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Friday, February 18, 2005 :::

No happy ending required.

I've never had a massage and I want one but I'm a bit ascared of the process. When do you take off your clothes and how much you are supposed to take off? Are you supposed to say something when it feels good or just lay there in awkward silence? Eyes closed or open? Where exactly are they planning on rubbing? Do I really want some stranger getting all familiar with my nooks and crannies? It all seems like too much to worry about but people really seem to like massages a lot. I think I may just take the leap. Someone give me the courage I need to get a full-on body rubdown. And I'm not talking about one of those perverted "massages". I mean the real deal. Even though all massages seem a little illicit to me for some reason. Except this one cuz it's cute:

::: posted by dan at 3:22 PM :: [ link ] :: (45) comments Social Bookmark Button

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45 previous comments:

Long time reader, first time don't have to get a full body massage the first time out. Maybe just a foot massage (my favorite) or something? Try it; you'll like it!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:19 PM  

A foot massage seem sorta pointless. If I'm gonna do it, I want the whole shebang. Head first into the pool is what I always say.

By Blogger dan, at 3:29 PM  

I'm a big fan.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:32 PM  

You should go for the whole thing. You can even keep your panties on if you like. I've had two full body massages and the masseuse was very professional both times. They ask you if there is any part you may be uncomfortable touching..if they don't ask you can always say something. The best is when they massage the scalp...hmm..

By Anonymous Emily, at 3:32 PM  

Ooops, hit the button early. Do over. I'm a big fan of massages. Usually you completely disrobe before the therapist comes in the room and hide under the sheet. The lights are low and they don't see much. I close my eyes and have a strict no-talking policy--after all, I'm there to relax, not be their friend.

I am female and usually request a female because I just feel more comfortable that way. I don't know what guys do. They might not want a woman for the same reason I prefer not to have a guy, but then again the straight guys I know don't want a guy rubbing their back, either.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:36 PM  

I say go for it even though I have no advice for you about massages.

I don't think I could ever get one even though I'd like to. I'm ticklish to an insande degree so I would never want to put anyone through my giggling and twiching every two seconds.
I barely got through a pedicure...

By Blogger lynne, at 4:09 PM  

I've had many a good massage. Usually, you undress and get under the blanket or sheet before the person comes in - leave your undies on if you want, I always do. (But take off your bra!) The masseuse will leave the sheet on and only expose those areas that they are working on at any given time- I tell them I am tickle-ish on my belly so they don't touch that. I don't talk much or moan (that's hard)but sometimes I have told them that something hurts, or that i liked something. You're the customer -they want to please you = good tip! Give it a try - I bet you'll like it - make an appointment for a night massage so you can go right home and lay in bed, relaxed... Ever see the Seinfeld episode "it moved"????

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:15 PM  

Define "perverted."
My first massage was a by a very rugged Swedish woman and, unbeknowst to me at the time, I was terminally ticklish - I had never had a massage before! I went bananas giggling every time she touched me. She finally smacked me in the head and told me to leave, she was sick of my shenanigans. I have wised up since then.
Massage by nature is a sensual experience, I mean, you are naked and someone is rubbing you. But Dan, it is the best physical and emotional tension reliever in the to actual sex. Just do it baby! Unless of course you are terminally ticklish.

By Blogger Anonymous, at 4:27 PM  

I don't wear a bra or panties. So that shouldn't be a worry.

By Blogger dan, at 4:34 PM  

Massages are must go for it. Leave your boxers or undies on if you are shy and when you get under the covers, most massage places have a heating blanket under the many layers so when you get in between the sheets its all warm inside, just like your mommies womb. Anyway, if your masseuse tries to talk to you, they are being un-professional. I only had one bad massage in my life, and the lady was trying to sell me aromatherapy the whole time. I complained and got a free one on the house. They'll ask you before where you want them to concentrate (neck, left leg etc) and they'll spend extra time on those parts. They should ask you one this enough pressure...thats the only convo.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:02 PM  

Yes, make sure you take off your bra and leave on your panties..... lol.

