Does the thought of getting a massage make your muscles tense up? Here’s how to relax when you’re getting a massage, so you can get the most out of your visit to a registered massage therapist.
The Complete Book of Massage is a bestselling massage book on Amazon, probably because it’s a comprehensive guide with step-by-step instructions. If you can’t afford a professional massage (I pay $90 an hour, but it’s worth it), get a book on massage. You don’t need a partner to give and receive relaxing, effective massages – you can exchange massages your sister, friend, or parent.
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“Massage used to be considered an unnecessary luxury,” writes Larry Costa in Massage: Mind and Body. “Today, it is valued as one of the most effective methods of combating stress and inducing relaxation, but also for its many other physical and mental benefits, including expelling toxins, relieving muscle soreness, increasing flexibility, easing chronic pain, reducing tension headaches, boosting the immune system, promoting restful sleep, and improving concentration.”
Boy, am I glad I got a massage today! I’ve been going to a registered massage therapist sporadically – once a year – but my New Year’s Resolution is to get a massage every two months.
How to Relax When You’re Getting a Massage
If you’re getting a massage to help you sleep better, you might find the relaxation techniques in Acupuncture for Snoring – A Natural Remedy for Good Sleep helpful.
Remember that you’re not the first, and you won’t be the last
Do you feel uncomfortable when getting a professional massage from a registered massage therapist? If so, you’re not alone. I couldn’t really relax until my fifth or sixth massage. I still feel a bit awkward sometimes, especially when I remember I forgot to shave my legs! But I keep telling myself I’m not the first body she’s ever massaged. And, my body is no worse or better than any other body…she’s seen it all.
Don’t talk during the massage
This is a tough tip for me – but it’s one of the most relaxing ones! When I talk to my massage therapist, my mind is all over the place. I’m thinking, planning, remembering, and focusing on our conversation. That does not make the massage relaxing, nor does it help me sleep later. I’d much rather be silent, completely quiet, when I’m getting a massage.
If your massage therapist is a talker and you feel awkward asking her to be quiet, get a new massage practitioner. Talking isn’t relaxing (unless perhaps you’re an extrovert).
Keep your eyes closed
When your eyes are open, you’re more likely to be distracted.
Your eye movements keep you alert and focused on what’s happening in the room – not on the therapeutic touch of the massage of therapist. This is a relaxation technique for sleep, meditation and yoga, too. This tip on how to relax when you’re getting a massage will help you slow down and focus inward.
Focus on your breathing
One of the best ways to relax during a massage for sleep is to focus on the in and out of your breathing. Take deep breaths in – in fact, stop and take a deep breath right now! See how good it feels? Doesn’t it relax you, make you feel calmer and less stressed? When you’re getting a massage focus on breathing in and out. Notice the rhythm of your breath, what it sounds like, what it feels like to fill your lungs with air.
Repeat a mantra or prayer when you’re getting a massage
The first few times I went to my massage therapist, I repeated the words “freedom” and “forgiveness” to myself, over and over. It distracted me from thinking (and thinking is what makes one feel awkward while getting a massage). This relaxation tip requires a bit of advance preparation. That is, you should set your mantra or affirmation prior to getting the massage – and avoid the stress of having to think one up while you’re trying to relax.
Wear wireless headphones
One of the best ways to relax when you’re getting a massage is to wear Wireless Headphones or earbuds. This way, you don’t feel the need to make conversation – which I always do – and you won’t feel weird about the silence between you and the registered massage therapist. And, you can listen to what you want!
Getting a full-body massage from a registered massage therapist is one of the healthiest things you can do for your mind, body, and soul. Massage for sleep feels great, too. But if you can’t relax during the massage, then it may not be as effective. So, take lots of deep breaths, and enjoy the touch of a professional, registered massage therapist.
What prevents you from relaxing when you’re getting a massage?
This is how I relax: I remind myself how effective massage is for sleep and curing common health ailments. Research proves that massage can prevent illness and improve the immune system…and it feels great! I always have to remind myself to relax during a massage – and the more massages I get, the easier it is to relax.
Do you have any relaxation tips or ideas about massage for sleep? What works for you? I welcome your comments below…
On a slightly related note, I also wrote How to Relax When You’re Getting a Pap Smear on Blossom Into Health.