When you enter a massage parlor such as Hand and Stone Massage, which offers a wide range of massage services, you have to understand that enjoying the massage experience is one-half of your responsibility. Yes, the massage therapist has the appropriate training and touch, so to speak, to provide the best possible experience for clients. But it’s a two-way street and you have the responsibility to meet your massage therapist halfway.
With that being said, here are things that you can do in order to increase your pleasure from a massage.
Exercise Before Your Massage
Let’s say that you have your massage and HIIT session scheduled on the same day. You may be planning to have a massage first and then exercise later. But that isn’t exactly a good idea.
Yes, your muscles may be slightly tired after the strenuous exercise but they are warmed up – or prepped – for the massage. Your muscles will also be relaxed after they have been stressed through exercise. If you do it in reverse – massage and then exercise – you’re running the risk of putting your muscles, which have just been recently relaxed, under stress. The result: You will likely get injured.
So what to do then? If you’re planning on getting a deep tissue massage, you should wait between 12 and 24 hours before a strenuous workout. You’re essentially giving your body time to recover from the massage; deep tissue massage results in the microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers, thus, the need for recovery.
Take a Warm Shower Beforehand
Let’s face it. The feeling of massage oil on unwashed skin can be icky, not only for yourself but for the massage therapist, too. You have to keep in mind that it’s important to think of your massage therapist’s experience with your body, in a manner of speaking, so you have to prepare it for the massage session.
The best way to do so: Enjoy a long, hot shower before coming to your appointment, if it’s possible. Many massage salons, in fact, offer shower services for this purpose.
With a long, hot shower, you’re also making your mind and body more relaxed. You will then be readier to receive the relaxing benefits of a massage, not to mention that you will be less insecure about your body. After all, being clean makes your body seem less, well, imperfect.
Think About Timing
You have to listen to your body when you’re setting an appointment for your massage. You may want a day massage to start off your day since you’re more likely to face the day’s challenges with a relaxed mind and body. You may, however, also like an afternoon or night massage to eliminate the stress from your body, said stress of which came from the pressures of your work and personal lives.
In both instances, you’re right! A massage should be part of a fulfilling and fulfilled life and, thus, it should be enjoyed according to your lifestyle preferences.
Be Clear About Your Preferred Massage Style
Keep in mind that it’s your body and, thus, it’s your decision to make. You have to tell the receptionist your preferences when you’re booking the appointment, said preferences of which can include massage style (i.e., Thai or Swedish), massage therapist (i.e., you may have a favorite one), and oil. You may also tell the receptionist or the massage therapist about sensitive pressure points and points where you like greater pressure.
This way, you will be matched with a massage therapist with the right training and approach. You will then be able to get more out of the massage.
Wear Underwear or Go Butt Naked
Yes, it can become uncomfortable stripping down to your birthday suit in front of a stranger, especially one who will be touching nearly every nook and cranny of your body. It doesn’t even matter that it will not involve sexual caresses – the fact that there’s touching involved, which can be sensuous in many instances, can become uncomfortable.
Don’t worry too much about these feelings because these are perfectly normal, especially for beginners in full body massage. You can wear underwear, preferably just your boxers or panties, so you can feel more comfortable; the massage therapist will work around it.
But you can also go butt-naked since your private parts, especially your genitals, will be covered with sheets anyway so your modesty can still be maintained. There’s also the fact that your massage therapist can do a better job without the hindrance of clothes, not to mention that you can express your discomfort if he/she ventures a little too close into private territory.
In the end, a great massage is about trust – a trust between you and your massage therapist. You trust the massage therapist to do his/her job and to respect personal boundaries while the massage therapist trusts you to respect him/her, too – and that includes not making inappropriate comments or overtures.