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Prepping for Massage

By Anna Lynn Sibal

The act of giving a massage is an act of service, even of love. People pay good money for a good massage treatment not only because it relaxes them and soothes their pain, but also because most of these people are aware that a regular massage promotes good health. Massage is also oftentimes an intimate experience in the emotional sense. The warmth of a massage therapistís hands and the way she touches her clientís skin almost always opens a well of emotions in the client that the client usually suppresses.

Massage promotes health and well-being, and ample preparations beforehand are guaranteed to enhance the benefits that the receiver can get from the experience. The giver of the massage, whether she is a professional therapist or not, should ready herself and the place she will be working on before she undertakes the task of giving a massage.

The room that the giver of the massage will use should be clean and free of clutter. The atmosphere in this room should be relaxing and restful. In order to attain this air of relaxation in the room, the colors of the decor should be neutral and the lighting should not be glaring. The lamps could be draped with light fabrics for a dimmed effect. An alternative to lamps would be candles; candles with a soothing scent, like lavender, would do very nicely. The room should also be warm. To complete the effect, a CD with tracks of mellow instrumentals or sounds of nature, such as rainfall, ocean waves, or birds singing, can be played on the stereo on a low volume.

The giver of the massage should also be ready with the materials she will use. The massage surface is very important. It does not always have to be a massage table; a bed or a foam mattress on the floor will also do, as long as it is padded and firm. The massage surface should be covered with clean, easily washable cloths, and cushions should be provided for supporting the receiverís body. Small towels for cleaning up and a large towel for providing warmth are also needed. And of course, the massage oil should be ready as well.

When the room and all the materials she will need are ready, then it is time for the giver to ready herself for giving the massage. Because she will be coming in close contact to the receiver of the massage, she should be clean and smelling fresh. Her hands should be clean and warm, and her nails short. So the massage will not be uncomfortable to both giver and receiver, the giver should wear loose clothes that will enable her to move freely, and she should take off her jewelry. Her hair should also be clipped or tied back.

Just as the aim of the massage is to make the receiver rest and relax, the giver of the massage should also be relaxed while doing her task. Before the massage, she should take time for silence, close her eyes and free herself of whatever worries she may have. Deep and rhythmic breathing is a good way of achieving this. She should also flex, stretch and shake her hands to loosen her fingers. She should also rub her hands as if she is putting hand lotion to warm them.

Proper prepping before the massage will ensure that the experience will not only be enjoyable for the receiver, but will also be of benefit to the giver.

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