A full body massage: luxury or necessity?
SUN Spotlight On: Creative Hair Salon
Owner; Gwen Lagrande
6360 Haverford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19151
Appts: Wednesday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM; Thursday and Friday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM; Massage Therapy Services by Scheduled Appointment
Specialties: Spa, Beauty and Personal Care; Emphasis on Holistic Hair and Body Treatment; Massage Therapy; Hair services include Weaves, Natural Hair Styling, and the more traditional Press and Curl. Strong focus on natural hair care.
Certified Massage Therapist: Rita Topping
By Leah Fletcher
A massage is a great way to relax, relieve stress, and improve your health. This is old news for those who have incorporated the practice into their standard beauty and health routines. According to Rita Topping, a certified massage therapist, not enough women and men are integrating body massage into their lifestyles.
If “We are accustomed to viewing massage as a luxurious adornment and not as a necessary focus on health,” said Topping, who is affiliated with the Creative Hair Salon, in West Philadelphia. “Touch is nurturing,” she added.
For those new to the body massage experience, there is sometimes an intimidation factor, said Topping, a 20-year veteran in the beauty and massage industry. She advised novices who might feel vulnerable, to consider simple reflexology, the art of healing certain muscles. “ A foot or hand massage is a noninvasive and an affordable introduction to more advanced massage procedures,’ Topping said.
Here are a few suggestions offered by Topping about what to do before, during and after a body massage to ensure a great experience.
Before the massage
Be on time: Arrive about 5 to 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment. You want to receive your fully allotted time and to have time to complete any required paperwork.
Ask for licenses, schooling and references: Finding a reputable massage therapist is like finding any professional. Exercise care when seeking a professional. Check local requirements and seek services from those who meet those requirements. Avoid those who hang out shingles while failing to meet standard local or state requirements. Topping, who is also a cosmetologist and licensed instructor, entered the beauty and massage industry, after graduating from Rosemont College with a degree in Marketing.
Ask about massage techniques: The massage therapist your friend swears by might not work for you. Every therapist differs a little in the pressure they use and how they actually perform different techniques. It worth while to search and even pay a little more for a good match.
Shower: A good shower will loosen your muscles and a freshly washed body will make for a more pleasant experience. Looser muscles make the massage easier. Showering before you leave home or at the massage facility is common courtesy and it makes the experience better for everyone.
Communicate with your massage therapist: Tell your practitioner about your medical history. Topping noted that any major surgeries or injuries you’ve had, throughout of your life, is something that should be talked about. “The information might direct the course of treatment chosen,’ said Topping. “Anything could be medically relevant such as allergies or dislike of certain oils or scents.”
Topping also believes any diagnosis from your doctor or chiropractor will not only be beneficial, it may also change the way that your therapist approaches the massage. For instance, those trained in different specialty massages, such as Deep Tissue or Swedish, may know a different technique that may help you more. In fact, there may be some techniques they should not perform in some injury cases. No detail is too small to share.
During the massage
Speak Up: This covers everything you should do while getting a message. If something is hurting you, if you are cold, or even uncomfortable, communicate the issue to your massage therapist right away. A therapist wants this to be an enjoyable experience and wants a return client. “It may take awhile to understand your needs or wants and the only way that can happen is to tell your therapist,” said Topping. “For instance give him or her the chance to adjust a pressure technique before abandoning him or her as too heavy, hard or soft,” she added. The message here is that massage therapists are there to help you. They can do a better job when you communicate what you want.
After the massage
Drink plenty of water: Massaging your muscles can get them to release toxins. Stay hydrated to flush them out of your system.
Give yourself time: After a massage you might not feel better right away. Extremely tight muscles before a massage may make you feel sore right after getting one. The toxins that are released may even make you feel a little queasy. Sometime a few treatments may be needed for you to feel complete relief. Talk to your therapist about anything you experience so he or she can suggest measures such as stretching exercises, to make the recuperative process fast and easy. Do leave on time
Don’t quit because you don’t feel better: Prevention is always better than treatment and a maintenance plan can keep you feeling good. People who get regular messages tend to report better results than those that do so only when absolutely necessary. Treat a massage as you would any other activity that may help your well being. While you may consider body massage a pampering luxury, make it part of a new healthier lifestyle.
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