Q- I have never had massage before. Is there anything I should know before coming for my first massage session?
A- These are few guidelines: don't eat a heavy meal before the treatment, wear comfortable underwear, drink plenty of water after your treatment, be clear with your therapist as to what are your expectations of the treatment and above all, enjoy!
Q- Can I have a massage treatment if I have a cold or flu?
This is because probably your symptoms will intensify and also you may pass the virus to your massage practitioner, who is then going to pass them to the rest of the clients.
Best thing to do if you have a cold: Stay at home! And try to be kind to your fellow human beings by not sharing your viruses with us!
Q- Which sort of clothes shall I wear when I come for my massage treatment?
A- It doesn't really matter as You will undress to your underwear but will be covered by towels at all times and only the part of your body worked on at the time will be uncovered to protect your modesty. Good towel management will ensure that you feel safe, warm and comfortable at all times.
If you are coming for sports/remedial massage, please bring some comfortable underwear.
Q- Can I eat before receiving my treatment?
A- Of course you can eat! You wouldn't be able to relax very much if you were hungry! However, it is not advisable to eat a big meal before your session. A light meal would be ok.
Q- Do I have to leave a tip?
A- You don't have to tip your massage therapist. And, although tips are always welcome, they are never expected.
Q- Should I remove my contact lenses before receiving my massage treatment?
A- Some people are able to close their eyes and relax with the lenses on but if you are unsure, you will probably be able to enjoy more your treatment if you remove them previously. You can bring your contact lenses case with you.
Q- I have never had a massage before. What shall I do while I lie down on the massage table?
A- You don't need to do anything at all but enjoy your treatment!
Sometimes the practitioner will ask you to do specific movements to help with the treatment, especially if you came for remedial/sports massage or to treat any specific injury or problem.
Some clients like to talk during the treatment. That is ok with me although my feeling is that you will benefit much more if you just get in touch with your body by placing your awareness in the areas that are being worked on.
Most of us live in our heads most of the time and this is a fantastic opportunity for you to switch off your mind, put your attention on your body and just "feel your body".
See where it feels a bit tight or maybe a bit painful, or maybe it feels great to have pressure, etc. but above all, enjoy. Just by becoming aware your system will start the process of releasing and healing whatever it is there to be released and healed.
If you feel that you need more pressure or less pressure or there is an area where you would like more work or anything you feel might help, please say it. You therapist will always appreciate your feedback and will be delighted to be guided by you!
Q- Do I have to make a conscious effort to breathe deeply during the treatment?
A- Not at all! Just let your breathing be as it is naturally. You may want to "send air internally" to the area that is being worked on to help the tension to release. Kind of "breathing into the area". Some people are able to do this naturally as soon as they relax. It would be good for you to try it but if trying to do this, is going to stress you out, it is much better not to try to do anything and just enjoy the session!
Q- I suffer from frequent headaches. Can massage help?
A- There are many different possible causes for headaches. One of the most common causes is tension on the muscles at the back of the neck and the base of the skull. These are called cervical or tension headaches and they are often associated with neck pain and stiffness. If you are suffering from these types of headaches, remedial deep tissue massage could definitely help you.
Q- I am pregnant and my shoulders ache constantly. Can I have deep tissue massage?
A- Absolutely. Deep Tissue Massage does not mean it is going to be hard, or painful or dangerous. It means it is going to go as deep as the tissues allow, without forcing anything. That is why it feels so good but also it is so effective. However, it would be great if you could get your doctor to agree to you having massage treatment. This consent will be needed if you are pregnant less than 3 months.
Q- I am going through a very stressful time at the moment. How is massage going to help?
A- Massage stimulates the part of the nervous system that needs to be activated for us to be relaxed (parasympathetic nervous system) Receiving regular massage treatments will "wake up" the relaxation processes and "remind" our nervous system that it doesn't need to be in state of constant alert.
After the treatment
Q- Is there anything I should or shouldn't do after my treatment?
A- You should just follow your common sense. You don't want to drink lots of alcohol straight away. It would be better to drink a bit more water than you are used to after the session.
You will maybe feel a bit spaced out so walk for a few minutes before you start driving.
It is good to go for a walk after a session to feel how your body is responding to movement and gravity. To see if anything feels different. After a deep tissue session you will probably feel looser and more flexible, have less pain than you had before if you had any and have more freedom of movement in general. So just enjoy the feeling!
Massage will encourage your system to go into recovery mode so maybe you'll feel a bit tired and lethargic just after the treatment, although your levels of energy are likely to rise up after 1/2 hour or so.
It is possible that you feel a bit of soreness the following day in the areas that have been worked on. This doesn't happen often but it may happen. Don't worry about it. It won't last for long and sometimes things get a bit worse before they get a bit better. If you have any doubt, contact your massage practitioner.
Q- How often should I have a massage treatment?
A- That depends on what you want to achieve. In general, if you are happy with how your body feels and you just want to receive regular sessions for maintenance, I advise once monthly at least.
If you are a very sporty person, probably it will be better to come more often to condition your muscular skeletal system so that you can prevent injuries and optimise performance. In this case I would suggest once per week or at least once every 2 weeks.
If you have a sedentary job (desk office/ psychotherapist, etc) or a job that involves repetitive movements of limbs (computer work, hairdressing, etc) you would benefit from bodywork treatments once every 2 or 3 weeks.
If you are treating an injury or chronic problem, the best course to follow is to have a few treatments close together (once a week for 3 or 4 weeks or even twice per week for the first 2 or 3 treatments to be able to shift an unhealthy neuro muscular pattern) and afterwards, when you start getting better, you can start coming less often.
As a rule of thumb, the best is always to come for a session before you have any pain or injury. Better prevention than cure! Also remember, massage therapy is one of few things that are good for you and also feel good. So my advice is treat yourself well as much as you can!