your therapist comes to the face and scalp portion of your massage.

Keep breathing: While receiving a massage, focus your mind more on your breathing to bring your awareness away from your thoughts and back onto your body.  Letting out a few sighs, groans here and there if you feel like it is just fine.

Stay loose:  Try to identify where you're tensing and holding your muscles and focus on releasing the held area into the table and releasing them to a softer state of being.

Let go: For the love of massage - Please don’t help your therapist give you a massage! Unfortunately control is really difficult for some to relinquish even for an hour.  But it's in your best interest to try.  When receiving a massage being helpful is really not helpful at all and that's not what you're paying a massage therapist for afterall, right?  To do their job? Try your best not to anticipate every movement. Allow your limbs to be positioned as needed, allow the therapist to drape and tuck the sheets around your body as they deem necessary.  They've done this before and you don't need you to move yourself around to accomodate the tucking and draping. Again, not helpful to your therapist. Your job is not to be a good helper here, just lying there like a noodle is really the best thing you can do for yourself and of the most help to your therapist.

Stop talking, stop thinking, start being: When you’re getting a massage, don’t think about what you should have done or plan to do. Don't spend the time chatting, this isn't a cocktail party nor an interview.  A massage is time to be here now. Make it a sacred space for dedicated to your self-care. Be present and concentrate on the physical sensation of your massage more than your mental traffic.

No pain, no gain? No way! Although certain muscle knots and patterns of tension do respond well to firm, well-focused pressure, you shouldn't be cringing through a massage.  Deeper massage isn’t always effective massage; sometimes the lightest touch can achieve the most profound benefits.

Listen to your emotions: If you encounter an emotional release (tears, sadness, any overwhelming or negative emotions) during a massage try to relax, breathe through it, and allow it to release.  This is a safe place for any emotions that may come up for you. If you need the therapist to give you a break, a tissue, or step out of the room to allow you a moment to collect yourself, just let them know.  

You’re the boss: You have complete authority to change anything that may be making you uncomfortable during a massage. If you need a bathroom break just say so.

Be grateful: During the massage itself, spend some time being grateful for what you’re experiencing in the moment.

It's your time, and what you choose to receive from it is ultimately up to you.  Make the most of this mini escape from the ordinary! Is an hour, an hour and a half, two hours too much to ask out of a week, a month in order to replenish and refresh yourself? No, it's not. And you'll be better off for dedicating that time for releaxation. Life and its care can be put on pause, it will wait for you, promise.  You can always put things aside temporarily and pick them up again after you're relaxed if you so choose. I can assist you in relaxing but ultimately I cannot MAKE you relax.  Your part is to let go of control, let go of intrusive thoughts and be open enough to fully flow into a mindset of releasing tension by focusing on your body's sensations in order to receive what you need to renew and restore balance overall.


ara Bliss

Massage for Dummies