Massage For Dummies
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Receiving massage may seem like a passive activity, but knowing and following a few important guidelines can make you a better massage recipient and help you to get more out of your massage.

Let these massage-receiving rules guide you to a great experience on the table (or floor, or couch . . . you get the idea):

  • Keep breathing: While receiving a massage, focus your mind as fully as possible on your breathing to bring your awareness back to your body.

  • Stay loose: If you’re not engaging your mind to relax your own muscles, you’re missing many of the massage’s benefits and effects.

  • Let go: Don’t help your partner give you a massage. Just lying there like a noodle is really the best thing you can do.

  • Stop thinking, start being: When you’re getting a massage, don’t think about what you should have done or plan to do. A massage is time to be here now.

  • No pain, no gain? No way!: Although certain muscle knots and patterns of tension do respond well to firm, well-focused pressure, you don’t necessarily need to experience it for yourself. Harder massage isn’t always better massage; sometimes the lightest touch can achieve the most profound benefits.

  • Listen to your emotions: If you encounter an emotional peak during a massage, relax, breathe, and allow it to happen.

  • Blissing out is okay: Sometimes massage makes you feel more than great; it makes you feel ecstatic, rapturous, and filled with bliss. Go with that feeling.

  • It’s cool to be nude (or not): The key for massage situations is to respect the attitudes of both people at all times. If either person feels uncomfortable with any kind of skin exposure whatsoever, you’re much better off to keep that area covered than to cause discomfort.

  • You’re the boss: You have complete authority to change anything that may be making you uncomfortable during a massage.

  • Be grateful: During the massage itself, spend some time being grateful for what you’re experiencing in the moment.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Steve Capellini, LMT, is a licensed massage therapist, trainer, and consultant. He has authored several books and has appeared on TV and in magazines.

Michel Van Welden, PT, NT, received his training at the Physical Therapy Institute of Paris, specializing in orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation.

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