Bones, joints, and muscles
What to expect from your first massage
(ARA) - With warm weather drawing more Americans out of their
easy chairs and into the sunshine, there's no reason to let stress
or muscle stiffness get in the way of feeling your best. Whether
participating in weddings, hiking, playing sports or getting earthy
in the garden, busy and active Americans are increasingly turning
to massage for celebrating special occasions, relieving muscle
stiffness, or just plain relaxing. Massage is a valuable ally
in feeling healthy and staying in the game.
Many kinds of massage have blossomed in recent decades and a
glossary at www.massagetherapy.com
helps consumers find just the right treatment as well as a qualified
massage therapist. According to national consumer research by
Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), most people
try their first massage on the recommendation of a medical professional;
another third do so because they received a massage as a gift.
Consumers report overwhelmingly positive experiences with their
first massage, making a gift certificate a winning choice.
The following are some things to know about trying massage or
giving it as a gift.
- Spa Specials
- More than ever, spas are offering bonding experiences for those
celebrating special events like proms, graduations, wedding showers
and wedding days. These promote fun for family and friends, and
ensure everyone from flower girls to mothers-of-the-bride will
look smashing and feel great on the big day. Massage is a key
part of the package for smoothing jittery bridal nerves or as
part of a wedding shower or spa party. Don't forget couples' massage—ABMP
BMP reports more than ever, men are trying massage and this
can be a wonderful gift for when the hectic wedding day is over.
- Weekend Warriors
Sports massage isn't just for professional athletes and you don't
have to be injured to use massage as part of your athletic regimen.
Weekend warriors working themselves back into shape can enhance
their sports performance by using massage before, during and after
Professional athletes use vigorous massage before sports events
to loosen up, bring blood to critical parts of the body and support
muscle memory while they visualize their optimum athletic performance.
Immediate after-event massage shortens recovery time and disperses
toxins and waste from muscles. Both can be done fully clothed.
Massage can also help if you truly overdo it, as muscles near
an injury tend to tighten up and create a ripple effect that spreads
discomfort, tightness and even muscle spasms.
- Massage: A Vital Honey-Do
The home do-it-yourselfer is another good candidate for massage
therapy after cleaning out gutters and garages, painting the house,
mowing the lawn and being hunched over in the garden. Many of
these activities engage muscles rusty from disuse that may not
sound any alarms in the body while being stressed. It's afterward
they express their displeasure. Taking frequent rest breaks, stretching
and changing positions while working can help up front; massage
therapy can help with after effects.
A gift certificate for that hardworking homeowner could be just
the ticket—ABMP research reveals wives often underestimate
how much that special man will appreciate a massage gift certificate.
Men already seem to understand that massage as a gift will be
appreciated by their significant others.
What to Expect
Here's how to enjoy massage yourself and give it as a gift.
- Find a qualified massage therapist at www.massagetherapy.com
and you'll work with a professional. At this Web site you can
choose the massage method you prefer and use the zip-code finder
to locate someone convenient. Ask whether they offer gift certificates.
- Many people worry about modesty. You'll undress only to your
level of comfort and will be covered under a sheet or towel for
the entire massage session except for the area being worked on.
You'll undress and dress in privacy.
- You'll be massaged only on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands,
head, neck and shoulders. Tell your massage therapist about any
aches and tightness and whether the pressure is comfortable.
- Drink plenty of water after your massage to help clear away
lactic acid and toxins.
- The average price of a massage has remained steady at $60 for
one hour in recent years, a bargain when you consider the rising
prices of flowers, home wares, food-and-wine gifts and travel.
Tipping is appreciated; 10 to 20 percent is customary.
- Most people find quiet is conducive to relaxation, but it's
okay to chat and ask questions if you wish. Just don't feel obligated
to make small talk—the focus is on your relaxation and it's
perfectly polite to be quiet.
Courtesy of ARA Content
Bones, joints, and muscles