Where to begin? Well, massage is not just a feel-good treatment - there's a lot more to it than that. When you get a massage, your tissues and muscles are being manipulated in such a way that it helps to break-up adhesions, increase range of motion and flexibility, and decrease cramping, pain, and stiffness. Your endorphins are released, which is your body's natural painkiller. Your lymphatic system is stimulated, which helps you in fighting infections. You tend to be more relaxed afterwards, and even sleep better. So, the question really should be, why not get a massage?
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A MASSAGE?
When you get your massage, you'll be asked a few questions regarding your health status and any problem areas you may have. You will be led to the massage room, which is dimly lit with soft music playing. In order to access the skin, you will be asked to disrobe down to your undergarments once left alone, and then lie down on the table underneath the sheets. If you feel more comfortable, women may wear shorts and a bikini top (bra not recommended due to oil). The therapist will then pull the sheet back to expose the area being worked on. You are then turned over while draped to have your opposite side massaged. Your comfort and discretion is maintained the entire session.
It is recommended that you shower before your massage. It is also recommended that you drink plenty of water before and after your massage - before so that your muscles are hydrated and easier to manipulate, and after to help flush out any substances released from the tissues and muscles by the massage.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A MASSAGE?
PURE BLISS! Afterwards, you should be feeling relaxed, and may even feel a little groggy. Within a day or so, some people feel a little sore, since muscles are massaged and knots are relieved. This is a normal part of our body's inflammatory response. It's similar, although not as severe, as to when you work out and feel sore the next day or two. Remember, not everyone reacts the same way. I recommend you stretch afterwards for the next couple days, and drink plenty of water to help keep your tissues and muscles flushed and well hydrated.
WHEN SHOULDN'T I GET A MASSAGE?
There are certain health issues and situations where a massage could actually worsen conditions. Some of these conditions where massage is not recommended are - if you suffer from bleeding disorders or are taking blood thinners/anticoagulants, have a recent injury, skin infections or open wounds, or currently have a fever or infection. If you have a medical condition that is not listed, or are just unsure because of a past condition, you should always seek your physician's advice before getting a massage.