Should you eat or drink before getting a massage?

spock_massage

Asshole.

Me.  Probably you too but I can’t make that judgment until I’ve met you.

I just signed up with Pandora because it’s 14 years ago.  Upon choosing my radio stations, I paused with each one in fear that anyone would stumble upon it like a lost diary and find out that I added a Barry Manilow station and also I  just realized I titled a post after a Barry Manilow song and am now just too embarrassed to be a person but this glass of Malbec is absolutely helping me forget about Barry Manilow and how I just wrote Barry Manilow 3x in one sentence – now 4.

How the shit is this a post on massage in any form?  ‘Cause it is right now.

But first Kenny Rogers because I love him and don’t give a fuck that my closest male friend, MJ, is absolutely shaking his head in both disbelief and disgust right now.  More disgust than disbelief.

So duh, drinking any liquids before a massage means only one thing. Pee.
Hold off on the liquids for at least an hour before your service so you can avoid interrupting the service, asking the therapist for your robe so you can use the bathroom, having the therapist roll their eyes into their head and pretend they don’t mind at all. They’re minding . A lot.

And the eating before a massage follows the same rules as swimming (without the water and the cramps and it’s not like swimming at all now that I think about it).
Try not to eat at least an hour or so before your massage for a couple of reasons. Why chance feeling gassy and bloated while trying to enjoy a pretty amazing experience? Also, one of the biggest benefits of massage is circulation:

For the whole body to be healthy, the sum of its parts–the cells–must be healthy. The individual cells of the body are dependent on an abundant supply of blood and lymph because these fluids supply nutrients and oxygen and carry a way wastes and toxins. So, it is easy to understand why good circulation is so important to our health and why massage can be so beneficial for the entire body due to its effect on circulation alone.

So, let your body focus on doing that stuff instead of working to digest that foot-long you just devoured washed down with a 70oz. Pepsi.  Hey, I get it – it’s $4.99 – no judgments.

Carpenters.
Blow me.

Advertisements

Privates (not to be confused with penises)

stingy

Private clients are people who are financially successful enough (as well as lazy as all shit) to employ a massage therapist to come to their home for a session. I plan to become one some day.

The main difference between myself and the private clients I have both heard about and experienced is that I have no intention of being a cheap fuck.  None. When I am fortunate enough to be able to afford a personal massage therapist to come to my home, I will be grateful and generous and buy them candy (the good kind, not a Whitman’s Sampler or anything they sell in CVS).

In New York City you can expect to pay between $80 (which, for a gifted therapist, falls just short of robbery) to $225 (for the handful of greedy, egotistical therapists).

Until that time I will frequent massage venues that I can afford, or lap up the generosity of my exceptional-handed partner.  ‘Cause when you attempt to bargain for a cheaper price for the convenience and luxury of getting a massage in your god damn home, face it – you are now in the ‘I’m a gigantic ass’ category.

Question.  Do you bargain with your doctor or do you go to a health care provider that you can afford?

Yelp reviews that marsh my ‘mellow’.

?????????

He rubbed me down for about 5 minutes through the towel which was bizarre, but I guess he was just warming up bc then he rolled back the blanket and got to work. I would have been happy staying on my stomach throughout the session but he turned me over and worked on my arms a bit, which was an odd choice given I told him I’d dislocated my shoulders, so he wasn’t terribly effective there, and the face up is always awkward with the lights in your eye and basically playing dead so you don’t have to make eye contact or reveal any expression.

Rubbing you down for 5 minutes through the towel is not bizarre at all.
Rubbing you down through the towel with an elephant tusk WOULD be bizarre.

Here is what I would consider to be some simple, commonsensical advice:
If you have dislocated your shoulders, stay home until they have healed and you don’t have to put the therapist in the ridiculously uncomfortable position of being afraid to, I don’t know, cause you pain? Undermine a proper healing regimen? Cause further injury?  And how exactly did you dislocate both shoulders?

And trust me, face-up is always awkward for we therapists too. Especially if the lights are in your ‘eye’ (meaning you only have one and are possibly a cyclops).
Next time try being dead instead of just playing.  That would work better for all of us, both in the magical kingdom and here in the real world.

Have a seat – somewhere else.

67daa883b34d7962f686cca05816c9cdChair massage is a method commonly used to perform massage therapy in a seated position while a client is clothed.

These are a few benefits for therapists:
– in my experience, most of the chair massage events offer an hourly fee if sponsored by the spa you are employed by.
You are paid whether you’ve got a fat ass in the chair or not.  Score.

– almost every event I have ever worked offers alcoholic beverages of some sort to its customers.  It is a terrible idea to work while intoxicated which is why I do it whenever possible.
As long as I’m not vomiting on anyone or making out with strangers, I do not see the harm in partaking in small amounts of mind-altering substances especially, if not exclusively, on the company’s dime.

– it is not as physically challenging as a full body table session.

– you are guaranteed to get new clients.

– you can pretty much tailor the seated massage time to whatever your inebriated heart desires.

The following is a smattering of suggestions for ‘clients’ getting chair massage:

– a 10 minute chair massage IS NOT in any way imaginable an opportunity for you to address that whiplash you received in that 10 car pile up last week on the Long Island Expressway.

