Monday, June 16, 2008

What to Expect From Your First Massage

GBB Note: Ahhhh-- a massage. We highly recommend them from a reputable, qualified massage therapist. The first one I had was at a spa in Arizona. I thought I would never get up-- it felt so wonderful. The second one I had was during a pregnancy. I knew I had died and gone to heaven. I believe it was the best I felt for nine months! I've had them at a massage therapist's location, at the office, at hotels while traveling, and at home. What a way to feel beautiful!

(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 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 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 events.

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 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 ARAcontent

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