Is It Over Already? How To Get A Better Massage
"Is it over already?" my client ask's me as I'm wrapping up our one hour session. "Yep! That hour sure fly's by doesn't it?" I reply knowing that the person on my table totally needed more massage work. This conversation happens several times a month. Believe it or not, sometimes a sixty minute massage just doesn't cut it. Some of you out there reading this need much more time than the standard 60 minute massage. Especially for those making an initial appointment with a new massage therapist.
So how much time do you need? Why isn't an hour massage enough? My recommendation for any new client coming to my office is an initial 90 minute massage. The process of that initial session will be a detailed intake. This includes what your goals for the massage are. Is it for relaxation? Pain relief? Sports Massage? Any areas of the body that need specific focus?
Then we'll go over your medical history, any type of medications your taking that would be contra-indicative for massage, and conduct assessments on your range of movement for any medical massage focus work. That initial intake generally takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes depending on what your needs from the massage are.
That initial appointment is also for the therapist to get familiar with your body. "Feeling the lay of the land" I call it. When I have a client come in with a specific problem, such as low back pain for example, it can really take up to an hour to really find where the problem is coming from. Low back pain is a complex problem, which means that the pain can be coming from several different areas of the body.
Massage for specific focus anywhere can eat up a lot of time. Have neck & shoulder issues? Depending how bad it is, I can spend 45+ minutes on just the neck, shoulders, and associated areas to decrease pain symptoms. If you have more than one problem area, you really need to book a longer session to make sure those areas are adequately worked over. The longer 90 minute session will give your therapist time to assess & focus on what your body needs. Especially if there are multiple areas in your body that are stiff or painful.
Making a massage appointment for just a relaxation massage? 90-120 minute massages are far more relaxing than a 60 minute massage. Of course, that should be obvious because of the longer massage session right? Even with 60 minute relaxation massages, therapists run out of time to get to everything. Combining relaxation massage with massage for pain symptoms? I wouldn't book anything less than a 90 minute massage.
When would I recommend a 60 minute massage? After the first few longer massage sessions with your therapist depending on your needs. The feedback we get from clients determines how the massage should go each session. Did the last massage session help your low back pain? Then we would do more of the same to continue making progress in relieving pain symptoms. The last massage didn't bring upon any positive change? Then the therapist tries other techniques to encourage positive results. I also book 60 minute massage appointments just to work on specific areas such as upper back only or the hips & legs only for example.
Is it your first time getting a massage, or you're unsure about what massage can do for you? Then I would recommend a shorter 60 minute session. For anyone under the age of 18, I recommend to start off with 30-60 minute sessions. Children under the age of 10 I wouldn't recommend anything longer than a 30 minute massage initially.
Many of my clients that book longer sessions now tell me that 60 minute massages go way to fast. Once you experience a longer massage session, 60 minutes or less massages feels too short. For those who like longer massages, have you ever considered 2 or even 3 hour massages? Many therapists offer 2 hour massages while fewer offer 3 hours massages, and they are well worth it.
Not only are these longer massage sessions rejuvenating, but it's amazing for your body and well-being. I offer a three hour massage, but only give the option to returning clients as I like to establish a therapeutic relationship with my client first. However, anyone in the Rochester, NY area can still book a 90 minute to 2 hour appointment with me HERE.
So what do you think? Do you see yourself trying a longer massage in the future? If you have never received a massage longer than 60 minutes, you really need to give it a try! It's totally a whole different experience when you book a longer massage session.