Massage and bodywork can help release chronic muscular tension and pain, improve circulation, increase joint flexibility, 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.
It depends on the techniques used. In a general Swedish massage, your session may start with broad, flowing strokes, which will help to calm you 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. 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.
A trained professional who has received proper training, often in a variety of techniques, will conduct your session. 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 as to a male or female therapist.
Most massage and bodywork techniques are traditionally performed with the client unclothed; however, you may decide what amount of clothing you prefer to wear for your own comfort. You will be properly draped during the session.
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 you 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).
There are numerous types of massage and bodywork; various techniques utilize different strokes, including basic rubbing strokes, rocking movement, posture and movement reeducation, application of pressure to specific points and more. Ask the practitioner about the methods he or she uses.
Make yourself comfortable. The practitioner will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting you arm). May 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.