5 Ways Your Body Lets a Massage Therapist Know What it Needs
Whether you have scheduled a massage for the purposes of addressing specific concerns or you simply want to be pampered, you may find that you are making a sort of mental list of all the things you plan to tell your therapist when the day and time of your appointment finally arrive. After all, if someone is going to spend an hour working out your tight muscles and relieving built-up tension, you want to make absolutely sure they know exactly where to go. However, have you ever noticed that sometimes your massage therapist strays away from the specific points you have mentioned–addressing issues, tension, and tightness you didn’t even recognize you had? This can be a magical and wonderfully appreciated experience, but it may also have you wondering how they knew.
Your Body’s Cues
Along with possessing an intimate knowledge of how the muscles and joints of the body work together and what must be done to properly relax them, your massage therapist is very well attuned to your body’s various cues. This can explain why they seem to know where there is built-up tension and stress, even if you don’t. Following are just five of the many ways your body “talks” to your massage therapist:
Tight neck muscles and spinal pressure. Smartphones are enormously convenient for users, but more than just a little rough on bodies. If you watch others while they are using their smartphone, you will notice that they hold their neck at a particular angle in order to most comfortably view the screen. You do this too. Unfortunately, this particular angle creates spinal pressure and tight neck muscles that your massage therapist will certainly detect.
Swollen lymph nodes. If you suffer from any degree of allergies, your lymph nodes will most certainly tell the tale. You may even feel these sore, swollen nodes in your neck, chest, and underarms, especially when you are experiencing an allergy flare. Not only will your massage therapist be able to feel these swollen nodes, they will notice if the areas around your forehead, eyes, and jaw are tender as a result of sinus pressure. Fortunately, massage therapy can be enormously helping in relieving allergy symptoms, especially if undertaken at regular intervals until full and lasting relief is achieved.
Signs of dehydration. Water is an essential part of a healthy body and is used throughout the entire body for various purposes. When you fail to consume sufficient quantities of water on a daily basis in order to replace the water that is routinely lost through normal body functions, your body will suffer. One way this is noticeable to your massage therapist is in your muscles, which will be tighter and more difficult to work with. Since water is also an important part of spinal cord protection and lubrication, your massage therapist will likely notice that you are more sensitive to their touch along parts of your back.
Hunched shoulders. If you dislike cold weather, or even highly efficient air-conditioning, you may notice that you tend to hunch your shoulders up and forward in an effort to keep warm. Over time, this can cause you to have tighter muscles in your neck and shoulders, and you may not even realize that you are constantly holding your shoulders up in an unnatural position–something your massage therapist will definitely detect.
- Lower body strain. If you have a desk job and therefore spend long hours sitting down, your medical doctor may have already told you the importance of getting up and moving around often. This can certainly be helpful and important, but the signs of lower body strain that come with desk jobs, such as tight glute muscles and legs, a weak lower back, and uneven hips can still be evident to your massage therapist.
It may be true that your massage therapist is more than capable of understanding what is happening in your body and what they can do to help relieve pressure and tension where needed, but it’s still very important and valuable to be completely open and honest with them about what you notice is going on with your muscles and joints. It may be that the discomfort in your arm is best addressed by handling tight back muscles, but giving them these valuable clues can ensure that no time is lost on your journey to full relaxation.