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LightAngel's Musings

  • Writer's pictureElisha LightAngel

Pre-Massage Do's & Don'ts

Pre Massage Do's and Don'ts a women getting ahead massage

If you’re looking to have the best massage or simply enhance it then this list of do’s and don’ts is for you. These are things you want to be mindful of prior to having your massage. Following this advice will help you have a better experience.

A woman drinking water



Hydration is not a one-day thing where you can drink some water and your good. It takes several days for your body to re-balance after being dehydrated and staying hydrated plays into a lifestyle choice. Hydration also is a matter of your electrolytes being balanced within your body in conjunction with having enough water to function optimally.

If you are not a huge water drinker you can still gain hydration from other beverages such as electrolyte mixes, and herbal teas, or adding flavor drops to your water to make it taste better. I recommend focusing on being hydrated before you see your massage therapist. The day before your massage load up on water or your beverage of choice that is hydrating. Drink water before and after your massage.

When you receive massage it pushes fluids around in your body and moves lymph fluid. Being hydrated preps the body to move toxins through the lymph and allow it to exit your body when you pee. It helps your skin be more elastic and supple and it helps your muscles allow for deeper work if that's what you need. If you feel dehydrated it can cause your massage to hurt and cause you to possibly experience aches and pain or even sick afterward.

If you are interested in feeling more hydrated as a lifestyle check out Operation Hydration: A 7-Day Hydration Challenge. I made it specifically to help people get more hydrated and feel better in their bodies.



Do not drink alcohol 24 hours prior to your session. Alcohol is extremely dehydrating, not to mention it is toxic to your liver and makes your liver do a lot of extra work just to try and get it out of your body and out of your bloodstream. Do yourself a favor, don't drink alcohol!

When drink alcohol you have created an environment of built-up toxins in your body and then you get a massage it can have negative side effects. You might find yourself feeling sick for a day or so after. You might have more post-massage pains and even be more susceptible to bruising. Overall it has the capability of making you feel like crap.

A man taking a shower and singing in the shower



Your massage therapist loves you coming in all nice, fresh, and squeaky clean. We work in very close proximity to you and it acts as a courtesy to your therapist. When I say shower it can be in the last 24 hours. It doesn’t have to be immediately before. I know we don’t all have that kind of time.

When you do shower consider using a sponge or lufa to help give you a mild exfoliation. This helps sluff off dead skin which creates a nice layer of fresh skin awaiting the hydrating lotion or oil that will be used in your massage.



Don’t worry about your hair. A clean body and dirty hair is perfectly acceptable. When your massage therapist massages your scalp they may have residual oils on their hands and if you care about your hair you might not enjoy that residual getting onto your hair. If it is dirty and you plan to wash it later then you might be less apprehensive of a little lotion or oil getting into your hair. Trust me. We are not judging you. We want to give you the best session possible.

A woman in a bathrobe in front of a clothing rack trying to decide what to wear.



Be comfortable. You’re going to come to your massage undressed for the massage and then be putting clothes back onto your body that just got jellified. By jellified, I’m saying your body is going to be relaxed and you might be feeling like jello. Comfy clothing will be your friend. It is easier to get dressed if you have easy to put back on clothing.

If you can’t come in something comfortable you can always bring a more comfy change of clothing to wear after the massage. I have had many clients come from work dressed in business attire and shift into loose-fitting clothes when their massage is over. While this isn’t a requirement, it can make you feel better.



For your own comfort, do not eat a heavy meal 2-3 hours prior to getting your massage. A heavy meal can make you feel too full or feel like you have a lump sitting in your stomach. This can make you feel uncomfortable or even miserable while you get a massage. You might feel gassy or experience other unpleasant digestive side effects.

If you do need to eat prior to your massage choose a light and easy-to-digest food. Think more along the lines of a snack. It can be something that satisfies you but doesn’t take you to the point of misery.

A clock against an orange background



Do arrive early enough to give yourself a few moments of wind-down time. This helps your mind transition from your busy life to a more relaxed state allowing for a better massage. Arriving a few minutes early can allow you to use the restroom if you need it as well.

So how early are we talking? I say arrive 5-10 minutes early with the intention of waiting for your appointment time to begin. If this is your first visit with a new therapist they might need you earlier to fill out their intake form. If you have not filled out a form online prior to your appointment then give yourself 15-20 of early arrival. This can allow you the extra time to fill out a form in addition to winding down and using the restroom.



Emergencies happen. That’s life and occasionally in life, it will cause you to have to cancel an appointment you were looking forward to. Your therapist has arrived early, set the space, and created a time in their day specifically for you. Please contact your therapist and communicate your inability to make the appointment. If you don’t show up or communicate then your therapist is sitting around waiting for you to show up and wondering where you are.

A toilet in a bathroom.



As mentioned earlier, arrive a few minutes early to give yourself time to use the restroom. A massage pushes fluids through your body and can cause you to have to pee sooner than you would have not gotten the massage. Also the therapist may put pressure on your bladder when they swoop down your lower back. If you eliminate anything holding in your bladder prior to the massage then you are more likely to make it through without having to get up in the middle of the massage to use it.



If this is your first time getting a massage it can feel a bit nerve-wracking or intimidating. Rest assured that massage therapists, by nature, are very caring individuals who have lots of heart and really want to help you. Feel free to communicate any of your needs to your therapist and let them know where your comfort level is. Any good therapist will be understanding and work with you to help you feel as comfortable as possible so you can fully relax and enjoy your massage.

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