Maybe it is your first massage, and you are just not sure what to expect. Here are some tips for the Massage newbie or anyone who may not be sure about protocol.
Before the Massage
Meals – Avoid eating a full meal for at least an hour before a having a massage. Digestion uses energy, it takes work! And the reason you come in is to relax. Digestion can make being massaged a bit uncomfortable.
Punctuality – Be on time to your appointment. It’s counter productive to arrive frazzled and stressed. Be as relaxed as possible to enjoy the benefits of the session. As a general rule, if you are late it may cut into your session time out of consideration for clients scheduled after you.
At the SAC, most members arrive early and shower or steam before a session to be relaxed and warmed up.
Leave your clothes and personal items in your locker and come in wearing a towel. This way you can quickly hop on the table and your bodywork session can begin right away.
After the Massage
Hydration – Drink extra water after your massage. This helps to flush toxins. The cells in your body release wastes from chemicals in your environment, food additives, and other matter your body cannot use (metabolic waste). Massage manually pushes waste out of soft tissue. Hydrating your body allows for more efficient removal of these toxins.
Getting off the table – Don’t get off the table too fast, fluids in your body have been moved and changing positions too quickly could make you dizzy. Take your time, and let your therapist know if you think you’ll need help sitting up or maneuvering.
Post Massage soreness/discomfort – Post massage fatigue or malaise is possible after an intense massage, due to over stimulation of the nervous system. Remembering to hydrate and relax will help to address this. Soreness as if you had an intense workout one to two days after deep tissue massage is normal. An epsom salt bath or soak in a hot tub can ease the discomfort.
Pain during massage – Some pain can be expected for knots and tension, but it should be a “good hurt.” Always communicate any pain to your therapist to make adjustments. Let your therapist know if you bruise easily or if something is too intense or uncomfortable during the massage.
Breathing – Remember to relax and breathe normally. Breathing helps to facilitate relaxation. Some clients stop or limit their breathing when a sensitive area is massaged. As long as the pain is not too much, breathe deeply through it and allow the therapist to work and for the muscles to give in and relax.
Discomfort – During the massage always notify the therapist of any discomfort. This can be from the massage or the environment like room temperature, level of music or lighting. Please ask about anything you are unsure of. We want you to have a relaxing, pleasant experience!
Assumptions – If unsure always ask, and state what you expect. Assumptions can create awkward situations. It’s not fair to assume that if your therapist is really skilled or intuitive that he or she will immediately know your problems areas. Just communicate what’s going on. We want to know what’s bringing you in for bodywork so we can focus on what you want to accomplish in your session and the areas where you want attention.
Multiple Sessions necessary? Massage really has great benefits over time as its benefits are cumulative. The more massages you get, the better you will feel in general. If you suffer chronic patterns of stress and muscular tension, or if you are recovering from a soft tissue injury, it may take more than one session to get you back in order. Regular maintenance massage or a few sessions scheduled closer together increases long-term benefits, especially if you have chronic tension. Your therapist can make suggestions about frequency and number of sessions and advise on lifestyle practices to help you at home. (ie exercises or stretching to complement your bodywork session)
Massage Duration- One hour (55min) is often enough time to address 2-3 trouble spots on the body. However, if you are a larger person or have several areas of discomfort and still want time for a full-body experience or that extra time on your feet or neck, 85min or the luxurious 115min session are best.
Keep in mind that in a 25 min session your therapist may not be able to address all your problem areas. These shorter sessions work better if you just need a quick decompression of stress or perhaps have one or two specific areas of concern. For example: If you are getting ready for a long bike ride and want a quick work-over of your legs and hips to warm things up, 25 min is great. However, don’t let lack of time keep you from coming in. Half an hour of expert attention is better than no attention at all.
The massage team here at the SAC is experienced and skilled in a variety of techniques. Take a moment to read our photo bios outside the locker rooms. And if you see one of us walking around or in the lobby with the massage chair, we are always happy to answer questions and be of service in any way!
