Things You Should Not Do Before A Massage
The answer to the question on everyone’s minds. Here are five things you should NOT do before a massage. In reality, you don’t have to do much of anything while receiving massage (except maybe breathe!)—but that “not-doing” also extends to the hours leading up to the massage.
So, seeking to provide clarity on this, we present you with a list of things to avoid before showing up to your appointment.
1. Don’t Come in Sick
This goes for pre- and post-Covid-19! Even though you’ve been looking forward to your massage (as anyone would!), it’s still best to cancel if it comes to your attention that your immune system isn’t in tip-top shape. While massage does give a boost to your immune system, a massage during illness or infection can actually make things worse. Massage usually works to the benefit of the person seeking better health; however, one of the main things it does is increase circulation. So, in the case of someone undergoing illness, a massage session might do the exact opposite of what you want, and spread infection to other parts of your body. Also—and this should go without saying—your massage therapist doesn’t want to catch a cold. And they definitely don’t want to risk passing the infection on to other clients.
2. Don’t Sunbathe
Receiving a massage while you’re sunburned doesn’t even sound fun, right? Like, at all. In addition to being sensitive after prolonged exposure to the sun, your skin becomes vulnerable while trying to heal—it’s literally trying to develop new tissue! Bodywork inherently creates friction, which can cause sunburned skin working to knit itself back together to break. Even though a nice long lotion application feels nice, it's best to reschedule. You just don’t want to do that to yourself.
3. Don’t Be Intoxicated
Being intoxicated desensitizes you. For one, this makes it difficult to give reliable feedback to your massage therapist. Alcohol, muscle relaxers, mood stabilizers, and pain medications can all interrupt your perception of pain and/or your ability to communicate with your therapist. Additionally, alcohol and some medications that thin the blood should also be avoided because of the pressure and increase of blood circulation caused during massage. The same principle as being sick, basically.
4. Don’t Overly Groom
While we do appreciate a clean body, resist the urge to overdo the self-groom. Using an abrasive scrubber when you shower can create same-day sensitivity during your session. There is no need to moisturize before your massage appointment—in fact, your massage therapist may not appreciate the additional moisture or fragrance. So don’t feel the need to go balls-to-the-wall with your hygiene routine prior to an appointment—it’s in everyone’s best interest!
5. Don’t Apologize for Your Body
Finally, and sometimes one of the hardest things you should not do before a bodywork session… Don’t apologize for your body. There’s no need to apologize for being you. A good professional massage therapist will not judge you based on your size or shape. Explaining why you haven’t shaved your legs or had a pedicure or whatever it is are all unnecessary. We never apologize for our bodies. We are only here to take care of them.
Zach Stahlecker, CMT, CAMTC #41331
Zach Stahlecker is an experienced bodyworker in Sacramento and owner of Sacramento Massage Studio. Over the years, he has created a thriving practice and an environment that unites serenity with healing. He prides himself on providing professional therapeutic services in a warm and comfortable manner.
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