How to Receive a Full Body Swedish Relaxation Massage
Many people are unsure exactly what happens with a massage. Hopefully this will allay some of your fears and open you up to the receiving a massage as a “relaxing escape.”
Massage is so beneficial. Please do not keep yourself from experiencing massage due to body image insecurities. Personally, I feel so honored to be trusted enough by people to let me into their personal space and let me care for them. All bodies are beautiful, impart a story and show our amazing uniqueness.
This is the process for Swedish Relaxation Massage so some of the other massage styles like Thai or Hawaiian Lomi Lomi have some differences in how they proceed.
Before the Appointment
- You can improve the results of your massage by mentally relaxing and putting events of your life on pause. Allow yourself to devoting the session time for yourself. In order to take care of others, we need to be strong and take of ourselves first.
- If time permits, take a relaxing bath or shower before your appointment time but don’t worry if you are sweaty since you’ll be getting massage lotion/oil all over you and may want to shower afterwards. If you have dirty feet from walking in sandals, don’t worry as I can have warm towels to wipe them. You just come as you are as the purpose is to relax and enjoy your getaway.
- Limit consumption of stimulants like caffeine or sugar
- Make sure you are current on any medication such as for high blood pressure
- Avoid taking anything that will dull your sense of touch such as alcohol, aspirin or muscle relaxants
- Avoid eating immediately before your appointment
- Allow extra time in your schedule so you don’t have to rush to be ready for your session, otherwise it may take longer to reach a relaxed state
Before the Session
- You’ll be asked to fill out a form with questions about medication and past surgeries as massage may not be appropriate or may have to be adjusted for certain conditions
- You’ll have a chance to clarify what areas need of your body need particular attention, such as an issue with your right arm causing you pain so we can customize the massage for you
- You’ll be shown the massage room and where you can put your clothes. You’ll be asked to undress to your level of comfort and lay under the sheet or large towel either facing up or facing down with your face in the head cradle. With Swedish relaxation massage, you will always lay under the sheet or large towel with only the body part being worked on available to be massaged. It’s best to remove all clothes so they don’t get lotion/oil stained. Your private areas will always be covered. The more access I have to muscle attachment points on your bones, the better your muscles will feel. Your comfort is important so please feel free to keep on as much clothes as you want. I can work through underwear, bras, gym shorts, t-shirts, etc… Soft flexible fabrics like workout clothes are best if you would like to stay clothed.
During the Massage
- Relax. Breath. Sink into the table.. Lay like a rag doll. I’ll move your body to various positions. It is your time to relax. There is no need to be helpful – just receive. Breathe deeply and with each breath sink into the table.
- With most massages like Swedish, I will undrape the areas to be worked on. For example, the back will be undraped to the bony area at the low of your back and the sides tucked in by each hip. A sheet will always cover you and keep you warm. There may be additional coverings like a towel or blanket. Genitals will never be uncovered. Breasts will only be uncovered with permission for specific body treatments such as body scrubs or for Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage.
- Massage lotion or oil may be used to assist with the gliding on the skin. The session will start with broad, flowing strokes which helps calm your nervous system. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will be gradually increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. I’ll check with you on occasion for adjustments to pressure and temperature. Please 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.
- On some occasions, emotions may surface during massage. Muscle tension can be a way of holding in emotions. Receiving massage can be a safe, comforting and healthy way to let the emotions come up. This can manifest in different ways for each person. Reactions can include crying or laughing. What happens in the massage room, stays in the massage room.
- Talking is usually kept to a minimum as it can be distracting and take away from what you are feeling. Feel free to sigh or hum with pleasure as it helps me to keep in touch with how things are feeling. If things hurt in a bad way such as pinching or sharp pain, please let me know. Also if something tickles, let me know so I can change my approach. Give feedback during the massage particularly if something is uncomfortable or if you want an area worked on longer or in a different way. This is your time.
- Close your eyes and sense with your touch. Enjoy the feeling.
After the Massage
- When the massage is done, I will leave the room so you can get dressed
- Sit up slowly from the table and take a moment before you get off the table
- It is a good idea to drink a lot of water
- Feel free to give me any feedback about what you liked or didn’t like
Before your next Session
- Make your massage results last by avoiding as many stressful elements as possible
- Schedule your next appointment or better yet get on a consistent schedule for massages. When you make bodywork a regular part of your life, you are helping your body to maintain a better state of balance. In the long run, you stand to enjoy better health gains through consistent sessions.
- Make note of anything that occurs between sessions to bring up with me next time