(This post is in addition to the previous post that discussed the benefits of relaxation massage: Reconsidering Relaxation Massage
Here's what to do to get the most out of a relaxation-focused massage.
Find a massage therapist who you feel comfortable with. Once you've chosen this person, commit to trusting them and just let go. Be in the moment during the massage and don't worry about what she/he is thinking.
Communicate with your therapist! Every client is different, and there's no way your massage therapist will know what feels best to you if you don't tell them. When something feels absolutely amazing, let the therapist know. If something hurts or is uncomfortable, let your therapist know. If something is just in the middle and doesn't feel fantastic or terrible, let your therapist know. If you want more or less time spent on a certain area, let your therapist know. Doing this will allow her/him to adjust and do more of what feels great, and less of what doesn't.
Breathe! While on the table, take full, relaxed inhales, and breathe out all the way to empty. Feel your body let go a little more every time you exhale.
Don't focus. Allow massage to be a time of meditation. Let your thoughts come and go, but don't spend too much time on them. If you can do this while relaxing and breathing well, after a while you might get into a state between waking and sleeping that feels dreamlike and euphoric.
Every massage therapist is different too. What makes a massage perfect to one person, might not be true for another. If you've communicated effectively about your expectations and given feedback about what feels good and what doesn't, and you don't feel absolutely amazing after your session, try a different therapist! Don't worry about hurting your massage therapist's feelings. A good therapist knows that there are different styles of massage and different client preferences, and, more than keeping you as a client, they should want you to be getting the treatment you deserve. Also, to be blunt, some massage therapists are more skilled than others. Ask for recommendations from friends and family, read reviews, and shop around!
Once you've found your perfect massage therapist, you need to do two more things, in this order:
- Figure out how often you want to/can receive massage, and book recurring appointments with your therapist. Whether it's every week, every other week, once per month, every other month, whatever will be most beneficial and sustainable to you.
- Once you have your spot saved for the foreseeable future, tell everyone you know about how wonderful your massage therapist is. Describe your sessions and what benefits you've experienced. Hand out their business cards and be their walking advertisement.