When it comes to your massage, you want to get the most out of your session – whether that’s reducing stress, relieving pain or just seeking some much-need relaxation. An experienced therapist should be able to pick up many clues about your needs through an initial interview before the session. Even by how you sit, talk and walk can clue a massage therapist in to your needs!

What you divulge to your masseuse can be critical to a successful bodywork session. Don’t hesitate to discuss particular issues you would like addressed (i.e. tension, knots or lower back pain) and feel free to ask about the techniques your therapist will use in your session.

A skilled massage therapist will be in tune with your body and energy. But if they aren't, let them know!

Massage is a safe therapeutic art, but information can be key to a successful session. Before you get started, make sure to let your therapist know about any acute or chronic medical conditions you may have. Depending on your situation, massage may be used cautiously, or not at all. For example, massage should be avoided when a person has a fever, open wounds, or particular skin disorders. People with long-term medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer or osteoporosis, should seek a physican’s advice before massage. With medical supervision, a trained masseuse often helps ease long-term pain and stress, usually with gentle strokes and personalized techniques.

During the session, vocalize your needs as they arise. If the room is too warm or cold, speak up. The massage session is for YOU! Your therapist knows this, but may not be sensitive to your particular needs. (As a therapist, it’s my hope that your masseuse is tuned into your physical clues.)

Herbal and aromatherapeutic oils add healing benefits to massage. If you’re sensitive to an oil, if you’d like your therapist to use more/less massage oil, or if you don’t care for the way your oil smells – let your masseuse know! We welcome your feedback, and it’s important to us that you get the most out of your session.

It’s also important to distinguish between comfortable and uncomfortable pain during your massage. Feel free to ask your therapist for less or more pressure, depending on your needs. You might experience some initial discomfort throughout sensitive areas of your body, or during deep-tissue work, but this should go away once your muscles relax a few minutes later. This is comfortable pain. But if you’re feeling pain that causes you to wince, cry out, or tense up, it’s probably not doing you any good.

The healing touch of massage is one of the best gifts you can give your body. Be candid with your massage therapist so you can be sure to get the most out of this wonderful gift!