1. Go in with a supportive mindset! If you worry that you’re not going to get a “good” massage, you probably won’t. If you go in “knowing” you’re going to have a great massage, you are training your brain to your purpose and you will be more likely to get a great massage.
2. Understand that feeling better is a process and decide to enjoy it. The body takes time to heal, the mind takes time to change, Massage Therapy takes time to assist you. Understand that feeling better is a process and decide to give it and yourself a chance. Some people feel the effects immediately (on the table), some feel it as they walk out the door (during actual movement), some feel it throughout the week (in comparison to many little movements), some feel significantly better after 10 or 20 massages (the brain has been significantly trained and recruited to make or feel changes). It depends on your starting point, your fitness level, your body tissue health, your body education, your ability to communicate with your body, your awareness levels, your physical skill sets and how often you use them, what else you are doing to feel better and your willingness to participate. Remember, practice makes perfect, it’s usual to concentrate on pain, it’s very poignant and we end up looking for it to see if it’s still there. When you notice this happening, chuckle and shift your focus. Choose to practice feeling better. Stop what you’re doing, relax on purpose, take a deep breath, and soften the area of concern, then move through it. Be patient, slow down so that you can feel and look inside for changes that indicate that you do in fact feel better.
3. Ask for what you want. You don’t need an excuse. If you want the massage therapist to start immediately on your area of discomfort. Ask for it, out loud. Don’t assume the LMT knows the specifics of what you want. Remember, we are trained to understand the area of concern as a part of your whole entire bio-mechanically functioning body, so we often are looking at the larger picture, while you are feeling a very specific area of discomfort.
4. Set up your massage schedule in advance! To ensure you have the appointment of your preference, consider that many of my clients schedule their next massage appointments before they leave. This is a great way of making sure that you get prioritized over last minute callers, have the next appointment to look forward to and have already taken care of scheduling in at least one piece of the taking care of yourself puzzle. When you prepay for a series of 5 or 10 sessions, you help me to be able to treat you as the special person you are, by enabling you to schedule all the appointments in the series in advance.
5. Design your appointment frequency and duration! Be inspired to be creative. My clients have a variety of approaches to this. Many take weekly massage appointments, some every 3-4 weeks, some every other week for 1.5hrs. Regularity is great because it feeds the feedback system to help the brain remember, repeat and recall at will what it feels like to feel better, but scheduling too often can be stressful. Find your pattern, set your pace, be creative so you can be effective in your massage scheduling plan.