Massage Therapy has been used since the dawn of time by our ancestors to relieve pain in their family members. It was first organized into a practice in Eastern medicine. Massage therapy was highly revered as a curative and preventative medical practice for thousands of years. There are still cultures in which the family groups massage one another for wellness.
Today in the U.S., massage therapy is in general is seen as more of a luxury to be had once in a while. That is only a small part of the bigger picture of massage therapy.
To enjoy the long-term preventative benefits of massage, for both emotional and physical well-being you need to receive it on a monthly or every-two-weeks basis, if not more often.
Massage therapy helps your well-being in multiple and measurable ways:
- brings better circulation to the tissues,
- breaks up knots,
- aids digestion,
- speeds up metabolism,
- decreases healing time,
- breaks up scar tissue,
- reduces stress and high blood pressure,
- relieves repetitive motion injuries,
- helps with anxiety and depression,
- helps with sleeping disorders,
- brings relief to those with chronic pain and fatigue, and
- makes the terminally ill feel loved and comforted
- … and much more
Massage therapy is a WELLNESS technique, not just a once in a while luxury.
The things I have heard that people believe or think about massage are amusing at best and troubling at the worst. So, I wanted to jot these 10 things down for those that have never had a massage before and want to try it — or those that need a bit of reassurance of what you can experience with me.
- Don’t worry. I’m serious. A massage therapist has literally seen EVERYTHING. You are not the only one who’s been nervous to get a massage, and it is a learning curve. Let me know you’ve never had massage before and I will make sure you know what to do, when and why. There will be no surprises and you can feel comfortable and secure as well as pampered with improved well being.
- The most common thing to wear on the table is panties or boxers. Plenty of people go naked, but you don’t have to. Ladies, if you want to wear your bra, that’s fine, but know that the massage therapist will ask to undo it to massage your back. Wearing more clothes than that is fine, but we’re taught to avoid those areas, because we take it as an indication you don’t want massage there.
- You won’t be exposed. If you feel exposed at any time, PLEASE speak up. If the massage therapist doesn’t do anything about it, you have the right to stop the massage. But any massage therapist worth their salt is great at working with the sheets so that they can massage you without exposing anything.
- You WILL feel kinda oily after the massage is done. Many massage therapists offer towels to wipe off with, but if there isn’t one, use one of the sheets. Pull it right off the table, because we change the sheets for every new client. Just don’t use the blanket if one is provided.
- Ladies, it’s ok if you didn’t shave your legs. Remember, we massage men’s legs too. I don’t really even actively notice skin (I am not a dermatologist). I am focused on envisioning the layers of tissue, muscle and bone structure under the skin and hair.
- This is a sensitive one: guys, if you’re worried about getting too excited on the table, we understand that it happens when there’s more blood circulation happening in the body. We understand that it happens for no reason. We know it makes you embarrassed and uncomfortable. You’re not the first. If you ignore it, we’ll ignore it.
- Don’t worry about having your limbs in the right places. If we want them in a particular place, we’ll move them or ask you to.
- You don’t have to “help” us hold your limbs up unless we ask. This is the time for you to relax and not worry about any obligations. If we shake the limb a little bit, it’s not us trying to clue you in that you’re “helping”, it’s a technique to relax the muscles directly.
- If you have a bad experience, it’s most likely not because your body doesn’t like massage, but that you got a bad massage therapist. Try someone else, and see if your opinion changes.
- Last, but certainly not least, professional massage therapists are not prostitutes. We spent many years in training just like a physical therapist, doctor or a nurse. We are licensed to practice. Don’t ask us for inappropriate services. If you are trying to find a prostitute, do a little bit of research online and don’t call us, the practitioners with the words “professional”, “ethical”, “therapeutic” and “licensed” on their websites.
I hope this helps clear up any worries you might have with getting your first massage.
Remember to relax and enjoy!