Here are my top tips for a having great back massage
As someone who has suffered from back pain and as a massage therapist, I have given and received many back massage treatments over the years. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that there are many things you can do to get the most out of a back massage. Most of it is simply stuff you might not have thought about and some are things that only experience has taught me. Allow me to share the things I almost always do before, during and after a back massage.
Book a time you can comfortably make – If you’re visiting during your lunch break or after work, allow enough time so that you don’t have to be in a rush. If anything try and be a couple of minutes early so you can sit down for a minute or even use the toilet.
Plan some chill time for after your massage – I don’t know about everyone else, but I tend to feel pretty mellowed out after a back massage and I like to try and get the most out of it that I can. I don’t always get the chance, but if I can, I try and factor an hour or two for relaxing afterwards. I might go for a walk, enjoy a cup of tea, or if time allows have a short nap. Enjoy the fuzziness for a bit, after all, you paid for it.
Wear something comfortable – Kind of goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many people turn up without being comfortable in mind. If you’re going to be laying on your face for up to an hour or be stretched and manipulated for a bit, wearing something loose and comfortable will make all the difference. Chuck a pair of shorts or trackie bottoms in your bag, maybe even a t-shirt too.
Get comfortable on the table – Most therapists have an assortment of pillows, towels and bolsters to help make you more comfortable during your treatment. A bolster under the feet can help take the pressure off through the legs, glutes and lower back. A pillow or towel under the stomach can help flatten the lower back if it’s a little too arched for your comfort. A good therapist will do all that they can to make things as comfortable as possible for you.
Add tension gradually – After your back massage, it can be very tempting to get back up off the table too quickly. All those muscles in your back suddenly have to spring back into life when what they really could do with instead is some gentle encouragement. This is especially important if you were in a lot of pain prior to the treatment. I’ve made the mistake myself and sat up too quickly thinking everything was fine again only for my back to spasm again.
Drink some fluids – Many therapists will tell you this is to help flush out toxins and detoxify your body. Unfortunately, this is just nonsense. There’s no flushing of anything going on at all unless you go to the loo afterwards. In actual fact, there’s no biological requirement for you to consume extra fluids after a massage. This is a personal thing that I do, and that I feel my body needs.
Have a hot bath or shower – Like the previous suggestion, I doubt there’s any scientific evidence to support this or any actual biological need to do so. I have a hot shower at some point after a back massage for two reasons. It feels good and thus helps me feel more relaxed, and to wash off the massage lotion or oil.
I hope this helps you get more from your next back massage.