Make sure you pay a little extra for the 'happy ending'. I hear it is definately worth it.

I think the first step towards a massage is like the first time one gets a pedicure. It just feels a little wierd the first time, then you get used to it and you can start to enjoy it.

By Blogger BigDubb, at 6:37 PM  

Finally - a post that lets me leave a comment...
Go for the massage -- I'm sure they let you change or put on that towel in privacy. I'm the same way. Very private. And you get the "a'scared" comment from the movie, Clifford, right?? My friend and I say that all the time -- funny.

By Blogger Kiddo78, at 7:38 PM  

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By Blogger Colleen, at 8:12 PM  

You should totally experience a massage.

Make sure you let them know what kind you want. Because if you say "deep" you may not be able to move for days, and if you say "mild" it'll feel like you just got felt up.

And drink plenty of water afterwards regardless as it releases toxins into the body.

Screw the foot massage, keep your underwear on if you want. But it's a pretty personal experience anyway, so the first time I had a massage I thought "what the hell" and went without. TMI, I know.

But you really should get a full body massage, it's wonderful.

By Blogger Colleen, at 8:18 PM  

I too, was skeptical...until my fiancee' convinced me that it was a good investment, which it actually was. Check out-

They do it right: Locker rooms w/bathrobes, jacuzzi, and heated tile. You can even leave your skivvies on.

My only advice is to drink a lot of water before and after. A good massage can release toxins which (After laying on your stomach for however many minutes) can give you a case of the sniffles. Definitely a worthwhile investment to treat yourself. (I admit, I fell asleep for a majority of it, but I still felt great afterward)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:24 PM  

she looks quite relax considering that there's a rhino on her back...go for it! it may be quite soothing if you can get over the fact that there's a complete stranger rubbing you down. It might be like getting your hair washed by someone else. As you can tell, I've never had one before.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:50 AM  

Are there a lot of anonymous massage experts or does it just seem that way to me?

Well, I want to give you support in your massage confidence-building endeavor, but my gut is just screaming, it will be weird! But probably the kind of weird you could blog about, so go for it. Are you going to get a guy or a girl?

I wouldn't want to have to name the parts that they shouldn't touch, that sounds like it would be really embarrassing. Like, does it really need saying that I don't want them touching my crack? And I can't imaagine saying "crack" to a massage professional. Eww sorry I grossed myself out there.

By Blogger Christine, at 8:00 AM  

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By Blogger Stacy, at 9:15 AM  

christine~I disagree,you can totally say crack,they are professionals.The last time I got a massage I said to really do alot of work on my crack.Oh and forget the sheet,just slip out of everything,climb up on the table,lay on your back and relax.Another tip I have picked up is don't shower for about a week before going.The essential oil build up eliminates the need for any oils the massuse (sp)-like I know how to spell massuses.Would ordinarily use.You may even want to ask if you get a discount for using your own body oil.

actually I got a massage twice at work.The massage thearapist told me it was an early wedding present.It was ridiculously uncomfortable to have a co worker rubbing me,plus I did not know I would be getting one so I had not shaved my legs in a few days.I voiced my concern about this and she added to the akwardness of the situation by telling me she liked the feel of stuble...after my 30 minutes I had to go back to work.I got up off the table with heavy head,lines all over my face, totally out of it,plus when she did my neck she rubbed the oil all over the base of my scalp...which felt o.k. but the rest of the day I looked like I had not washed my hair in like three weeks.Plus it hurt more than I realized it would.The next few days I was sore.Pain is not an indulgence for me so I was not that impressed.Do it anyhow Dan,I know it would be an awesome Blog post.

