Q: Why should I drink water after a massage?
A: Massage therapy pushes fluids through your lymphatic system, flushing waste materials from your tissues and creating space for fresh, oxygen-rich blood. This flushing process is much more effective when the body is properly hydrated. It's necessary to replenish with water afterward for tissues to stay soft, pliable and healthy.
Q: What amount of pressure is best?
A: This depends on the goal of the session, as well as your personal tolerance to pressure. In general, a massage for relaxation or lymphatic drainage will have lighter pressure than a massage intended to release very tight muscles. But every body is different in how it responds to various levels of pressure. Massage should never be painful, but some discomfort can be appropriate. Optimal tolerance is a term used by some massage therapists to describe the perfect amount of pressure and intensity used to be most effective for a specific anatomical structure on a specific person. This means the work is causing the tissue to respond and release, but is not causing injury or harm.
It is always okay to ask your massage therapist for more or less pressure.
Q: Do I need to undress?
A: There are some situations in which you will not be asked to undress. But in general, you will be asked to undress down to your comfort level. For a full body massage, this generally means that you can remove all of your clothing or leave your underwear on. In a professional massage setting you will be fully covered by a sheet. The therapist will only uncover the area that is currently being worked on. If there are specific areas of your body that you want addressed, it is usually best to unclothe those areas (for example, if you are hoping to relieve hip pain it may be best to remove your underwear). If you have any questions or discomfort, please address them with your massage therapist.