Enhance Your Massage Experience, Neck Stretches, Back to Massage

Enhance Your Massage Experience, Neck Stretches, Back to Massage

How to Enhance Your Massage Experience

Tips for Before, During, and After Your Session

By Kristin Coverly

In a lot of ways, a massage session is like a 5k run: a physical activity that can be done with little to no preparation, but that is a much more enjoyable experience with some thoughtful planning. Can a runner just show up to the starting line, zip through the race, and then head back to their regular life and to-do list? Sure. But do most runners set goals, carefully plan their food and hydration, and stretch before and after so that it’s a better experience for them and their bodies? Absolutely.

Let’s think about your massage or bodywork session like a 5k and explore the self-care aspects of your massage pre-, mid-, and post-session so that you, too, get the most out of your experience.


What do runners do to prepare for their race? They set goals, choose appropriate clothing, hydrate, eat wisely, stretch, breathe, go to the bathroom, and get to the event before the start time. You can use these same strategies to prepare for your bodywork session.


Your body’s needs change from day to day (sometimes hour to hour), so of course they’ll change from session to session. While last session you really needed some extra work on your legs that felt tight and sore from hiking, this time

you might want to focus more on your neck and upper shoulder muscles to help alleviate the headache that’s been lingering for a few days. Take a few minutes to determine what you need today, communicate those goals to your massage therapist, and you’ve actively participated in creating a session to meet your unique needs.


Go into the session thinking about how you want to walk out of the session. No one wants
to put tight, constricting clothing on after a massage, so prepare to have a loose, comfortable outfit to wear. One of my clients comes to her sessions straight from work, so she brings a change of clothes to put on afterward.


Plan to drink water throughout the day so you don’t (To read “The Rest of the Story” please click here BSAutumn2021)