Self-care seems to be trending more and more these past couple years…and what a crazy couple years it has been! It’s about time the world has caught up with the thoughts of your wellness providers. For those that provide such services, we continue to strive for them to be viewed as more than luxuries. It’s true that not every single person can afford a monthly massage or facial, but can you imagine how much calmer and nicer a world it would be if they were considered regular habits for all? If the monthly massage or facial was as a part of the budget as the cell phone bill? It would be so much nicer!
No matter how often you are able to do so, when you schedule a massage or facial, you are investing in yourself. Your mind and your body will thank you. Here are some tips to maximize your massage or facial:
1) Don’t eat a heavy meal or drink alcohol before your session.
You should definitely eat a couple hours before a massage or facial (food is nutrition for the body), but a heavy meal or alcohol will leave the body feeling blah. Remember that feeling you got when you stuffed yourself silly? Imagine that feeling when you are laying down for an hour, with some of that hour being on your stomach. Not the best feeling in the world and not the best way to spend an hour of relaxation. A snack or water is definitely okay, but we recommend staying away from heavy foods and ones that you know trigger discomfort for your body.
2) Arrive at least 10 minutes before your appointment.
I understand that I am very militant and if I am not 10 minutes early, then I am late. And I completely understand that not everybody is like me. For a massage or facial appointment, arriving early is definitely important. Arriving early allows you to relax. You won’t feel rushed, you can use the potty (yes, I said potty) before heading in to your session, have a sip of water and start the relaxation process. It will also allow you enough time for us to discuss your concerns. Being 10 minutes early allows you to do all this and start your session on time so you can get the full amount of time for which you paid.
3) Honestly and completely fill out your Client Intake Form.
I get this question a lot, “Oh, I have to fill out paperwork? Why?” Simply put, there are a lot of reasons and one of those reasons is that it is required by law as massage therapy is regulated by the Department of Health in Florida. Skin care is regulated by a different department, but we elevate our skin care standards to meet the massage standards. Unfortunately, I don’t think people realize how beneficial, medically, a massage or facial can be. I’m sure you’ve heard of some benefits of massages and facials, but there are also conditions that are contraindicated for a massage or facial (i.e. cancer, unless given written permission by your oncologist). All the information that you provide on your intake form gives us guidance on how to best give you the service you need and deserve. We don’t want to stretch your hips a certain way if you have a hip replacement. We don’t want to give you a massage or facial with products to which you are allergic…um, definitely not relaxing! “Wow, that massage that made me break out in hives was awesome!” said no one ever.
I could go on and on about the importance of the Client Intake Form, but I think you get the point. And a little side perk, providing us with your birth date allows us to send you a discount coupon for your birthday. Coupons! Holla!
This is your session. You should enjoy it. During a massage, if the pressure is too deep, please tell us. If the pressure is too light, please tell us. If the peel is too intense, please tell us. If there was something you really liked/didn’t like during the session, please tell us. Get the drift? Your feedback gives us the opportunity to give you the best service possible.
5) Lose Your Insecurities.
Our treatment room is the one place in the world where you know you will not be judged. Hair color, weight, acne…it doesn’t matter to us! During the session, you might hear us say things like, “Your neck is tight” or “You have a lot of blackheads on your nose” or “Consider adding stretching into your daily routine”. All the “criticism” that you hear us say during a massage or facial are merely explanations or suggestions on how to protect your investment (because massages and facials are investments!). You will not, however, ever EVER hear us say that someone is fat or ugly or has bad skin. You’ve come to us for help. That is our job, to help you, not judge you. Every body is beautiful. The end.
For the love of Pete, relax! This is your time. Yours. Although it’s easier said than done, clear your mind. Don’t worry about work, don’t worry about the kids, don’t worry about what to have for dinner. If relaxing means talking, talk. If it means not talking, don’t talk. If it means falling asleep, good night!
7) Allow yourself to relax afterwards.
You will get more benefits out of your massage or facial if you don’t go on a stress-ridden, marathon of errand running after your massage. Yes, life must go on after your massage, but try to make it low-key. Give yourself some quiet time afterwards. It will help prolong the results we achieved during your session.
8) Keep Hydrated
Why, oh why, does every massage therapist tell you to drink water after your massage? ‘Cause all the cool kids are doing it! But seriously, on average, the adult human body is 60-ish% water. That’s significant. Every system in your body functions better when it is hydrated. Dehydration leads to impaired physical and mental performance. By the time you get thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Being hydrated will keep your skin healthy, help your muscles recover faster and enhance your mental focus. So now that you’ve spent an hour on my table working out (Yup, we said it. Working out. You spent an hour laying down and we did all the hard work. Ultimate work out, yes?), so please keep up your end of the bargain and stay hydrated!
9) Make it a habit
We have magic hands, not a magic wand. Haha! You can’t take one pill and be cured. You can’t run one time and win the gold medal in a marathon. You can’t come to me for one session and have all your knots/wrinkles/acne/pain go away. The benefits of massages and facials are cumulative and we will get the best results when you realize that this investment in yourself is important. Continue to make it a part of your regular self-care routine.
10) Live life well.
Health and happiness is a perfect marriage. We can help improve both of these while you are on our table, but we hope you are able to sustain it between sessions. Live well, laugh often, love much.