Tag: prenatal massage

How to Get the Most Out of a Massage

Massage can reduce the stress hormone cortisol, increase levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, and help the body expel toxins through sweating. These benefits can lead to better sleep patterns and reduced anxiety for some people. It can also stimulate the release of endorphins to boost mood and diminish pain sensations. The gliding technique known as effleurage is especially good for easing breathing and relaxing the lungs.


Flow State Massage is generally used to promote relaxation, treat painful muscular conditions and reduce anxiety. The physical touch involved in massage stimulates the nervous system, and the effects of this can be long lasting. Massage reduces stress hormones, such as norepinephrine and epinephrine, which are responsible for stimulating the fight or flight response in our bodies. Massage also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for calming the body during times of high stress. This makes it easier to fall asleep and sleep better, which is especially important for those with insomnia.

The physical touch involved in massage also stimulates the endocrine system, which produces hormones that can help with depression and anxiety. It triggers the release of feel good hormones, like oxytocin and endorphins, which are known to relieve stress and anxiety. This helps people feel more in control of their emotions, and may even help with anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

In addition, the squeezing and pressing movements of massage can stimulate the production of white blood cells, which help our body combat deadly viruses and bacteria. This is one reason why it’s often recommended for patients with compromised immune systems.

A good massage can also help to boost muscle health by promoting the transport of oxygen and nutrients to muscles, which helps them repair faster after intense workouts. This can help athletes recover and return to training more quickly.

Massage can also improve digestion by helping to flush out the large intestines, allowing them to eliminate more toxins. This is because massage encourages the movement of lymph fluid, which is responsible for draining waste out of the body. The percussion motions of certain massage techniques, such as tapping or tapotement, can stimulate the movement of bile through the liver and gallbladder. This can help break down fats in the digestive tract and allow them to be digested more effectively.

Different types of massage have different benefits. For example, a deep tissue massage is used to treat chronic muscle injuries or pain. A relaxing Swedish or hot stone massage can be used to relieve mild tension and promote general wellness. The type of massage that you choose will be based on your individual needs and goals for health.


While there are many types of massage, all have some basic techniques in common. These movements include effleurage (light or deep stroking), petrisage (kneading), tapotement (gentle slapping) and friction (rubbing movements). Mastering these basics is essential to becoming a certified massage therapist, but there are additional techniques that can be used depending on the client’s needs.

Swedish massage, for example, focuses on the use of long strokes to promote relaxation and ease tension. It also includes acupressure techniques to release tense muscles. It is not recommended for inflamed or damaged skin, as the pressure may cause more damage.

Deep tissue massage, on the other hand, involves deeper penetration of muscle and connective tissue layers to help break up adhesions and relieve chronic pain. It is a good choice for those with painful and stiff muscles that have not responded to other treatments.

Other techniques can include cranial sacral therapy, which works on the lower part of the spine and head to reduce stress, and myofascial release, which uses gentle stretching to relax tight muscles. Other forms of massage, such as acupressure, lomi lomi and Tui Na, incorporate techniques to encourage energy flow within the body.

Acupressure is a form of Chinese massage that uses finger and thumb pressure on acupuncture points. It can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including stress, insomnia and muscle spasms.

Another type of massage, called aromatherapy, uses scented oils to improve mood and boost overall health. It is also useful in relieving headaches and sinus problems. Massage can also be used to treat temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, syndrome.

For those interested in learning more about massage, there are several continuing education courses available that can teach a person the basic skills of massaging others. The most important thing to remember when massaging someone is to listen to their body and stop if the person becomes uncomfortable or upset. In addition, it is helpful to practice self-massage to maintain massage skills between sessions with a professional therapist. This will keep your skills fresh and will help you to avoid injuries.


Taking the time to relax and rejuvenate with a massage is an excellent way to reduce stress. However, if you want to get the most out of your experience, it is important to prepare your body for the treatment beforehand. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your massage:

Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. Most massages require the client to undress to their comfort level, and wearing loose clothing will make this process easier. It will also help to keep you warm and allow your muscles to move more freely during the massage.

If you are unsure what to wear, ask the massage therapist for advice. They may suggest light-weight cotton or linen garments that will be appropriate for the massage. You should also be sure to remove any jewelry, as the therapist will likely want to access all areas of your body to perform the massage.

Drink plenty of water prior to your massage. This will ensure that you are well-hydrated, and can assist the body in eliminating toxins that are released during the massage. It is important to avoid drinking coffee or other stimulants, as these can have an adverse effect on the body during and after treatment.

Be honest with your massage therapist about your health history. Providing accurate information will help your massage therapist to identify areas of tension and provide the best possible treatment. Be sure to mention any past injuries or surgeries, as well as if you have any allergies to certain types of oils or lotions.

Continue to take it easy after your massage. Continuing to be active too soon will prevent your muscles from fully absorbing the beneficial effects of the massage. If you must shower after your massage, wait at least an hour.

Breathe deeply and steadily throughout your massage. By doing this, you will help to oxygenate the tight muscle groups and increase the speed at which your body will release toxins. Steady breathing will also help you to remain alert if the massage is uncomfortable at any point, and ensure that your therapist knows when it is time to stop.


We all know that a well-maintained and sanitized workspace is an important aspect of maintaining a safe massage environment. This includes sanitizing all equipment after each use, washing hands with hand sanitizer before and after working with clients, preventing cross contamination by not touching unwashed skin, and using quality lotions and oils that are less likely to cause allergic reactions.

Clients must provide accurate and complete health history information before the session begins. This allows the therapist to determine whether a specific condition is an absolute contraindication or if it can be safely modified. An absolute contraindication, also called a total or systemic contraindication, precludes massage therapy or bodywork altogether. These conditions include severe, acute or infectious diseases, as well as life-threatening conditions.

A relative contraindication may be present when a client has a chronic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or anxiety. These conditions are not necessarily bad for a client and can be successfully treated with appropriate massage modifications, but the therapist should carefully consider these circumstances during the intake process to ensure that the client is as safe as possible.

Many of these health conditions may not be apparent to the therapist during a visual assessment, especially if a client remains clothed for modesty reasons or wants extra draping. In these cases, the therapist should ask for an additional health history form or request a written release to discuss the client’s medical history with the massage doctor and/or physician.

Finally, if the therapist notices an unexpected problem during the treatment session, he should communicate this to the client and immediately stop the massage. This should be done while ensuring that the client is comfortable, and with appropriate assertive body language and verbal communication.

Despite all of the safety measures that can be taken by the massage therapist and the client, it is not uncommon for people to experience mild to moderate adverse reactions to a massage. These reactions can be caused by a number of factors including: