You've scheduled a 60-minute massage session to focus on just YOU, and you can't wait to get on the massage table! You've been stressed out at work, experiencing chronic neck and back pain, and you know a massage is just what the doctor ordered. Now, all you have to do is just show up, right? Sometimes, you have to set the conditions to get the best results, and we have five tips to help you get the most out of your massage.
Tip #1 - Start hydrated
Water is life. On average, our bodies are 75% water, but we are 90% water at birth! Think about how fast babies grow, recover, are flexible, and have soft and cuddly skin. But as we age, the percentage of water in our bodies decreases. There's a link between chronic pain and dehydration.
Usually, you hear many massage therapists telling clients to drink lots of water AFTER your massage, but it's even more beneficial to start already hydrated. Our tissues, organs, muscles, fascia, etc., all need to be hydrated at a cellular level to glide and slide against each other instead of getting stuck together and restricting movement. Plumped-up body tissues are more pliable and can make for a more effective massage or bodywork session. And there's less chance of you feeling sore and achy after a long, deep massage session. If you want to get nerdy, here's a podcast, 'Gliding and Sliding with Rebecca Pratt on Hyaluronan', about the importance of hydration and the body.
Tip #2 - Leave your phone in the car or turn it off
Your massage therapist just steamrolled those boulders out of your shoulders. You're chillin' on the table thinking about how amazing it feels, and your phone starts ringing or vibrating from a text or call. In a quiet room, even vibration is noticeable. And then your mind wanders back to work issues or wonders who's calling. Just shut it off! It needs a reset, too! Or better yet, leave it in the car.
Tip #3 - Arrive early for your massage session
A health intake form is sent automatically for 1st-time clients when booking a session at Bull City Soles. It's easy to complete and submit so the therapist can review it before your appointment. If you choose not to fill out prior to the session, depending on how complicated your health issues are, you need to arrive 15-20 minutes before your appointment to complete and talk with the therapist for just a couple of minutes about your goals for the session. Showing up right as your appointment starts may cut your session time short. It also gives you time to visit the restroom and sit in the foyer to take a breath and decompress before your massage. Once you become a regular, arriving 5 minutes early will be fine.
Tip #4 - Know your body and its issues
A health intake form is just a peek into your health and body issues. Most clients forget to list many details, medications, or procedures they've had over time. While it's not always necessary to tell us your life story, every injury, surgery, or past trauma is a piece of the puzzle to your chronic pain issues. So yes, a broken or repeatedly strained ankle in high school could correlate to your chronic hip pain. The body constantly compensates for minor, seemingly insignificant injuries and keeps going and going like the energizer bunny. Until it doesn't!
Little details like this can change how the therapist structures your session. Hence, it's essential to communicate with your massage therapist your current medications, movement restrictions, and as much information as possible about your body and its issues. Read our blog to learn more about the importance of Communicating with Your Massage Therapist.
Tip #5 - Schedule regular massage and bodywork
Lastly, scheduling regular massages and bodywork for chronic pain relief, stress relief, or relaxation is vital. When you develop a habit of regular bodywork, each session builds on the other. As with exercise, diet, or other healthy habits, hard work and consistency yield results. Chronic pain doesn't happen overnight, and one 60-minute massage isn't the miracle cure! Getting into a regular schedule, whether weekly or monthly, will provide more long-term benefits. We explain more in our wellness blog one of our most common FAQs, "How often should I get a massage?"
"We suggest regular maintenance massage sessions for clients that can range from weekly to every six weeks, depending on their lifestyle, budget, and goals." Bull City Soles team
We also have an Infrared Sauna at Bull City Soles! The benefits of an Infrared Sauna are amazing, and combining 20 - 30 minutes of infrared sauna therapy before or after your session may increase the pain relief benefits of your bodywork even more!
Budgeting time and money for massage and bodywork is an investment in your health. To get the best bang for your buck, follow these tips when scheduling your next bodywork appointment with one of our skilled massage therapists at Bull City Soles in Durham, NC.