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Massage Preparation

Preparing for a Massage at Home—What Do I Need to Know?

Question:

I have a busy schedule, and I simply don’t have the time to get out to a spa for a massage. Nor do I have the energy – after a long day at work and chasing after my kids, I don’t feel like going anywhere! I’ve seen that I can order a massage therapist to come to my home, but I’m not sure how to prepare for that. What should I do to get ready for a massage at home?

Answer:

It’s true that the people who live busy, high-stress lives and probably need a massage the most also have the most difficult time fitting massage therapy into their schedules. Massage therapy can help reduce your stress both physically and psychologically, according to the American Massage Therapy Association.[1]

Regular massage can have a significant positive impact on your overall health and well-being. Massage is also clinically proven to reduce anxiety levels and promote relaxation.[2] When you have a hectic routine, finally relaxing at the end of the day can be difficult. A massage session can help, provided you find the time to schedule one.

Luckily, you can order a licensed and vetted massage therapist to come to your home at any time when it’s convenient for you. But there are a few things you should do before your massage therapist arrives that will make the session run more smoothly and enable you to get the full benefit of your massage.

Your massage therapist will bring a specially designed massage table with them, so you need to clear space in a room for the massage therapist to set up the table.[3] Make sure there’s plenty of room for them to move on all sides of the table. Close off the room so that you’ll have privacy. If you have any pets, it may be a good idea to keep them out of the room while you’re getting your massage. Likewise, you want to make sure your kids won’t come into the room to interrupt your massage.

You may want to take a shower or bath before your massage therapist arrives. That will allow you to unwind and can make you feel less self-conscious. After your bath or shower, put on something comfortable. You can set your own comfort level in terms of disrobing, but it’s probably best to wear something that’s easy to take on and off.

Your massage therapist will bring everything they need, including sheets and towels for draping your body. As your body relaxes, expect your basal body temperature to drop.[4] You may want to leave a blanket in the room in case you get cold, as well as adjusting your thermostat so that the room is slightly warm. Your massage therapist may also bring some massage-friendly music with them, but if there’s something particular that you want to listen to, feel free to queue it up.

When your massage therapist arrives at your home, take a moment to share any house rules – such as if you want them to take off their shoes or use coasters under massage oil bottles. The massage therapist will be more than happy to oblige and ensure you have the most relaxing and stress-free session possible.

References:

[1] American Massage Therapy Association: “Massage Therapy Can Relieve Stress” https://www.amtamassage.org/statement2.html

[2] Western Journal of Medicine: “Massage therapies” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071543/

[3] Id.

[4] Biomedical Human Kinetics: “Using thermal imaging to assess the effect of classical massage on selected physiological parameters of upper limbs” https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/bhk.2014.6.issue-1/bhk-2014-0024/bhk-2014-0024.pdf

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