Assumptions, communications, discomfort, duration, Getting off the table, hydration, Multiple sessions nescessary, pain during massage, Post Massage soreness / discomfort, Punctuality, SAC Member
The other day, I invited several friends to go for a run outside. The response I received was “Are you crazy? It’s COLD outside!” I guess that was a no. In fact, during the winter months, that is a typical response. My reply is always the same, “why would the cold weather stop one from continuing to run outside (certain medical issues excluded of course)?” If more people knew the tips and tricks of how to run in cold weather, they too would find that it’s an enjoyable experience to continue to do what you love! Here are a few things to consider for having a great cold weather run:
1. Motivation – Yes, motivation ceases in less than desirable weather. To keep your motivation strong, it’s always a good idea to make yourself accountable. Making plans to run with a friend or a running group will be your saving grace. When someone else is expecting you, it’s less likely you will bail on your run!
2. Winter Apparel – I say this all the time, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE GEAR! Having key pieces of clothing to cover the body, is imperative to staying comfortable and warm during a cold day’s run. Fabric that is moisture wicking, wind or waterproof, have thermal lining or breath thermo technology is an advantage. Apparel has made major advancements over the last decade and it’s more than worth the money! Look for items made specifically for running, you want those specific features in the garment that assist run motion and enhance your cold weather run experience.
3. Layering – Keeping most of the exposed areas of the body covered is just as important as having the right gear. The less body surface area exposed, the more heat we preserve. Headwear that covers the head and ears is important because the head is 5 times more sensitive to changes in temperature. In extreme cold temperatures, consider a neck warmer or neck muff. Dress in layers, you can peel off a layer if you overheat. It’s typical to wear a base layer, insulating layer and outer layer during a cold weather run, however it really does depend on what is comfortable for the individual. Consider thermal running pants or tights; no need for bulky long johns.
Remember, you do need to move! Lastly, wear thicker run socks. They are likely to be moisture wicking and warmer. Remember, running shoes are made to release heat generated from the feet. You want your feet to stay warm as possible. If it’s particularly a snowy or rainy day; consider wearing a Gore-Tex upper running shoe. They not only warmer but waterproof. (Yes, people…they do exist!) Running gloves will be your best friend. Fingers and toes are the first to frostbite, so it’s essential that we make them as warm as possible. Gloves that have enough warmth, moisture wicking with texting fingers is important (that way you never need to remove them just before or after a run). You may want to layer your gloves with a liner inside a pair of thermal run gloves in extreme temperatures.
4. Do your Warm-up Exercises Inside – It’s best to do your warm-up indoor, enough to get the blood moving without a heavy sweat. That way, transitioning outside doesn’t feel so cool and you avoid injuries.
5. Think Maintenance Not Speed – winter or cold weather running is not about speed. Colder temperatures impact your pace per mile in several ways; the nervous system naturally reduces muscle contractions, therefore slowing pace. The body becomes less efficient in both fuel source and oxygen production, depleting your reserves quicker. It is also true, that more energy is required to maintain your core body temperature resulting is less energy available for performance. Don’t expect to be fast, the point is to maintain your conditioning.
6. Hydration – During the winter months, dehydration becomes a more serious risk. An increase of fluid loss occurs due to heating incoming respiration, an increase in urine production due to cold stress and sweating. It is more important to hydrate before, during and after a cold run.
7. Safety First – Most cold weather days are grey and cloudy. Be sure you are highly visible in reflective gear or bright colors. Run surfaces can become icy, slippery or snowy, therefore take precautions to slow down and sharpen your focus with each step to avoid falling. Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia, just in case.
8. Check the Temperature – Let’s face it, if it’s greater than -10 degrees F, you don’t have to be a hero. Seek an alternative exercise such as indoor cross-training or treadmill/indoor track running.
For further information on the SAC Run Club or run coaching sessions, please contact Kendra Kainz, NSCA-CPT, RRCA Run Coach Certified, at .
Fitness Advice, Fitness Programs, Running, Sports Conditioning, Workouts
cold weather, hydration, motivation, running, Safety First, Warm-up Exercises, Winter Apparel
When you swim, believe it or not, you sweat. It is important, as with any sport, to drink plenty of water; before during and after your workout. Don’t make the mistake of thinking just because I am in the water I am getting plenty of fluids. The water washes away the feeling of sweat thus the old thought of “I’m not sweating”. There are a lot of different types of hydration drinks. Avoid caffeine whileas its dehydrating affects will inhibit your performance, cause headaches and the ability to think clearly.
When you sweat your body loses important electrolytes and inhibits your performance. Remember to always bring hydration in a non-breakable container onto the pool deck!
Health News, Lifestyle, Sports Conditioning, Swimming
dehydrating, dehydration, hydration, swimming, swimming laps