For many, their first visit to a Kansas City massage therapist comes with many nerve-wracking questions. “Do I have to be totally naked? What if my stomach growls? Am I supposed to talk?” All this anxiety can put a real damper on what is supposed to be a peaceful and relaxing experience. To put your mind at ease, we talked to an expert: Brad Green, the owner and massage therapist at Green Leaf Massage Therapy. Below, he answers some of your most common massage questions. How should I prepare for my massage? In a perfect world, the relaxation process should begin before you even step foot inside the massage studio. “Try to clear your mind of your daily stresses so you can better relax and get the greatest benefits from your massage,” says Brad, who suggests listening to calming music on the way to your appointment. He also encourages clients to check for the massage studio’s input form on its website, so that they can print and fill it out at home. This ensures you won’t arrive at the studio feeling rushed, and it gives you time to think about what you want to get out of your massage. While you’re unwinding, remember to “drink plenty of water,” Brad says. “Although it is a good idea to refrain just prior to your appointment to avoid needing a restroom break during your session.” Does it make more sense to exercise before or after a massage? “Definitely do your exercise prior to your massage. It will help warm up your muscles. It is a good idea to avoid exercise after a massage as it puts stress and strain on the muscles that were just relaxed.” What are some clients embarrassed about that they needn't be? Many clients are self-conscious about things such as weight or skin conditions, but they shouldn’t be, Brad says. “It is the massage therapist's job to make everyone feel comfortable and most likely, you are not presenting anything that isn't like many other people.” What should I avoid doing right before my massage? Brad cautions against eating a large meal prior to your appointment, since this can lead to discomfort and make it difficult to relax. What shouldn’t you avoid? Your massage appointment. The number-one massage no-no is not showing up. “We understand that unexpected things can happen, but not showing up for your appointment without any notice is rude.” Do I have to be totally nude for my massage? Nope, but Brad points out that clothed body areas can be difficult to work on. At the end of the day, what’s most important is that you’re undressed to your level of comfort. Should I make small talk during the massage? What are the most common topics? Although massage therapists—including Brad—feel that it’s easier to relax without a lot of talking, you are more than welcome to make small talk if you’d like. “It is completely acceptable if a client feels more comfortable talking or wants to chat. We don't initiate or direct a conversation, so topics are the choice of the client.”
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