So, I am not a licensed massage therapist, nor am I an expert in body mechanics, but I do own a spa, and have received hundreds of massages. In fact, due to lower back problems starting in my 20s, I have had the full gamut of different kinds of massages and bodywork for over 40 years. So, I thought I would pass along my secret to having a “great massage”.
But let my digress for a moment. I do recall that when I first started getting regular massages, that I would lay on the table like a lump, hoping the therapist would find and focus on all of my sore spots. This was a hit and miss proposition, and it was mainly due to my lack of active involvement in the outcome. I was unsure what I was supposed to do and say. Moreover, if I was not completely satisfied, I would determine that the therapist wasn’t very good and move on to another practitioner.
While some practitioners may be better than others, the real secret to having a great massage is good communication, both before and during the massage. Make sure you discuss with your massage therapist what you would like to achieve (such as relaxation vs. muscle release) and discuss any areas that you would like to focus on or to avoid. Make sure you tell them what you consider a full body massage, if that is your desire. Most massage therapists will check in with their clients as to pressure, but going beyond that is essential to having a great experience.
Lastly, I would also recommend that before you start your massage, take the time to relax and wind down. At our spa, we offer a steam/shower before or after the massage, and time to relax in our lounge with a hot stone foot wrap, heated neck wrap and a warm cup of tea.