A Few Words That Could Make or Break Your Massage Experience

When you’re on the massage table, your mind should be drifting as the cares of your week get rubbed away and your muscles are soothed. That’s the optimal experience. But it doesn’t always turn out this way.

Using your words with a massage therapist can mean the difference between having a soothing, rejuvenating experience and paying for an hour of mild torture.Use Your Words

Not all therapists are perfectly suited to every person. All our therapists make an effort to listen carefully and are sensitive to cues that may indicate you’re not having a good experience. They’ve been trained to read your body like a book.

Having said that, your massage therapist isn’t a mind reader. You need to talk to them about your experience at every stage in order to ensure you’re having the best possible experience.

From the beginning
Before you’re left to disrobe to your comfort level and situate yourself under the sheets, your therapist will ask you what you want worked on, and what areas are troubling you most.

Two Women Shaking Hands

This is also a time to express your personal preferences. Is there something you’ve found you really like in a massage? Maybe you really like your head and face worked on. Maybe your feet are sensitive and you want them worked through the sheets. Say so at the beginning! Speaking up early allows your therapist to customize your experience and plan the time of your session so that you have the best possible experience.

While your therapist is working on you, keep the lines of communication open. If something isn’t going the way you’d like, say so! The therapist is more than willing to accommodate what their clients want. Yet so few people speak up. Maybe they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing and hurting someone’s feelings. Maybe they think that it would be a bad time to bring it up.

That couldn’t be more wrong. Your massage therapists will not be offended if you speak up and politely let them know you need your experience to change.

For example, saying something like:

“Could you use a little more/less pressure there, please?”


“That stroke is really starting to chafe. Do you think you could change it up?”

…these are things your therapist wants to hear!

Far from creating an awkward feeling in the massage, your therapist will be relieved to know what they need to do to serve you best.

What’s really awkward is saying nothing in the name of being nice, all while inwardly cringing as you wonder how much time is left … on a massage you’re paying for!

If what your therapist is doing just isn’t working, you do yourself and them a favor by saying so.

Chit chat
There’s also nothing wrong with a little conversation on the massage table. If a little small talk on the table would help you enjoy your massage, our threapists will be happy to oblige.

If, however, you prefer to enjoy the music, the ambient sounds, or the mystery of silence, that’s perfectly fine, too. It’s your massage, so do yourself a favor and let us know what we can do to make it great.

What should be said when all is done?
After your session, there are still more opportunities to communicate with your therapist. It’s always nice to say thank you. Our therapists love to hear a sincere compliment or kind word about their work.

If you’ve been worked on by someone you’re planning to see again, let them know what you liked about your session and what maybe could have been better. Your massage therapist is required by law to make notes on what was done in each massage, and they consult these notes when you come back for another visit, even if you had someone else work on you previously.

Your verbal feedback can be crucial. This gives your therapist the opportunity to make a note of your feedback, which will help ensure you have a good experience in the next session.

We don’t bite
Our therapists are friendly and open to feedback or constructive criticism. You might feel more comfortable talking to your therapist if you do a little research on our site and get to know them before you come in. Not only do we have brief biographies on our website, we also have published interviews with each of them on this blog.

So, next time you come in, do yourself a favor–be ready to open up and let us know what we can do to make your massage a memorable one.

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.

Traffic Advisory: Be Prepared!

Major Road Closure
It’s not often that we have news to report here on the GLM blog, but whether you’re a new client or a faithful regular, you need to be aware of a traffic situation in Renton.

For those of you who take Logan Ave from I-405, you need to be aware that southbound Logan Avenue is closed and detoured. To get to GLM, you’ll have to take an alternate route around Logan Ave. The closure is expected to last through next summer.

The simplest, if not the fastest way to get around the closure is to take I-405 to Rainier Avenue. Follow Rainier Avenue North for a mile and turn right on South Tobin.

For those more prone to take their chances Renton surface streets:

From Exit 5 on I-405, go west on Sunset, turn right on Park Avenue North, turn right on Bronson Way, take another right on South 2nd Street, another right on South Logan, then left onto South Tobin.

Renton Map

We’re sorry for the hassles, and we wish we could just make it all go away.

We can’t fix the traffic, but we can at least help with some of the ways your body reacts to it.

Book your next session today!

Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.

Are You Un-Doing Your Massage?

A great massage will have you coming home feeling like a new person. But what about the next morning? For those who aren’t used to regular body work appointments, you might be feeling a little sore after your first visit. Stretching is one of the best ways to help your body recover.

Stretching also has other amazing benefits:

  • improves your joint range of motion.
  • increases blood flow to the muscle.
  • improves flexibility.
  • leaves you feeling fresh and energized.

