- Karen Stoner, LMT
4 Things to consider when scheduling your next massage
What kind of massage do you need?
Short Answer: Are you looking to relax? Help an injury? Your goals for the massage will help decide the type of massage and the length you need
More details: Massages come in many styles as well as many different time lengths, so when scheduling, consider what you need. If you are looking for a regular massage to focus on your neck and shoulders and stop your workday posture from becoming a problem, you might only need a 30 minute appointment focused on those areas, but if you are finally getting a day to yourself to unwind and get away from the world, you might want a 90 minute deep tissue massage. Think about what you want for the massage so you can schedule the right time and style that you need.
2. Will the time of day help or hurt you?
Short answer: Will an AM appointment make you stress about being late for work? Will a massage over lunch make you feel like a wet noodle the rest of the day? Schedule when the massage will help you most.
More details: Everybody has times throughout the day when they either feel better or have an easier schedule. If you have the option, think about the time of day or situation that will allow you to relax and get the most benefits out of your massage. You won't be able to relax if you are worried about the next thing on your schedule, so make your massage time at a time that will let you focus just on you and not what's next.
3. What can be done to make the appointment more routine?
Short answer: Massage works best when received regularly. Try scheduling your next appointment before leaving, or ask about scheduling several future appointments at one time to avoid forgetting and going too long
More details: It is easy to have good intentions and want to make massage a solid part of your wellness routine, but the best intentions can be difficult to keep up with until they become a routine. We are very conditioned to want to check the schedule and find the most "ideal" time, but then think about how many distractions can come in before that happens, and the massage suddenly disappears from memory. If you have a massage appointment that works for you, schedule another at the same time before you leave so you don't get distracted on the way home, or consider scheduling several at once over the course of the next few months so that it is one less thing to think about or worry about in the future.
4. Will you be able to relax?
Short answer: Big deadline at work? Have to get home to make the kids dinner? Waiting for an important call? Try to schedule a time you know you will be able to relax and get the full benefits of the massage, rather than trying to "squeeze it in" while your brain worries about what else is going on.
More details: Besides finding the best time to schedule a massage appointment, also think about everything else going on and resolve to let it go for the time of your massage. If you won't be able to get work off your mind maybe get that massage scheduled after the big work thing is over, or make plans for the kids that means you can separate yourself and not worry about them. Massage is supposed to take away the hormones and chemicals that your body releases when you are stressed, the massage won't help if you are constantly putting them back. Don't feel guilty or worried about taking the time for yourself - you need it to keep yourself healthy, so make the time for you and tune out everything outside of your massage.