Practicing Self-Care With Therapeutic Massage
Includes 5 Tips for First Timers or Seasoned Massage Veterans
To me, massages are like magic. And research backs me up too. Massage has been shown to relieve headaches, lessen lower back pain, boost the immune system, and lower blood pressure, pain, and anxiety. So many benefits and again, simply magical.
It’s been over a decade since I last enjoyed a therapeutic massage, so it was time to partake in some much overdue self-care. I visited Sachi Massage and Wellness located in Asheville, North Carolina and couldn’t have had a better experience.
Reader bonus: Be sure to check out the 5 tips for first timers or seasoned veterans below!
I easily set up an appointment for the Sachi Signature Massage, a 60-minute professional massage designed to relieve tension, calm the mind, and soothe aching muscles. I have a hip injury from hiking and I specifically requested that area to receive concentrated attention.
Sachi offers several other massage options if you prefer something else. Print off the First Time Visitor coupon and save $5. I was allowed to use the coupon as well as a gift certificate on my visit. Score!
When I arrived at Sachi, I felt transported to the Himalayan Mountains, surrounded by the soft glow from what seemed like hundreds of Himalayan salt lamps!
Did you know that Himalayan salt lamps are made from pure, food grade, Himalayan salt crystals? True Himalayan salt comes from the western side of the Himalayan Mountains in the Punjab region of Pakistan. Once mined, this salt is hand carved into lamps or powdered to use as salt in recipes.
I have used a Himalayan salt lamp at home for many years and love it!
Okay, back to the massage….
Sydney, my massage therapist for this session, led me upstairs to her treatment room and gave me some privacy to get ready.
The heated massage table felt heavenly, as did the soft blankets and towels covering the table as well as my body.
What followed was a Sachi Signature Massage, with relaxing, long strokes across my skin in the area being worked on. When Sydney finished one area, she covered it up and then uncovered the next area of my body.
The lightly heated massage oil Sydney used felt very soothing and had a gentle, refreshing aroma. She placed warmed towels on my back and feet after massaging those areas. Heavenly! The massage oil worked perfectly with my sensitive skin too.
Throughout the massage, we barely spoke except for necessary information. “How does that feel?” Sydney asked occasionally. I specifically requested someone who would focus on the massage rather than socializing, and I was pleased with how well that worked out.
Sydney did a wonderful job and was very attentive. By the end of the 60-minute session, I felt relaxed and wonderfully pampered.
The treatment room itself was heated with a glowing electric fireplace and softly lit with even more Himalayan salt lamps and a funky sun shaped punched-tin hanging lamp. Not surprising in eclectic Asheville, but it was very tasteful in design.
The spa also played calming music, offering a mix of instrumental pieces and other restful compositions.
Tips For First Timers
So, you haven’t had a professional massage? Maybe you’re unsure of what to expect so you just don’t give it a try?
I believe some people might not try a professional massage because they are embarrassed by their bodies, or just feel creeped out about having a virtual stranger touch them, or perhaps believe it’s a waste the time and money.
Now that I’ve had a massage myself, getting one from someone who understands how to make your muscles relax and helps you de-stress from the world is totally worth it!
If you’re ready to give it a try, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a first timer or seasoned veteran, here are five great massage tips that will help you make the most of your 60-minute slice of heaven.
1. No Talking
Try not to chat during your massage. Just relax! It’s common for first-timers to talk because they are nervous or feel like it’s somehow impolite to just lay there and not socialize. It’s okay to not chat with the therapist unless it relates specifically to the massage.
2. Don’t Stress About Hair
Guys, you don’t need to worry that you have a hairy back. I’ve read that some therapists find it kind of fun to make shapes and patterns while massaging, so it’s a win-win no matter what. And ladies, you don’t need to worry that you didn’t shave your legs.
3. Don’t Stress About Your Body
No one is perfect! Just like medical professionals, massage therapists have seen many weird feet, bulging vein-filled legs, bald spots, flabby bellies, and everything in between. It’s all quite common. Think of it this way: massage therapists have seen more bodies that you will in a lifetime so whatever body part stresses you out, it’s probably not much different from everybody else.
4. Undies or No Undies
It depends on the therapist and they will most likely tell you as they are giving you general instructions when going to the treatment room, but if they don’t, just ask. I like to get down to just my skivvies for maximum massage area and minimum exposure.
5. Choose the Right Therapist
Some therapists are great at relaxing traditional massages but not so good at a deep therapeutic one. Some are very good at both! Be aware of what you want and ask before you schedule with a specific therapist. The therapists want to please you, but they won’t know unless you tell them. The best advice here is communicate, communicate, communicate.
Before You Go
Don’t eat for at least an hour before or after your massage but be sure to drink plenty of water after your service to enhance the benefits of your treatment.
Arrive early so you have time to relax and allow your mind to calm down before your treatment. Lastly, some spas have lockers, but you might want to leave valuables at home.
Have you had a professional massage? Did you love it? Tell us about your experience in a comment below.
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