Preparing for a full-body massage; relax better

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A full-body massage treatment

In this post, you will learn what is included and what to expect in a full-body massage, and how to prepare for your first and subsequent appointments.

Intro

A full-body massage is designed to be relaxing, rejuvenating, & therapeutic. Being informed and prepared can help you relax before, during, & after the massage.

While rituals involving touching are very natural, think of maternal skin-to-skin and religious rites like laying of hands, letting a “stranger” touch your body can be quite awkward and uncomfortable.

Could this explain why despite the significant benefits of massage therapy, only 33% of ladies from a survey I conducted on my Instagram page have ever had a massage?

A massage therapist applies deep pressure with the fore-arm on the back muscles of a client

The good news is that change is happening and more ladies in Nairobi are embracing massage as a time for relaxation, introspection, and healing.

What is a full-body massage?

A full-body massage covers your entire body starting from the feet and ending with the head.

A massage therapist gently pressed on the stomach of a client during a full-body treatment in Nairobi

This includes the stomach (though some people are not comfortable letting their stomach be touched) but excludes your breasts and private parts.

First, we work on your backside as you lay on your stomach, and end with the front side as you lay on the back.

What to expect in your massage session

  1. You will be undressed but covered. It’s completely normal and okay to feel uncomfortable getting undressed for a full-body massage appointment.
    • A massage therapist is able to do a more precise job than they could do with thick layers of clothing in the way.
    • We give you space to undress alone and you can choose to keep your underwear if it makes you feel more comfortable. Throughout the session, you remain covered with a thin sheet except for the area being worked on.
    • If it helps, you can book a back massage coupled with a foot massage to acclimatize to touch therapy before scheduling a full-body massage.
  2. Don’t be afraid to speak out. Your massage therapist has no way of knowing how the massage feels like for you. It’s normal for certain aspects of a massage to feel slightly uncomfortable, but if that discomfort becomes actual pain, you need to tell your massage therapist. Everyone has a different tolerance for pressure and injured or sore muscles may be highly sensitive.
    1. If you have a specific spot that’s giving you trouble, tell your therapist to give those areas more attention. We can only find muscles that seem tense but you know yourself better.
    2. However, if you have a sports injury or are pregnant it is better to book a deep tissue massage or prenatal massage.
  3. Breathe calmly. The massage therapist’s job is to work out the tension in your muscles and improve your circulation. Your job is to keep your body properly oxygenated. Breathing deeply and calmly, almost as though you’re meditating, keeps your blood oxygenated. The rushing of the oxygen-rich blood through the muscle being massaged is the mechanism behind how massage works to make you feel better.

How to prepare for a massage

  1. Hydrate before and after. Massage stimulates circulation and the removal of waste from the muscles. In order to properly facilitate that flushing process, the body needs a lot of water. In the aftermath of your massage, your muscles will likely be dehydrated especially if you weren’t properly hydrated before. It is important to hydrate yourself after the massage to avoid residual soreness of the muscles.
  2. Plan your workout before. After a massage, your muscles are relaxed. A pre-workout massage might make your workout a little more difficult. Walking into the gym so loose and limber will put you in too relaxed of a state to have an efficient workout. Instead, schedule a soothing full-body massage as your reward for an amazing workout session.
  3. Shower before.
    • A shower is a great idea for a number of reasons. First, you’ll be clean and won’t have to worry about any of your natural smells becoming apparent to your massage therapist.
    • Secondly, a long warm shower will jumpstart the relaxation process. Your muscles will be ready for the massage for you to reap the most benefits
  4. Have a light meal (if you must). Getting a full-body massage on a full stomach can be uncomfortable.
    • Eat something light a few hours beforehand and plan a larger meal for after your massage.
    • A massage manipulates both the muscles and the organs and can have an effect on your digestive system. This can lead to the letting out of gas. If it happens, don’t be embarrassed, your massage therapist already knows it may happen.

A full-body massage session – video

Remember that you are in the driver’s seat and that the experience is all for you. Guide your massage therapist. If you know what you want, even if it’s to spend the entire session working on only one of your legs, just tell your massage therapist.

A massage therapist gently strokes the quad muscle of a client during a full-body massage treatment at the client's home in Nairobi

Is it time to schedule your home appointment? Go ahead. Did you like this post? Feel free to share it. Got questions/comments? Get in touch via email or the buttons below.

Last Updated on September 21, 2021