By Blogger Stacy, at 9:15 AM  

christine~I disagree,you can totally say crack,they are professionals.The last time I got a massage I said to really do alot of work on my crack.Oh and forget the sheet,just slip out of everything,climb up on the table,lay on your back and relax.Another tip I have picked up is don't shower for about a week before going.The essential oil build up eliminates the need for any oils the massuse (sp)-like I know how to spell massuses.Would ordinarily use.You may even want to ask if you get a discount for using your own body oil.

actually I got a massage twice at work.The massage thearapist told me it was an early wedding present.It was ridiculously uncomfortable to have a co worker rubbing me,plus I did not know I would be getting one so I had not shaved my legs in a few days.I voiced my concern about this and she added to the akwardness of the situation by telling me she liked the feel of stuble...after my 30 minutes I had to go back to work.I got up off the table with heavy head,lines all over my face, totally out of it,plus when she did my neck she rubbed the oil all over the base of my scalp...which felt o.k. but the rest of the day I looked like I had not washed my hair in like three weeks.Plus it hurt more than I realized it would.The next few days I was sore.Pain is not an indulgence for me so I was not that impressed.Do it anyhow Dan,I know it would be an awesome Blog post.

By Blogger Stacy, at 9:15 AM  

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By Blogger Stacy, at 9:15 AM  

Dan - you don't know me... but I'm as a Midwesterner, you can trust me.

Heh. (I'm totally going to run for office now.)

Get a full body massage - but I would suggest getting a Swedish massage your first time out. You'll enjoy it - but you won't feel too beat up afterwards. Like if you got a deep tissue (shiatsu) - where you might have trouble walking the next day.

And while you're at it - I would suggest going to a licensed massage therapist (you might be able to get your health insurance to pay) or to a spa if your insurance isn't an issue. At the spa - you should take advantage of a whirlpool or sauna afterwards - since any massage will release toxins that were held by your muscles. Eww... and heat will help keep you nice and loose.

Finally, I would say if you're feeling all confident in your masculatinity - why not spring for the Gentleman's Facial? I think you'll like it. I got my husband to do it (after lots of cajoling) and he thought it was nice and said he'd do it again. A facial is, in some ways, more relaxing than a body massage.

But what do I know - I don't have kids, so I have what they like to call "disposable income" and have totally become a spa whore.

By Blogger Alyssa, at 9:38 AM weird as it sounds, my cat will do the same thing as the rhino using all four paws. Professional massage can be great. I have lower back problems and getting all the knots worked out is tremendously helpful. Just communicate to the masseuse if you have any areas of pain or concern beforehand--he or she should ask. The masseuse will usually give you the option to take off all your clothes or leave on your underwear. Whatever makes you feel more comfortable. I would recommend getting it done.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:31 PM  

Hi I'm Ashley... I've been reading your blogs for about two months... Maybe longer. I came across your site while searching for Damien Rice stuff... Ha ha- who knows how I got here. But anyways- You are one hilarious individual- I love it. I look forward to coming to this website everyday (call me a nerd-who cares!) Well keep it up!

By Anonymous Ashley Rocco, at 2:03 AM  

I had my first professional massage this summer. It was the day after my father's annual party at our cabin in northern Michigan so I was extremely hung-over and covered with mosquito bites to the point where I looked a little leprous.

I wondered about the same things you did but I went to a very professional salon and the masseuse instructed me every step of the way which made things a lot less awkward. I put myself in selfish mode and didn't speak to her while she was rubbing me because I just didn't feel like speaking (just make sure that if something hurts you mention it before they go further).

By Blogger Dr. Cookie, at 9:46 AM  

Why do people always say stuff like "it releases the toxins" yet no one can actually state factually what a "toxin" is? Do you know? Mainly this question is directed at Colleen since she posted it. Colleen, dear, what is a "toxin"??? And how does it get released? Technically? You are scaring poor Dan.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:37 AM  

My best friend is a massage therapist so I have it from an insider. Do NOT ask for a "happy ending." Trust me. You will not be happy.

