- Pre-hydrate. Water will prepare your body to receive bodywork by getting muscles and kidneys in good order. That doesn't mean you should drink a gallon of water right before your session starts. Start to pre-hydrate the body the day before your massage. Make a conscious effort to drink extra water throughout the day and continue with moderation until the time comes to get your massage.
- Shower. You'll feel better if your body is clean and your skin will be more able to receive the moisturizing oil and beneficial essential oils used in your session. What's more, you won't have to wonder if your feet stink or your body odor is offensive to the therapist. Don't worry about showering immediately before the session unless you've been doing heavy labor or exercise, but do come with a clean slate. If you aren't able to take care of things before you arrive, ask the therapist for a steamed towel to wipe down any offending areas.
- Wear comfortable clothes. After your massage you'll feel relaxed and you'll want to continue with that feeling by having comfortable clothing to wear afterwards. If you have to come straight from work or a function, bring a set of more comfortable clothing with you so you'll have it to put on when you're finished. You won't want to get any residual oil on your nice clothes and you won't feel like being all dressed up anyway. You'll be ready to laze around for a while.
- Empty your bladder. Massage gets things moving in the body and you might find that your bladder starts to feel full before the session is over. It's much easier to relax when you're not counting the minutes to when the therapist finishes so you can run to the bathroom. You may even be debating whether you want to make a mid-massage visit to the facilities wearing the sheet as a toga. Do yourself a favor and empty your bladder right before your massage. Even if you went before you left your house or job, try again. It can't hurt.
- Turn off your cell phone! The last thing you should be doing during your massage is thinking about outside distractions. This is your time to zone out and re-energize before returning to business as usual. Leaving the phone on vibrate with the intention of not answering can be a distraction too. It's amazing how well you can hear a vibrating phone in a quiet room and as soon as you do, you'll be wondering who's calling or texting you. You will be much happier if you silence the phone. Business can wait an hour or two!
~Jenni Curtis, LMT