Have you ever gone to a spa or somewhere else for a massage and get on the table excitedly awaiting what you think will be an amazing massage experience with a wonderful combination of pure relaxation and pain relief, but by the end of it you were painfully disappointed?
Or, have you had an opposite experience where thankfully, it was the massage you had in mind when you drove to that appointment. What was it that made the difference in these two different massage experiences? One thing that I want to talk about today is communication before, during and after the massage - that in itself can possibly be one of the most important things in getting the best massage from your massage therapist.
To start things off, if you want to have a great massage, when you book that appointment it really helps to have in mind what are your goals for that massage? Is it just to relax and not to address anything specifically? Maybe you want to relax some, but you really want your upper back and neck focused on so you feel more loose and get less kinked in the shoulder/neck area. It will really help the massage therapist for you to have a clear goal that you are hoping to achieve with the massage.
It would be an idea to ask ahead of time when booking your massage, what is the massage therapist's specialty? It would be a bummer to go in for a massage hoping to get some focused work on your neck and you find out by the end of the appointment the massage therapist isn't comfortable with neck work (most of us therapists have a muscle group that we aren't as comfortable or skilled in working with).
During your massage, please feel free to speak up about things like the pressue, whether it's too much or not enough, did we find the spot that has been giving you trouble, is something feeling good but would feel even bettier with more pressure? We as your massage therapist want to hear these things from you! It's our desire to give you the best massage possible but we need your feedback, both good and bad. Even though we're massage therapists, we don't know how things feel to you- we need you to tell us.
Also, something else about communication during the massage- a good massage therapist has been trained to follow the client's lead in talking during the massage. If you don't want to talk during the massage, that's totally fine with us. This is Your time. We still might need some feedback about the massage and besides that, we will stay focused on our work. If you want to talk, most likely we will be happy to talk and share with you! It's wonderful to connect with our clients. The only thing to keep in mind with that is it might distract us from focusing on what is going on with your muscles/body.
Lastly, once your massage is over and done, please let us know how you are honestly feeling. Did our work help and make a difference? Did we need to do something differently? These are my questions for my clients after every session because I care about my clients, how they feel and I want to know if what I'm doing is helping, etc. I know most massage therapists feel the same way as I do. I hope this blog post was helpful to you in learning more on how you can get the best massage from your massage therapist.