What Does A Massage Feel Like?
- September 13, 2017
- Posted by: Embrace Beauty Academy
- Category: Beauty Therapy Massage
What Does A Massage Feel Like?
If you’ve never had a massage then you may be wondering what it feels like. Well, in answer to your question we’d say that it depends on two things:
- the type of massage you’ve asked for
- your ability to communicate effectively with the massage therapist
To have an enjoyable experience, it’s important to know sufficient about both these aspects of massage. Ultimately, you can decide how much pressure your therapist delivers.
If you’re a massage virgin then the best place to start is with a Swedish massage. This is perfect for beginners as well as nervous types worried it may hurt.
So what’s a Swedish massage?
In essence it’s all about relaxing your body while at the same time it provides a whole host of health benefits:
- It detoxes the lymph system,
- Oxygenates the blood
- Extends muscle range and flexibility
- and improves circulation.
Deep tissue massage is similar to a Swedish massage with the difference being that your therapist will use stronger pressure and focus on releasing muscles which are seriously tight. He or she may use a technique known as trigger point therapy which can feel uncomfortable, but don’t be afraid to speak up if the pressure feels too much for you. Sometimes even moderate pressure can really hurt on tight muscles, so it’s very important for you to communicate with your therapist.
Beginning with Swedish massage
The best way to get acquainted with massage and your therapist is to start off with the Swedish method. Once you get used to the therapist’s touch and your body relaxes you may want to try deeper massage and other types, including hot stone, trigger point, and sports massage. Although they’re closely intertwined, they have differing techniques. Besides, the more you try, the more you’ll find out what you like.
The other factor that affects how the massage feels is your therapist. As you know, we all have different ways of doing the same things, and this is no different with massage therapists. Each one develops their own style. As a result, and depending on your particular therapist, their style of Swedish massage may involve slow soothing strokes with a light pressure, gradually building to more vigorous movements; or it may involve firm pressure and faster movements from the outset. Remember, you can ask your therapist to adjust the pressure to a level you feel more at ease with.
The golden rule of massage
No matter what type of massage you’re receiving it and who the massage therapist is, the treatment should feel good. A massage shouldn’t hurt – not even a deep tissue massage. Instead it should feel deeply relaxing. If this isn’t the case then it’s probably that your body can’t take the force of pressure being applied. Listen to what your body is telling you and communicate this to your therapist. Unless they have mystic powers then it’s unlikely they know what you’re feeling and won’t do if you don’t tell them.
So, what happens during a massage?
You’re more likely to feel at ease if you know what to expect during your first massage. Generally you start facing down with your face in a sort of cradle so that you don’t strain your neck. Depending on how you feel about removing your clothes, you may be naked beneath a sheet, or you can be wearing your underwear, or any loose, light clothes that you feel comfortable in.
Typically your therapist should have warmed their hands first and indicated that they’re about to start so that you aren’t surprised when they first touch you. They’ll use massage oil so that their hands glide effortlessly over your body.
Classic Swedish massage strokes are used to loosen and relax muscle tissue, these include:
- ‘effleurage’ or smooth, gliding strokes which warm up the muscle tissue. Done slowly this is very relaxing and carried out faster, it feels more invigorating
- ‘petrissage’ or kneading which involves lifting and pulling the muscle tissue away from the bone structure and working it more deeply
- cross-fibre friction when targeting a specific trouble spot. This separates tissues, restores circulation, and makes the tissue feel more pliable.
Some therapists even involve passive stretching such as moving your arm over your head to mobilise the joint.
The best….. no the only way to find out what a massage feels like and what style you enjoy, is to try out different therapists and re-book the ones you like. Only that way will you enjoy the long term health benefits of massage.