On Saturday I got a massage.
That hour was one of the shortest hours of my life.
The first time I got a massage was several years ago. My mom had been going to a massage therapist and when I was home for Christmas break one time I tagged along with her to visit one myself. I was really anxious about it because in my head I was naked on a table with some strange person touching all over me, and that did not sound appealing! Thankfully it was not like that at all. I enjoyed it then, but as I’ve become an “adult” and I live in “the real world,” the occasional massage means even more to me. Every few months, I get to a point where I can feel all the hours at my computer, all the nights of funny sleep, and all the commutes just scrunched up in my neck and shoulder muscles. I mean, I literally notice sometimes that my shoulders are up by my ears and I have to consciously tell myself to lower them. One time DURING a massage, the masseuse kept having to tell me to relax my shoulders, and I kept thinking, in a very un-relaxed fashion, “They ARE relaxed!!!”
Yeah, I carry a little bit of tension around.
It’s not like I’m a lady of leisure and I just go get massages all the time. It’s definitely a splurge for me, and I consider it a special occasion treat. I got one at the place where Andy and I stayed for our one-year anniversary, for example, and earlier this year I used some Christmas money to get another one. But I’m trying to include it on my list of things I do that I don’t have to do, because it really is so wonderful. After my Christmas massage, the masseuse told me she thought if she saw me again she could really get some knots out for me, so I made it a point to go back within the next month or so. Now, that was in, hmmm, maybe February? And I don’t think I’ve been since then (until this past Saturday). So I’m still working on it. But it is WORTH IT.
Here are some things that would have helped me feel more comfortable about my first massage:
- You should have the option to specify whether you want a male or female masseuse. Personally, I feel more comfortable having a female, so it's nice peace of mind getting to choose.
- You don't have to be completely undressed! I choose to leave on my underwear.
- But! No matter what, you are never fully exposed to the massage therapist. You'll likely be on the table under a cotton sheet and blanket, and for the most part all but the body part the masseuse is currently working on will be covered. And when it's time to turn over from your back to your stomach, (s)he will hold up the blanket, shielding you, and look away while you roll over.
- Bring something to put your hair up with so they have good access to your neck and shoulders. I forgot this once and it wasn't as nice! Similarly, take off all your jewelry. It just gives the masseuse better access to everything.
- Unless you're treating an injury or just have really acute tension, I would let the masseuse work everything out. You may not THINK you need a massage for your legs, but everything is connected and often massaging your legs helps work out something in your back. So don't rule anything out.
- Go sans makeup if you can. For some parts the masseuse may put an aromatherapy eye mask over your eyes, or (s)he may rub your temples with some essential oils. While having makeup on wouldn't rule these options out, I just know it would be nice not to worry about what it will look like afterwards.
My only complaint about massages is how oily I usually feel afterwards. I guess my skin is somewhat oily to begin with so it does not soak up all of that good massage oil. But if your skin tends to be dry I bet that would be a really nice bonus of the massage!
And actually, I guess I have one more complaint about massages: that they have to end.
Getting the occasional massage really works for me!