Here is a list compiled of top 10 must do’s when going to get a therapeutic massage.
Dress Comfortably. Although the exception is that you may be coming from work and possibly may or may not have a change of clothes some clinics may offer some shorts and shirts for therapy to change into. Most therapeutic massages do not require you to take your clothes off in any case so whatever your lounging style is I give it a thumb up for therapy. Advanced therapists have a developed therapeutic touch which means they can assess and treat tissue over layers. The comfort of wearing looser or more comfortable clothing is more for you then the therapist. Have you ever leaned on a button? Ouch. Therapeutic massage treatments have no pre-requisite to use oil as the treatment yield best results (sometimes better) without it. Although if it’s your goal to receive an oil massage that could be a goal to discuss.
Open Communication. This one goes without saying. Remember where you are going and know that the therapist talking is to your benefit. If you’re looking for a rub down then most Therapeutic RMT’s will be talking most of the treatment. This is because the application of the treatment requires them to make sure that you are ok with pressure and tolerance as well as sensations. You never want the therapist to miss the mark or injure you. The “no pain No Gain” can only go so far. Remember you are not at a spa!
Sensations. Pain, Tickle, Burning, Pressure, Tight, or Brusy\ Bone types of sensation are all normal. Yup you heard me. Most areas that require treatment will be talking to you and the therapist and the above are just a few ways your body will be communicating with you during your treatment. Don’t worry if there is no sensation that is also a good thing as it means there is nothing to treat. This is where open communication will play an important part as well. Your body will thank you after all those sensations are gone and the more you go the less sensations you will have. What a great way your body communicates with you and the world around it.
Frequency. As important as you listening to your body’s communication and expressing it to your therapist so is doing your best to return for a follow up as requested. This will help you get on a maintenance plan faster. So what does that mean? A great way to think about it is with insurance (if you don’t have any try to visualize your own funds). Most companies offer RMT massage benefits at about 500- 700+ per year. So basically what that means is that money should last you the entire year for all your treatments. In a perfect world without dysfunctions it should. Your therapeutic treatment is to make sure that you hit that insurance goal. Following the plan and possibly investing a bit more in the beginning so in the long run this becomes more of preventative medicine is worth it. We know the saying. It takes 2 weeks to form a habit, 3 months for it to become automatic and 12 months for it to become a lifestyle. That is where you want to be!
Results. We all know the definition of insanity. Doing the same thing and expecting a change. I tell all my clients, “ if you don’t see a change in about 3 sessions, we are doing something wrong!” which can include the treatment, the treatment technique, the amount and duration of the treatment, we may need to refer out, we may need more testing, and/or we may need to add a modality. But seriously you’ll know by session 3(ish)! Bugs me how many people I see that have told me “ I have tried EVERYTHING’…'“ I can’t believe this has worked”... “why didn’t I do this before”…”you need to see my (insert loves ones or co-workers here)” etc by the way I love these results and referrals it motivates me to do more. Results won’t be what you expected they are subtle. In fact most of my people answer the most important question I ask (How do you feel) with… “Oh I didn’t notice the pain”… Or “it was less”... or “It’s hardly there”.
With anything you start sometimes you may come to a bump in the road. Sometimes getting the best out of what you learned is modifying and learning to adapt. Being patient with all that you are learning about your body will be one of the best and hardest things to embrace. Remember what the definition of insanity was? No therapeutic treatment is perfect and they are customized to your bodies needs. So remember keep it simple, don’t expect to walk out of the treatment doing cartwheels off the first session but also feel for those changes or the feeling of no pain.
LOVE YOUR THERAPY