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Make Massage Work for You

How to get the Most from Massage

What value does massage have to you? 
Why would you pick massage in the first place?
There are many reasons why you would choose to make massage a part of your health plan. A few things that massage helps with: 
Helps reduce muscle pain and soreness 
Helps improve circulation 
Helps improve range of motion
Helps reduce recovery time from injuries
Helps promote connection between the mind and body
Here are a few steps to get the most out of your massage. 
If you choose massage here are a few tips on getting the most out of it: 
1. Be honest on the intake form. We ask those questions so that we can provide the best appropriate care we can. Some conditions, injuries, or illnesses will require us to communicate with your doctor. Other times it will change what techniques we use. We aren't trying to make you uncomfortable or embarrass you, we want you to be safe. 
2. Communicate with your therapist. Again, be honest. If you are uncomfortable for any reason, the pressure is too much, you're cold or hot, ticklish, etc. Tell your therapist. If you try to just grin and bear it your body will not accept the work.  
3. If you are getting massage for a specific reason, give it time. Massage helps by changing the tissue and improving blood flow. Massage once in a while feels good. Massage on a consistent basis can create lasting change.
4. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you are unsure what sort of work you need or is right for you, ask the therapist. Ask what sort of work they do. Ask them their specialties and education. 
5. Hydrate. Massage helps flush tissue with fresh fluid. Being hydrated helps this process and can help prevent soreness from the work. 
6. Allow this time to be about you. We are really bad about taking time to take care of ourselves. Know that your health and wellness are important. You deserve to feel good and function well. 
7. Breathe. I talk about breathing a lot. The way we breathe triggers how our brain and body reacts to stimuli. Being able to take slow, deep breaths helps the body to relax into the work. If you are holding your breath that tells the body it needs to protect itself. When the body is in protective mode the bodywork being done becomes less effective. Basically it is relaxation versus fight or flight mode. We do not want you in fight or flight. 
8. Turn off all devices. Or at least turn them on silent. Again, this time is about you and that is not a bad thing. 
9. Don't let body image dissuade you from trying massage. I have had this come up before with clients and feel it is important to address. I work hard to keep my clients at ease and in their comfort zone. I have had clients apologize for their weight or appearance. This makes me sad. Massage is wonderful for most people. We work on all sorts of people. All people are equal in my practice. Just be clear about your comfort level and I will work with that. 
10. Give feedback. Let the therapist know what you liked or didn't like. If they are doing something that doesn't work for you, let them know. We can't improve if people say nothing. If they did something you loved, tell them. It's always nice to know we are doing a good job. 
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