Before You Drop Your Pants (or Why We Assess)
When you come in for your massage, your therapist will chat with you about why you came in. Just for relaxation or is there an area bothering you? Have you noticed restrictions in movement? Have your fingers been feeling numb and tingling after the workday? Being open and honest about discomfort gives your therapist insight into your body’s needs.
Your therapist will also assess your posture to see if there are shortened muscles inhibiting others (or if some muscles are working overtime to keep you upright and preventing other muscles from working correctly). Many clients with desk jobs will have rounded shoulders and shorted hip flexors; this put stress on cervical muscles, glutes, and low back. Some muscles will feel “tight” and the instinct is to have just that area worked but the tension can be caused by the muscles being stretched out. Visualize a rubber band. When you pull the ends away from each other, it becomes taut with tension. Most massage techniques stretch the muscles. So when the “tight” area is exclusively worked, it could further stress the area.
Perhaps your low back tension is caused by stress on those muscles to compensate for tight quads. Maybe you got new running shoes and your foot strike is different, causing stress to the muscles on your inner knee.
As part of the precession consult, your therapist will walk you through what is going in with your muscles and how the session will flow. Feel free to ask questions or voice concerns. Everyone responds differently to techniques. Some techniques may cause a mild discomfort so be sure to let your therapist know so she can make adjustments. You should always be able to breathe through any technique used; if there is discomfort or pain, let your therapist know immediately.
After answering any questions, your therapist will step out to give you privacy when you undress to your comfort level. (This is when you should feel free to drop your pants. There’s a chair and a table for you to put your things.) Most clients prefer to wear the underwear or nothing at all. (You will always be modestly draped with linens so you should never feel exposed.) You’ll slip under the covers and find the massage table heated. If it’s too warm or not warm enough, it can easily be adjusted to a comfortable level. You’ll be given a few moments to relax. Your therapist will knock before entering and your session will begin.
Once your therapist relaxes and lengthens short muscles, she’ll perform muscle sculpting techniques to encourage stretched muscles to return to normal muscle tone. Your therapist may also use topical ointments and heated tools to make the process more comfortable. Cryoderm Pain Relieving Cold Therapy with hot towels and Magnesium Cream are client favorites. We often keep these in stock so you can continue self-care at home.
Every client is different and the stress on your muscles can vary from day to day. That’s why we take time to assess. No matter if it’s your first time at The Supine Studio or the tenth, we always take time before your session to assess.