Getting a massage is a simple act that's loaded with health benefits. It can help reduce muscle pain, improve digestion, and even improve sleep. But massage isn't as simple as lying on a table. The choices you make leading up to, during, and after a massage can affect your experience. Fortunately, our tips for getting the most out of your first massage are here to help.

Pick the Right Kind of Massage

Different massages are designed to meet different needs, so it pays to research them beforehand. The main types include:

  • Swedish massage: a gentle massage perfect for general relaxation.
  • Hot stone massage: a massage using warm stones to help melt away muscle tension.
  • Deep tissue massage: a more intense massage that helps target the sources of muscle pain.
  • Aromatherapy massage: a massage that utilizes the relaxing power of essential oils for a total relaxation experience.

Before you get your first massage, decide what your goal is. Do you have chronic pain? Are you trying to decrease anxiety? Or is your goal to have a pleasant, relaxing time? Choosing the right type of massage for your body will help you get the most out of your first massage.

Watch What You Consume

A massage doesn't just target the muscles; it helps release toxins in the body and move things along in your gastrointestinal tract. Because of that, what you eat and drink may impact your massage experience. Consuming alcohol before a massage can increase the alcohol's negative effects and make you more intoxicated, and eating a heavy meal beforehand can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.

Along with this, it's essential that you drink water both before and after a massage. All those internal massage benefits like releasing toxins and improving gut health require a lot of water. This can cause you to become dehydrated if you aren't careful.

Communicate With Your Therapist

When you're relaxing in a massage chair, you can change the massage settings with the push of a button if you don't like them. Unfortunately, people don't have the same feature. So, if you're getting a massage with a human massage therapist, you need to communicate your needs during the massage. If what they're doing is hurting you or you want them to focus their attention elsewhere, say so.

Stretch Afterward

Most people are surprised to find themselves sore the day after their first massage. But post-massage soreness is a common experience comparable to post-workout soreness, and it can be tackled the same way. Take the time to do some light stretching after your massage. Stretching is also relaxing, so it'll help you extend your post-massage peace-of-mind for even longer.

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