Tips to Make Your Massage More Comfortable

Use the following tips to make your massage therapy more comfortable and enjoyable:

  1. Don’t eat just before your massage. Eat earlier in the day if possible, and let your body digest the meal. In many cases, you will be lying on your stomach during a massage, so having a full stomach may make you uncomfortable.
  2. Be on time. If you are rushing to your appointment, you may feel frazzled and find it hard to relax during the massage.
  3. Take off only as much clothing as you prefer. Some people choose to remove all of their clothing during a massage. Others prefer to leave on their underwear or remain fully clothed.  A sheet or large towel will be provided to cover you completely during the session, so your body won’t be exposed. You’ll be able to undress and dress again in total privacy; the therapist should leave the room while you are dressing. If you are having a chair massage or mini-massage in a public place like a nail salon, you’ll remain fully clothed. In addition, shiatsu massage and similar therapies are performed while clothed. Do what makes you feel comfortable. If you decide to stay clothed, wear comfortable, soft fabrics and loose-fitting items.
  4. Talk to your therapist before starting. Your therapist should ask you questions about your general health (such as if you have conditions like arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure or other health problems), what type of pressure you prefer, what areas of your body she should concentrate on and which she should avoid, if you like lotion or oils or not, and other key concerns. Be honest with your therapist. Don’t hesitate to let her know that you may have concerns about the massage, or what issues you’d like her to address.
  5. Communicate during the massage as needed. During your massage, speak up if you feel the therapist is not using the proper pressure or if her hands feel cold or too oily from the lotion. Also, let her know if you don’t like the room temperature, or any other things she can adjust for your comfort.
  6. Breathe normally. Breathing helps you relax. Don’t hold your breath if you feel anxious or if the therapist is vigorously massaging an area of the body.
  7. Speak up if you feel pain. If a massage hurts at any time, tell your therapist immediately. While some researchers recommend moderate pressure to relieve arthritis symptoms, massage should not be a painful experience.
  8. Don’t sit up or stand too quickly after your massage. Some people may feel dizzy or lightheaded following a long massage, especially if the room is dark and they have been under warm towels or blankets. Relax when your massage is done, sit up slowly, and take your time standing and dressing.
  9. Drink lots of water after your massage. Most massage therapists suggest drinking a few cups of water after your massage to hydrate you, and usually will offer you water just after your session. Also, massaging muscles and tissues may release toxins that you’ll want to flush out following your therapy. Without it, you may feel queasy or light-headed.