By Blogger tcarole, at 11:39 AM  

A toxin is any substance accumulated in the body that is considered to be harmful or poisonous to the system. You breathe, eat, drink and absorb them every day. They come from many things. Cleaners, smog, pollution, mold, bacteria, virus, etc. Usually the body stores the toxins it cannot release in fat cells. A massage (especially a deeper muscle massage) will release toxins that have built up. So does dieting by the way. This is one of the reasons every diet plan says to “drink lots of water”.

This is actually a good thing as long as you don’t release too much in one session. If you release too many toxins into your system, you kidney, liver and other organs can potentially fail. It would take a pretty large amount, but why chance it? Flushing toxins from your system will allow your white blood cells or lymph to carry more oxygen and nutrients to your muscle fibers. Which leads to maximum muscle strength and flexibility and less indication of sore muscles after, say a work out or yard work. Massages have also been known to combat stress, headaches and assist in weight loss. Just drink lots of water before and after to flush out the toxins. Any questions?

Man! I need a massage.

By Blogger Colleen, at 12:55 PM  

I've gotten to be really good friends with my massage therapist so we definitely chat a bit, but not a lot. Also, I moan or groan or sigh whenever I need to because (ancient Chinese secret) IT'S A MOTIVATOR! Also, because I'm relaxed and I'm noisy. I also laugh if I'm being tickled and say "Stop!" Although I've never been macked in the head by a burly Swedish masseuse.
Everywhere I have lived I always have one special masseuse. I miss the one I had in Pennsylvania who used to end our massage by kissing me on the forehead. I know that sounds weird and inappropriate but she was the most wonderful Latina mami ever. She called me her "baby" and sometimes refused payment.
My current massage therapist also gives me freebies. But no sex yet. Damn.

By Blogger PeaceBang, at 9:16 PM  

lordy lordy at the prudes!! speaking as a certified massage therapist, get the massage. underwear on... underwear off... who cares? the only reason massage therapist want the undies off is so we can work your glutes. they're one of the biggest muscle groups and you use them everyday to walk. your junk is always covered and no one wants to see it anyway. and if you get an erection, which it sounds like this discussion is centered around, who cares about that either? what do you want? an award? we don't care about them. we're not touching them. and like an kathy lee gifford or a 30 inch waist line, it will go away on its own.

dan, you seem to be a sophisticated guy...prove it. bring your life out of the late 80's and get the massage. they are relaxing, therapeutic, and yes at times sensual, but all in a very "the world revolves around me today" kind of way.

and if anyone ever hinted at the "happy ending", i'd make them leave.

By Blogger kris, at 7:32 AM  

Yeah.. Not much of a massage person either... SO yeah, was wondering,whatever happened to your Egypt trip?

By Blogger Roba, at 10:09 AM  

I don't want to start a firestorm but this "toxin" stuff is nonsense. Your liver and kidneys do a perfectly fine job of cleaning out your body as long as you don't abuse them excessively. Anyone with real medical training knows that.


By Blogger Dr. Cookie, at 10:56 AM  

I say get one asap. As for going to either a guy or a gal- I always had felt more comfortable with a gal because I feel no need to a guy to have to rub my fat. He can see it, but why did he need to be the one to rub it? Well, after my muscle spasms in my shoulders last year, I called for any appt the spa had. It was with a guy, but the pain was so bad, I didn't care. So I had my 1st massage from a guy & it was the best one ever. His hands were stronger than any of the females I had gone to before, so I feel like I got a better massage. And I could once again lift my arms above my head, so he was a miracle worker in my book.

But the thought of you having anything 'sensual' done to you just weirds me out. But I still say get one.

By Blogger hot babe, at 12:38 PM  

Well then you, Dr. Meredith, may just want to go out and re-educate every single massage therapist, along with my OBGYN who wouldn't authorize a massage during pregnancy for the very reason of toxin release, as well as my personal physician.Apparantly they've been misinformed.

