Massage can be intimidating to try the very first time. To people who haven’t experienced it before, it seems unusual to undress and lie on a table and let someone come in the room and put their hands on you. The first massage can be daunting and it’s to know what to expect during your first massage. You have to undress, let a stranger touch you, and somehow relax. However, that definitely changes once you’re on the table.
There are different styles of massage to choose from. Most therapists know the basic Swedish massage. In Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will slowly be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. Always communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.
For individuals who get massage regularly, they usually opt for deep tissue massage. The major different with this massage is the pressure. Swedish full body massage is more medium pressure and deep tissue massage is more firm pressure. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down the muscle adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist often uses direct deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles. Knowing your needs and what your body can take is the first step to choosing deep tissue. At certain points during the massage, most people find there is usually some discomfort and pain. It is important to tell the massage therapist when things hurt and if any soreness or pain you experience is outside your comfort range. There is usually some stiffness or pain after a deep tissue massage, but it should subside within a day or two. The massage therapist may recommend applying ice to the area after the massage.
After your massage drink plenty of water. If you did the deep tissue massage you may experience some soreness over the next few days, but more of the “hurts so good” soreness. Realize that the benefits of massage tend to be cumulative, so typically, you will feel better as you get additional massages. After getting massaged regularly you may want to go for longer massages if the hour is just not doing it for you anymore.