Receiving massage may seem like a passive activity, but knowing and following a few  guidelines can make you a better massage recipient and help you to get greater

benefit and value out of your

time on the therapy table.  

Receiving Well

DISCONNECT: Place your mobile device(s) on do not disturb, silence rings and vibrations, silence any alarms you've set for yourself.

Unbedazzle yourself: Ladies, being bedecked in jewelry is discouraged  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 of healing hands.

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 lead your focus 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 really in your best interest to try.  When receiving a massage being helpful is....really not helpful at all! Plus, that's not what you're paying a massage therapist for, right?  To do their job? Try your best not to anticipate every little 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.  Remember, your therapist has done all this lots of times before and you don't need you to move yourself around to accomodate things. Your job is not to be a good helper. Your job is to receive. Just lying there like a noodle is really the best thing you can do for yourself and of the most assistance 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 all 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 dedicated to your self-care. Be present in the moment, 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? A year?! In order to replenish and refresh yourself? No, it's absolutely not. And you'll be better off for dedicating that time for some relexation and rebalancing. Life and its cares can be put on pause, it will wait for you.  You can always put things aside temporarily and pick them up again after you're relaxed if you so choose. Massage therapists can assist you in relaxing but ultimately they cannot MAKE you relax.  Your part is to let go of control, reject those invading thoughts, and be open enough to fully lean into the mindset of releasing your collective tension.

Sara Bliss

Massage for Dummies

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Updated 1/2022