By Blogger Colleen, at 8:12 PM  

Last time I was in Las Vegas I had won a lot of money and was hungover. Went to a place called "Chinese Massage" down by the Sahara. I received an excellent, relaxing massage and a good old-fashioned "happy ending." I'm sorry all of you nuns have a problem with that. Here in Minneapolis an overwhelming majority of massage therapists come up with a reason to call me back. Or to leave a message. Jeez, you don't suppose it's to make sure I'm not a cop do you? Welcome to the real world. Check your naivete at the door.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:08 AM  

All of the massages I have ever received were professionally done. Usual proceedure is you get undressed in private and get under the covers(I go fully undressed, but you can leave underwear on if you want) I'm a male and have to say that I prefer women maseurs. they will uncover the part of your body they are massaging at that particular time (leaving all private areas covered). Depending on the person on the giving the massage, they usually will massage within close distance to your genitals (but not touching them)and will get close on your butt. If you think you might be uncomfortable with that, just sort of mention it when the session begins. other than that, lie down relaxed, let the masseuse position your limbs, close your eyes and relax. I have had the other massages as well, but those are a whole different ball game....a normal massage is usually carried out with the utmost professional manner

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:18 PM  

Speaking as a massage therapist in training.
First if you go to a qualified Massage therapist who is nationally accredited you should not have a problem.

If you have a question about the draping, ask them how they will proceed.
I find Oil a bit too sensual. If you think you might get “excited” weather it be female or male, about the feeling, ask them to use Cream and NOT oil. A reputable therapist should have oil cream and lotion.

You should go for the whole thing. Take off everything. If you do not, you will be missing special strokes and moves that really relieve tension and stress in the back. But they will not be able to do those strokes, but cause they don’t have access to the Gluteus maximus and minimus. You gluts are located down your hams strings all the way up to your lower back. And they do not want to get oil on the garments.

Yes they are there to make you feel good.
And the others are correct they should not be talking to you except to ask how the pressure is.

Oh yes, They should tell you whats going to happen before the massage and they should leave the room while you undress.

By Anonymous Michael Bahr, at 10:39 AM  

I used to go for massages all the time. I have a less stressing job now, so its every once in a great while. For me, its a matter of casting off modestness with someone who has seen hundreds of butts, legs and bodies. Most, I am sure, are less than Pitt/Jolie quality. The ticklishness goes away if you truly learn to relax which I think is the mental aspect of the massage. The best part are the head/foot/hand massages because a good therapist or provider will massage the "bad energy" or whatever to the extremities and then sort of rub them away. As far as happy endings go, I have had many. Moral stipulations aside, its scientifically the most relaxing part of a massage. As a side note, I was going for a legit CMT massage recommended by one of my mother's friends. Very nice lady, we talked for an hour and at the end of the session, guess what she asked? "anything else?" as she placed her hand near my special place. I didnt pay extra and it wasnt "dirty". After all, its just another muscle.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:10 PM  

...No matter WHAT they say, no matter WHAT they have printed, no matter WHAT "Therapist Forums" say...MOST female massage therapists will give you a good "happy ending."

It's an easy thing...when they tell you to roll on your back, take their hand and put it there...

usually you should reach out and help them a they protest, spank the behind a little . puts them in the mood.

in any real country you could go around the world for $80. What the hell? The girl can certainly jerk you good and use the tounge a little.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:24 PM  

"It's an easy thing...when they tell you to roll on your back, take their hand and put it there...
usually you should reach out and help them a they protest, spank the behind a little . puts them in the mood."

This sounds like sexual assault to me - demeaning and totally out of order.

If the masseuse decides voluntarily to provide a happy ending (no extra cost) then that's up to her (and it's up to you whether you refuse it or just lay there and enjoy it) but I would think it's not your place to suggest it.

