A massage can be an extremely beneficial experience, both physically and mentally. Some of you may be massage veterans, and some of you may be first timers, but either way, Brooklyn Body Mechanic is a bit different. So you may be asking: how do I get the most out of my massage?
It’s our mission to make your massage the best experience possible, so this article will show you how to get the most of your massage.
Here are some solid tips...
1. Be HONEST on Your Intake Forms
When you book with us, you will receive a comprehensive intake form electronically. This form is fully HIPAA complaint and anything you share with us will be kept completely confidential in accordance with applicabe state and federal law, so BE HONEST on your intake forms about your medical history and injuries. The more information a massage therapist has, the better equipped they will be to help you reach your goals and feel your best. Information on the intake form will inform the therapist's treatment plan, including: which modalities to use, how much pressure to apply, and which areas to avoid.
Another thing worth mentioning...everything matters! You may not think that stiff neck from a car accident ten years ago matters, but it could be a contextual factor, especially in the context of chronic pain. If in doubt, tell us about it.
Listen, we know it can be uncomfortable and awkward to talk about some of the things listed on intake forms, but your therapist can only help you if they know what's going on with your body. If you have any serious injuries or ailments, tell your therapist before you begin the massage. It's important for us to know about any past surgeries, pregnancy, illnesses, or current medications you're taking. Those things WILL affect how we treat you.
2. Be as Clear as You Can About What Your Main Concerns Are When You Schedule Your Appointment.
When booking your appointment, be as clear as you can about what your main concerns are...we call this your "Chief Complaint". A full-body massage is a great way to relax, but it's not necessarily the best way to solve a problem, and by guiding us to the main issues you'd like addressed, you stand a greater chance of getting the outcome you are looking for.
We like to start massage sessions with a clear indication of the primary issues you are having and any secondary issues that may be of concern. By knowing these issues, and your goals, we will be able to effectively manage the session time to maximize your outcomes.
3. Dress Comfortably.
Of all the questions we get asked, "how should I dress?" is the easiest to answer.
Dress however you feel comfortable!
Some folks feel comfortable leaving some or all of their clothing on and that toatally fine. We have many modalities to choose from when treating you and many of them can be easily done while you are fully clothed. So if keeping fully clothed creates a space for you where you feel safe, go ahead and do that...it will only result in a better session for you.
Of course, you are also welcome to undress to your level of comfort, and we will ALWAYS ensure you are securely and appropriately draped at all times.
It's YOUR session. You pick what works for YOU.
4. Communicate with us!
It's ok to let your therapist know if you find something too uncomfortable or painful during the massage. For some reason, we still have far too many people visiting the clinic with a "No Pain, No Gain" mentaility. This couldn't be further from the truth. Most of the results in massage come through downregulating the nervous system to get you in a relaxed state. More relaxation means better results.
With this in mind, we like to keep our massages below 7 out of 10 on a relative pain scale. Some of the work might be a bit uncomfortable, but it should still feel good! If you find yourself tensing up, holding your breath, or even wishing the therapist would move on to another spot, this is working against you. Pain upregulates the nervous system and excessive nociception could even sensitize you to MORE pain. You should be able to breathe full and deeply throughout.
A good massage therapist will be able to tell if something isn't right during your session, but it's always a good idea to let the person know if you find something too uncomfortable or painful during the massage, as even the best of us aren't mind readers and we can never really know what YOU are experiencing. You're paying for a service, and this is YOUR session, so if something doesn't feel right, say something. We have a multitude of tools, techniques, and modalities at our disposal. We can ALWAYS find something that works better for your body and goals.
5. Be Realistic About Expectations.
You probably have heard us rant at some point about expectations, especially if you follow us on IG. We realize that you have a goal in mind when you come in to see us, and as humans that also deal with chronic pain, we also understand how frustrating it can be to suffer from pain and not be able to do the activities that you love.
That being said, we aren't miracle workers and can't always guarantee a timely outcome. We can point the finger in many directions, including Western medicine and the promise of the "quick fix", but to be honest, even traditional pain management (i.e. "take pills") isn't a solution...it simply masks the problems.
While in some cases, pain medication is indicated based on your diagnosis, if you are coming to us because a physician recommended massage as an alternative to prescription medicine, it is critical to understand that the treatment will be a process that may span at LEAST 3 sessions (this is why we discount 3-packs for first timers, by the way). Because we are trying to get to the bottom of the issue, rather than put a quick Band-Aid on it, this may take some time as we undergo this journey together. That being said, occassionally we DO hit homeruns, and it isn't unusual to see progress after 1 session.
6. Understand our Scope.
Finally, it is really important to understand our scope. We ARE licensed professionals in the state of New York, and that does give us a particular scope of practice, but we are not doctors, orthopedists, physical therapists, etc. We can assess you and offer referrals if your issues are out of our scope, but we can't give you medical advice or offer true diagnostics (i.e. things that require medical imaging like an MRI). Please understand our scope and PLEASE do not get mad at us if we refer you to a medical professional that is more fitted to deal with your particular issues.
Wrapping it Up
Hopefully, this advice will help you enjoy your massage to the fullest extent. Brooklyn Body Mechanic’s experienced and professional team is ready to treat you, so don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us today—you deserve it!