A massage therapist’s trained and caring touch can have profound effects on your physical, mental, and emotional state.
Physical benefits of massage therapy
• Physically relaxes the body • Calms the nervous system • Lowers blood pressure • Reduces heart rate • Slows respiration • Loosens tight muscles • Stretches connective tissues • Reduces chronic pain • Improves skin tone • Increases blood and lymph circulation • Speeds the removal of metabolic waste • Increases red blood cell counts • Relieves tired and aching muscles • Stimulates the release of endorphins • Improves muscle tone • Relieves cramps and muscle spasms • Increases flexibility and range of motion • Promotes deeper, more effective, breathing • Speeds recovery from injuries and illness • Strengthens the immune system • Reduces swelling • Reduces scarring • Improves posture • Relieves tension headaches • Increases tissue metabolism • Decreases muscular deterioration
Mental benefits of massage therapy
• Reduces mental stress • Promotes better sleep • Calms a bad temper • Induces mental relaxation • Improves concentration
Emotional benefits of massage therapy
• Reduces anxiety • Enhances self-image • Promotes a feeling of well-being • Promotes greater creative expression
Note: Massage therapy is a compliment to, not a replacement, of a physician’s care.
Once considered to be just hedonistic pampering for the rich and famous, massage therapy is now finding enormous popularity among millions of Americans.
Numerous research studies, conducted in the United States, Europe and Asia, have documented that, far beyond simply “feeling good,” massage therapy has an impressive range of physical, mental, and emotional benefits.
Your Massage Therapy Session
Before you receive your session, it is a good idea not to eat any large or heavy meals, sugar, caffeine, or other stimulants. You may also want to shower or bathe directly before your session, not only out of courtesy to your therapist, but also to help start loosening any tight muscles you may have.
Before your session begins, your therapist may ask you some questions regarding your medical history, physical condition, life-style, etc. Your therapist may assess any problem areas by observing your posture, checking for restricted or painful movement and gently pressing to uncover tender areas.
Your session will be administered in a comfortable and private environment. If you are receiving your session in your home or office, be sure to turn the phone off, put the pager away and hang a “do-not-disturb” sign on the door. This time belongs to you and no one else. Your therapist may ask you to disrobe in private and drape yourself with a sheet, towel or gown as provided. The type of session you will be receiving and the specific areas of your body will determine the required state of undress. You may leave your undergarments on or take them off as you prefer.
The only area of your body that will be uncovered during your session will be the area your therapist is working on at that time. Generally, the areas of the body included in a full body session are the neck, shoulders, arms, hands and fingers, upper and lower back, buttocks, legs, feet and toes, abdomen, ribcage, chest, face and scalp.
If there are any areas you would prefer not to include in your session, be sure to let your therapist know.
You will lie on a padded table or mat in a position explained to you by your therapist. He will take a moment to ensure you are properly positioned, sufficiently covered and, most importantly, that you are comfortable. Be sure to inform your therapist of anything that distracts from your comfort, such as your position, the room temperature, lighting, etc. Remember, this is your time, so be comfortable.
If, at any time during your session you experience pain, discomfort or uneasiness of any sort, immediately inform your therapist. Massage therapy, when administered on healthy tissue, is a very pleasurable sensation. In the area of an injury or muscular tension, massage therapy, at first, may cause some discomfort. When your therapist locates these areas of your body, it will be your natural reaction to tense and hold your breath. It is very important that you try to relax these areas and breathe deeply. This will help to lessen any discomfort you might experience from these areas. Conversely, if at any time during your session your therapist works on an area or uses a technique you find particularly enjoyable, be sure to let him know. If time permits, extra time can be spent on that area or technique.
As your session begins, close your eyes and allow yourself to relax completely. Focus your attention on breathing slowly, deeply and evenly. Avoid conversation, as it may be distracting to you and your therapist. Please limit speaking to feedback on the session. You may fall asleep during your session. Feel free to nap! Sometimes, the release of tension can also create emotional responses ranging from joy to sadness, even anger. Do not be alarmed and feel free to express yourself.
Contrary to some notions, massage therapy is a healing art, not a sexual service. Any illicit or sexually suggestive remarks or advances will result in the immediate termination of your session.
After your massage, you may want to drink extra water to help flush the toxins released by your massage. You may also want to take an Epsom or rock salt bath as well. If at all possible, you may want to reap the full benefits of your session by taking a nap. Be sure to ask any questions you may have.