May 2, 2018 | | Self_Care

How to make the most out of your massage time

How often have you heard, "This is such a busy time?" I have plenty. Seems as though everyone is moving quickly from one thing to the next. Between work, picking up kids, going to appointments, walking the dog. We are all on the " go, go, go!" However, when you do make the decision to slow down for a little "me time," and get a massage, why not make the most of it?

Arriving 15-20 mins before your scheduled time starts the relaxation process. Slip into a robe, sip hot tea or water and start leaving the day behind you. That means your phone too! No need to bring it in with you. Tuck it safely in one of our lockers with your clothes. Now, when you cozy yourself onto the warm massage table, take a few slow, deep breaths into your belly.  Focus on the rhythm of your breaths in and out, feel the rise and fall of each one. This is the start to rest your mind. That way, your body will follow. Receiving a massage is as much of a mental thing as it is a physical one. A mantra is a good way to have the mind quiet down. What is a mantra you ask? A mantra is a word or phrase that you repeat in your mind. Like "I am letting go of tension" and "my body is healing" or a word such as "Om."  Instead of laying on the table replaying conversations from the day or going over your "to do" list, using a mantra aligns your mind with your body.

As you start to relax(and sometimes even BEFORE someone is on the table) I hear, " I apologize if I fall alseep." Please don't apologize and please DO fall asleep! No need to fight it- in fear of missing out on the good feeling- if your body is asking for sleep let yourself go- A body at rest is a body healing! And for those that are just resting, instead of "tuning out" everything, I suggest "tuning in." Tune inward to see if you are holding tension anywhere. Clenching jaw? Shoulders creeping up to your ears? Tune in. Breathe in. And when you breathe out, release the tension and allow your body to receive the TLC.

When all is said and done and your therapist gives you the cue that the massage is finished, by all means don't rush to get up. Stretch, sit up and stretch a little more. And with your robe and slippers back on, a smiling face will be there to meet you with a cup of water as you exit the room. I know you will now want to race to the locker and grab your phone for a "massage selfie" but wait on that. The world will still be there. Sit and revel in your relaxed zone! Each person can feel something different afterwards. Could be the sleepy relaxed heaviness or an energized one. Take notice of yours. Honor it.

So, Which ever time you choose -from 30 mins up to 90 mins, add hot stones or parafin for your feet or hands-Enjoy this time for you. And then pick up your phone and share your "massage selfie!"

Dr. Susan Larson, LMT DC