What kind of stretches should I do?
For athletes, the type of stretching you do and at what time you do it matters a lot. Static stretching, for instance, may be beneficial under most circumstances. But this stretch has been proven to impair performance before a 100 meter sprint. Athletes might focus on more dynamic stretches which involve lots of mobility. For our purposes, our best recommendation is to focus on static stretches.

Static stretches are simple body positions where you reach and hold the position for 10-30 seconds. It’s that easy! Static stretches are best for muscle recovery when done correctly.

Before you begin …
Form is important when exercising your flexibility. Stretching when your muscles are cold can lead to more damage than recovery. Here are things to consider before beginning your regular stretching routine:

Use proper technique
If you feel more pain than a good stretch, it is a good indicator that something is wrong.

Warm-up before stretching
To bring a good blood flow to your muscles, go for a short walk or do some cleaning around the house.

Do not “bounce” when you stretch
It is important to hold your stretch as to prevent stress on the muscle.

Reach until you feel the stretch
Don’t aim for pain. If it hurts, you’ve gone too far. If you’re aiming to improve your flexibility, push it right to the limit of where it hurts, and over time you’ll find that your flexibility improves. Don’t try to force the results.

Maintain a daily stretching routine
The benefits of stretching, like massages, come when you do it regularly.

Stay Hydrated!
Proper water intake prevents muscle cramps.

Great stretches for each part of your body

Foam Roll Calf Stretch
Foam Rollers are great just about anything! If you don’t own your own foam roller, you can purchase them here at the Good Life Massage, are relatively inexpensive, and are widely available.Faszienrolle

  1. Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you
  2. Cross your legs and place them on top of the foam roller.
  3. With your hands to your side, gently lift yourself off of the ground and allow the foam roller to move from your knee to the ankle. Pause in places of tension for 10-30 seconds.
  4. Switch legs crossed.

Wall Calf StretchDehnung der Wadenmuskulatur

  1. While facing the wall, position your feet around four feet from the wall. Place one foot forward.
  2. Lean forward, resting your hands against the wall. Try to keep each part of your body in alignment.
  3. Keep your heel on the ground. Hold the stance for 10-30 seconds. Switch legs.

Shoulder and Tricep Stretch

  1. While standing, position your feet shoulder length a part.
  2. With the forearm of one hand, pull the elbow of your other arm past your shoulder until you feel a pull.
  3. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Switch arms.

Glute Stretch

  1. While sitting on the ground, leave one leg stretched outward, with the other leg bent.
  2. With both hands, grab the leg that is bent and pull backwards while slowly leaning back (be sure to keep your neck and shoulders relaxed).
  3. Once you feel the stretch, hold for 10-30 seconds. Switch legs.

Lower Back Stretch

  1. While sitting on the ground, leave left leg stretched outward, with your right leg bent, crossed over the straight leg.practice yoga
  2. Place your right arm on your left leg and keep your left arm stretched outward. Slowly twist until you feel a slight stretch.
  3. Hold for 10-30 seconds and switch legs.

Cobra Stretch (Lower Back)

  1. Lay down with your chest on the ground.
  2. Place your hands as if you were to do a push up.Yoga bhujangasana cobra pose by woman on green grass in the park
  3. Push off the ground while keeping your hips to the ground. Hold for 10-30 seconds.

Forearm-Finger Tip Stretch

  1. While standing, stretch out your arm with the palm of the hand facing the ceiling.
  2. Gently pull down the fingertips of your hand until you feel a slight stretch.
  3. Hold for 10-20 seconds. Then switch to the other hand.

Neck and Trapezius Stretch

  1. Be especially gentle with this stretch as to avoid pulling any muscles
  2. With one hand, cradle the back of your head and pull slightly towards your shoulder, hold for 10-30 seconds.
  3. Switch arms to stretch the other side of your neck.

Hamstring Stretch (Hurtler Stretch)

red woman stretching her foot on the floor

  1. Sit on the ground with both legs stretched out in front of you.
  2. Bend one leg in towards your outstretched leg.
  3. Slowly lean towards your outstretch leg. Touch your toes if possible. Hold your stretch for 10-30 seconds.

Upper Back Stretch

  1. Kneel down on a soft surface.
  2. Prostrate yourself on the ground extending your hands as far out in front of you as possible.fit woman bending over on mat doing pilates exercise at home in the living room
  3. Hold position for 10-30 seconds.

You won’t need to sacrifice hours in a week to create a daily stretching routine. Just Five minutes a day is an investment that can provide years of mobility as you grow older.

Tanner Zornes is a blog contributor for the Good Life Massage and a student at Brigham Young University. Special thanks to our own Vanessa Mabra, LMP for inspiring this post and assisting in the research.