By Anonymous The Gringo, at 6:31 AM  

Hey Kris you are not a Swede are you? You did come across if not rough, a bit too impersonal masseuse!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:27 PM  

Def go for a massage. Ive enjoyed it...Ive been to a couple sketchy places where they dont really cover you at all. Whenever I am intrested in a happy ending, I ask them what they think of the size of my penis. THey usually know what I mean as they then proceed to take care of business!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:03 PM  

Massage Therapy

Massage is one of the oldest healing arts: Chinese records dating back 3,000 years document its use; the ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments; and Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today, the benefits of massage are varied and far-reaching. As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. And, as many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.
So What Is It Exactly?
Massage, bodywork and somatic therapies are defined as the application of various techniques to the muscular structure and soft tissues of the human body. Specifically:
Massage: The application of soft-tissue manipulation techniques to the body, generally intended to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation. The many variations of massage account for several different techniques.
Bodywork: Various forms of touch therapies that may use manipulation, movement, and/or repatterning to affect structural changes to the body.
Somatic: Meaning “of the body.” Many times this term is used to denote a body/mind or whole-body approach as distinguished from a physiology-only or environmental perspective.
There are more than 250 variations of massage, bodywork, and somatic therapies and many practitioners utilize multiple techniques. The application of these techniques may include, but is not limited to, stroking, kneading, tapping, compression, vibration, rocking, friction, and pressure to the muscular structure or soft tissues of the human body. This may also include non-forceful passive or active movement and/or application of techniques intended to affect the energetic systems of the body. The use of oils, lotions, and powders may also be included to reduce friction on the skin. Click here for more information on what to expect.
Please note: Massage, bodywork and somatic therapies specifically exclude diagnosis, prescription, manipulation or adjustments of the human skeletal structure, or any other service, procedure or therapy which requires a license to practice orthopedics, physical therapy, podiatry, chiropractic, osteopathy, psychotherapy, acupuncture, or any other profession or branch of medicine.
Will My Insurance Cover It?
The services of a bodywork professional may be covered by health insurance when prescribed by a chiropractor or osteopath. Therapies provided as part of a prescribed treatment by a physician or registered physical therapist are often covered.
Where Will My Massage or Bodywork Session Take Place?
Your massage or bodywork session will take place in a warm, comfortable, quiet room. Soft music may be played to help you relax. You will lie on a table especially designed for your comfort.

Who Will Perform the Massage or Bodywork?
If you have located your massage therapist through's online referral service, you can be sure your session will be conducted by a professional who has received proper training. All 48,000+ practitioners on's online referral service are members of Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP). As a condition of membership, ABMP verifies the training and credentials of every one of its practitioners. Some massage and bodywork practitioners are licensed by the state, while others are locally regulated. Although no two massages are exactly alike, you may request a certain technique or modality. You may also request your preference of a male or female therapist.

Must I Be Completely Undressed?
Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, it is entirely up to you what you want to wear. You should undress to your level of comfort. You will be properly draped during the entire session.

Will the Practitioner Be Present When I Disrobe?
The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a clean sheet or towel.

Will I Be Covered During the Session?
You will be properly draped at all times to keep you warm and comfortable. Only the area being worked on will be exposed.

What Parts of My Body Will Be Massaged?
You and the practitioner will discuss the desired outcome of your session. This will determine which parts of your body require massage. A typical full body session will include work on your back, arms, legs, feet, hands, head, neck, and shoulders. You will not be touched on or near your genitals (male or female) or breasts (female).

What Will the Massage or Bodywork Feel Like?
It depends on the techniques used. Many massage therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which is often a baseline for practitioners. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction to the skin. The oil also helps hydrate your skin. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken. Massage and bodywork are most effective when your body is not resisting.

Are There Different Kinds of Massage and Bodywork?
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement re-education, application of pressure to specific points, and more. Ask the practitioner about the methods he or she uses.

