Massage therapists are the eyes for the back of your body, and can spot irregularities in places you can’t. they noticed bright red, oddly shaped spots behind the knees or on the back of the hip, and when we do,Clients have called us saying, “You may have saved my life.”
When you need a new pillow
There’s a lot of trial and error that goes into finding the perfect pillow. You want to have your spine in as perfect alignment as possible. The pillow should support the shoulder enough to not bunch up around your ears. Over time pillows should be turned around, fluffed, or replaced when their appearance gets a bit deflated or you no longer feel supported in your sleep. If your head is tilted down or up, it’ll put strain on your neck. And speaking of strain, we beg: Don’t sleep on your stomach. It places incredible pressure on your spine and neck. Sleep on your back or side. You can tuck a pillow between your knees or under your arms to be more comfortable.
That you’ve been stressed out
We know you’re uptight if you’re a bit too chatty or can’t focus on relaxing. Plus, your body’s response to the massage will be different. Not all massage therapists believe that toxins are released during massage, but those who do take sweating or bad breath as signs that it’s the first time you’ve let loose in a while.
That you work at a computer
You’ll have a forward roll of the shoulders from looking at that monitor all day, and your back will be strained from remaining still for hours. An easy fix: quick stretches at your desk. Tense your shoulders up around your ears, squeeze for five to ten seconds, then drop and let gravity pull down your shoulders. Or, rotate in your chair like you’re driving a car in reverse, and hold for a count of ten. Believe us, it will make a difference.
That you suffered injuries as a kid
We’ll notice the injury patterns even you may have forgotten about. We’ll see the aftermath of that childhood sledding accident, or that you once broke your leg, and then you’ll tell us about an injury a decade ago. A broken leg is often slightly shorter than the healthy leg, but when we examine you with both legs side by side, it’s obvious.
That you’re a textaholic
If we rub your shoulders, and you tell us it hurts or it’s tight, we wonder how much you’ve been texting. It’s easy to forget how long you hold your head in that downward position, but be sure to look up and stretch every so often, because that prolonged posture will cost you dysfunction and imbalance in the shoulders.
If you’re dehydrated
We can always tell if you haven’t been keeping up with your daily eight glasses of water. Trigger points in the upper back will be more tender when you’re dehydrated. Drink up, especially on massage day.
If you traveled recently
We’re a touch-phobic society. If you spent hours in an airplane, especially with a seatmate who took from your space, you likely sat on only one of your glute muscles and curled yourself away. Your strained spots will have a twisted pattern, caused by a lot of pressure on one side. Likewise, if you have significant stress in your neck, we’ll guess you fell asleep without a pillow, likely hanging your head for hours.
If you’ve been chilly
Your posture changes in the winter when it gets cold, because you hunch up your shoulders to your ears. It’s instinct. During those months, chances are you come to us carrying stress on top of your shoulders and around the neck, and we know why.
If you’re a heavy smoker