Massage therapy is a wonderful alternative therapy. If you want to make the most of your massage, you have to begin by finding the right practitioner. You also need to consider the various types of massage. Consider what it is you want but also look at what may best suit your needs. There can be a difference. Talk with your doctor to see if he or she has any suggestions. This may help with you locating the types of massage therapy you may be interested in and the name of several associations or physicians.
Locating An Accredited Massage Therapist
After choosing a form of massage therapy you require – sometimes in consultation with your doctor or a specialist, visit the web sites of professional associations. They provide information on the subject of massage.
This can be massage-specific if they only cater to a specific type, e.g. Sports Massage or Reflexology. It can also be more general. The sites are also helpful because they only list their members. This will help you locate an accredited and reputable practitioner in your area.
Find out whether your friends or anyone you know is a client of a professional on your list. Whether they do or not, arrange for a visit. This will help you obtain certain information or impressions about the practicing environment, attitudes and philosophy. You may also set up an initial consultation and/or treatment.
Your First Session and Expectations
During your first session or consultation with the practitioner, assess your feelings and sensations. Do you feel comfortable with him or her? This is a personal matter. No books, research or testaments from friends, family and societies can make you relax and trust someone. If you cannot relax, consider seeing another therapist. Otherwise, you will not be able to reap all the benefits from your treatment.
As well as trust and level of comfort, you should also look at communication skills. Are you both clearly expressing your needs? Are you clear about what you expect? Is he or she clear about what the massage entails? Make sure the practitioner explains precisely what this type of massage is and involves. He or she should tell you the methods, the history and other pertinent information. You, in turn, need to be specific about what you want and expect. This will save problems arising from misunderstandings or disappointment in the result.
Other issues you need to discuss before the massage begins include sensitive areas. If there are any areas you do not want massaged, let the therapist know. Are you ticklish? Do certain sections of your body embarrass you? Where does it hurt? Be communicative with the practitioner. He or she must know where you to and where not to touch, press heavy, touch lightly or ignore.
Massage Therapy and Nudity
Another issue may be nudity. Does this massage treatment require you strip? Are you comfortable lying on a massage table with only a towel or drape covering you? This is pre-requisite for some types of massage therapy, including Swedish Massage. It is not integral to many forms of Eastern Massage.
There are other matters you need to communicate to your practitioner. If you opt for aromatherapy massage or your therapist uses scents, let him or her know if you have any allergies or find certain scents disturbing or offensive. The same thing applies with the selection of music or candles. Some fragrances or sounds do anything but soothe. Talk and talk some more. Be specific. Otherwise, it will be your fault. By communicating clearly, you will avoid paying for an unsatisfactory treatment.
Once you are on the massage table or lie on the padded surface, relax. You need to focus on the process. Let the therapist work on your body or body parts. Let the music and/or fragrances fill your senses. This is time for you to be a passive participant. It is up to the therapist to coax your muscles and joints into responding. It is the responsibility of the masseuse to realign your structure or balance the Qi, Chi or Ki force. It is an excellent time to heed the saying: “Go With the flow.”
Once the massage ends, enjoy the result. Savor the moment. Notice and record the benefits for future reference. If necessary, book anther session for a follow up massage.
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