How Long Will the Session Last?
The average full-body massage or bodywork session lasts approximately one hour. A half-hour appointment only allows time for a partial massage session, such as neck and shoulders, back or legs and feet. Many people prefer a 60- to 90-minute session for optimal relaxation. Always allow relaxation time prior to and after the session. Hot tubs, steam baths and saunas can assist in the relaxation process.

What Should I Do During the Massage or Bodywork Session?
Make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). Many people just close their eyes and completely relax. Others like to talk during their session. Feel free to ask the practitioner questions about massage and bodywork in general or about the particular technique you are receiving.

How Will I Feel After the Massage or Bodywork Session?
Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage.

What Are the Benefits of Massage and Bodywork?
Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, reduce mental and physical fatigue and stress, promote faster healing of injured muscular tissue, improve posture, and reduce blood pressure. Massage and bodywork is also known to promote better sleep, improve concentration, reduce anxiety and create an overall sense of well-being. Click here for more details on the benefits of massage.

Are There Any Medical Conditions That Would Make Massage or Bodywork Inadvisable?
Yes. That's why it's imperative that, before you begin your session, the practitioner asks general health questions. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor's care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage or bodywork prior to any session. Your practitioner may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.
The Benefits Of Massage
What exactly are the benefits of receiving massage or bodywork treatments? Useful for all of the conditions listed below and more, massage can:
• Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
• Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
• Ease medication dependence.
• Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
• Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
• Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
• Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
• Increase joint flexibility.
• Lessen depression and anxiety.
• Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
• Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
• Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
• Reduce spasms and cramping.
• Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
• Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
• Relieve migraine pain.
A Powerful Ally
There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen.

Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress. This translates into:
• Decreased anxiety.
• Enhanced sleep quality.
• Greater energy.
• Improved concentration.
• Increased circulation.
• Reduced fatigue.
Furthermore, clients often report a sense of perspective and clarity after receiving a massage. The emotional balance bodywork provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits.

Profound Effects
In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade throughout the body, with profound effects. Research shows that with massage:
• Arthritis sufferers note fewer aches and less stiffness and pain.
• Asthmatic children show better pulmonary function and increased peak air flow.
• Burn injury patients report reduced pain, itching, and anxiety.
• High blood pressure patients demonstrate lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones.
• Premenstrual syndrome sufferers have decreased water retention and cramping.
• Preterm infants have improved weight gain.
Research continues to show the enormous benefits of touch—which range from treating chronic diseases, neurological disorders, and injuries, to alleviating the tensions of modern lifestyles. Consequently, the medical community is actively embracing bodywork, and massage is becoming an integral part of hospice care and neonatal intensive care units. Many hospitals are also incorporating on-site massage practitioners and even spas to treat postsurgery or pain patients as part of the recovery process.

Increase the Benefits with Frequent Visits
Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember: just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:43 AM  

Having experienced many massages because I'm lucky enough to know a good massage therapist I can tell you that if you will wonder why you never tried it. Most likely you'll fall asleep towards the end and then you'll get up totally relaxed with an unexplainable feeling. That's the toxins being flushed. Drink some water normally offered by the therapist and you'll feel great. I just had to add my 2 cents as most have given good advice already.

By Anonymous Al, at 4:37 AM  

Colleen, don't get all huffy! You are right on with your concern over toxins... Your body produces them too. They are usually referred to as by-products or waste. On a smaller scale, the risks associated with massage, especially deep and/or long massages are the same risks and effects of crush injuries (crush syndrome and rhabdomyolysis). When the cells are crushed, they release by-products of respiration (CO2, etc.) and parts of themselves such as myogobin which can overwork your kidneys. Subtle infestations from a massage are unlikely to cause major issues for an adult, but can be harmful to unborn children and children in general. All reputable spas have trained pre-natal techs, or will not give pregnant women massages after the first trimester. The biggest pre-treatment and treatment is high fluid intake. Typically 1.5 - 2X daily requirements for 1 day prior and 1 day post massage. It will really make the whole process more enjoyable.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:27 PM  

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