If you’re one of the millions of Americans who include therapeutic massage in their weekly or monthly routines, you’re probably already aware of some of the benefits. It’s not just hearsay, either – the world’s most respected medical organizations have been very clear about the potential benefits of therapeutic massage. They help us sleep better, give us a deeper sense of relaxation, improve posture and flexibility, bring high blood pressure down, promote healing for specific injuries, and so on down the line. There are many established benefits, and as more Americans catch on to this, more people are exploring massage therapy as valuable addition to their fitness and wellness regimen.

But there’s a common question that arises amongst people who are just “dipping their toe in the water” and don’t have much experience with massage therapy services: “Is there anything I should do to prepare for my next massage?”

The answer is a definite yes – if you want to get the best results out of your next massage therapy session (and who doesn’t?), there are a few basic things you should do to prepare.

First off, it’s good to avoid a big meal before your massage. Many people find it useful to actually skip a meal before the massage – or at least to keep it light. This can allow the therapist to work on a deeper level, and can make you a lot more comfortable and relaxed throughout the treatment session.

Alcohol is another important point – it’s best to avoid these things on the day of a massage, or at least wait until after the treatment to partake. Since massage therapy is a powerful detox, having alcohol in your system will reduce the level of healing and therapy that actually takes place during the session.

A much better thing to drink on the day of the massage – or any day, for that matter – is plenty of water! Staying hydrated will prepare your body for the deep, healing work of massage therapy. It will make sure that your tissues and internal systems are well-hydrated and ready to receive a high-quality treatment.

In general, it’s good to focus on getting plenty of sleep, eating light, avoiding alcohol and junk food, and maybe even doing some light stretching or yoga before your massage therapy. Taking these steps can really elevate your experience and give a deeper level of therapy.

Healing, relaxing and productive

Of course, one of the most important things you can do to prepare for your next massage is to find a great therapist! This means looking for someone who has proven their skill and professionalism with many previous customers. Experience is worth a lot in the massage therapy business, and although newcomers can often be a great choice, it’s always worthwhile to consider how much experience and training and given therapist has. You might also want to look for certain types of massage therapy that interest you, such as hot stones or Shiatsu. Overall, finding a good therapist and making a few basic preparations before your massage should really give you a healing, relaxing, and productive massage therapy experience.

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