– if you are looking to experience a professional massage for the first time, this is an acceptable method of learning whether or not you like the idea of being touched by
strangers.

– do not drop your 300 lb. hugely muscular frame in my chair and become a demanding fool mistaking this dip into a pool of relaxation for a free deep-tissue therapeutic massage or there is a small chance I will tie your shoelaces together and yell fire.  I’m gonna be hating on you so hard, your momma’s gonna feel it.

– you may offer the therapist a tip for this service but you are not required to do so.  I am one of the few therapists who actually prefer not to be tipped in this situation.  It seems tacky to me (ducking tomatoes from every other fellow massage therapist on the planet).

Many therapists are not thrilled with the idea of performing chair massage because it is not something we were taught in massage school.  Funny how that doesn’t stop them from offering $10 blow jobs because, unless I was absent that day, that wasn’t in the curriculum either.

Why drink water after a massage?

72percent water

Because I said so.

And although I never seem to get tired of doing stupid things (watching violent crime shows right before bed and then having nightmares about severed heads or eating too much sugar and then waking up every hour forever and then seriously contemplating why that keeps happening but not requesting that Dr. Doom stop buying Sour Patch Kids and soda), at least I know I’m stupid. That’s gotta be good for something.

As I was editing this post, I was both impressed and confused with the information I gathered until I realized that I wasn’t the one who wrote it.  Heh.  It was from a spa blog called Milk + Honey out of Texas.  I like their explanation of the importance of drinking water especially after a massage.

Have you ever wondered why you are told to drink extra water after a massage?  Your therapist is not just honing a nurturing instinct or lecturing you on good health. When your muscles are manipulated during a massage waste materials and other toxins are released from the muscles and into the blood stream. Just like when you exercise, massage, especially deep tissue or sports massage, dehydrates muscles and removes electrolytes. In order to help your kidneys process and flush out these toxins, it is important to drink additional water. Water will help prevent unnecessary soreness, possible nausea, and an overall sluggish feeling. Your body is happy to get rid of all the “junk” it has been storing but you need to help it along with extra H2O. Keeping your muscles hydrated regularly helps keep the tissue supple and healthy reducing tension and spasm.

There is debate about the actual amount of water that is considered the right amount. A good way to know you are hydrated is to make a point to drink your 8 glasses a day and if your urine is clear then, you are hydrated. If you are already a pro at staying hydrated, then go ahead and tack on an extra 3-4 glasses of water after a massage. Every body is different so you might have to test it out and see how much is enough for you. If the day after a massage you are stiff and fatigued, add on a couple more glasses the next go around. You will find your body feeling renewed and rejuvenated.

In my own experience, last time I had a deep tui-na massage I forgot to drink water. Of course I did.  I had no specific requests because my body was in such sad shape that I seriously didn’t care what she did. It was some rad deep work and I allowed it because although I would be sore for a few days, I would feel great after that.  I walked home afterwards because I forgot that I don’t like to walk anywhere and I had little clue where I was or who I was after getting off  that massage table.  When I arrived home I felt dizzy and nauseated.  I decided that I had contracted the flu and began going through a list of clients I had worked on that day who I could hate for selfishly spreading their unforgivable rotten germs with me.  Then it hit me like one would a crack whore asking for the product before the service.  How did I fail to realize that this therapist beat the living hell out of my body and I needed to flush out the crap that was begging to get out?

Just drink water. I bet crack whores never drink enough water.

Topical ointments for pain relief

Anything topical is, well just that – topical.
There are definitely ointments, gels, creams etc. that will distract you from your stiff joints and sore muscles, but they’re not gonna fix you.
These are a few of my favorites:

Tiger balm is mildly effective and only costs as much as 2 family size Kit Kat bars. No tigers were harmed in the making of this product. In fact, there are no animal-based ingredients at all.

I have personally never felt the benefits of using arnica, but it’s one of the most popular topical treatments for both tight & sore muscles.
Arnica is derived from a plant and  has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s and is still popular today. Applied to the skin as a cream, ointment, liniment, salve, or tincture, it has been used to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds.

Aveda’s Active Composition is, in one word, delicious (not literally) and doesn’t evoke memories of visiting grandma in the nursing home. It’s $21 and worth it.

Biofreeze is my favorite, but it is usually only sold as a professional product available in beauty supply stores and massage companies. It is a green gel that goes on cold and is rubbed in thoroughly for best effect. The product contains menthol to ease muscle soreness and lessen discomfort by drawing blood away from the wounded area. Wow. I just learned that they now make it colorless! Genius! And although I get the whole green/menthol philosophy, it’s about time. Now it is a perfect product.

Thermacare wraps from the drugstore are a pretty intense distraction from pain and stay hot for about 8 hours. You can wear them under your clothes, and they are perfect for times when you can’t stay home and rest with a heating pad because god hates you and those burgers aren’t going to flip themselves.

This article is a good one for when to ice or heat.
http://www.emaxhealth.com/21/515.html

Contrary to everyone who knows nothing – YOU WILL NOT DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH if you use ice or heat incorrectly.  You just won’t feel better.

Anyone have any additional recommendations to add to this list?

Can you get this knot out in one session?

Yes, and then I will attempt to saw a woman in half because I’m a fucking magician.

What is a muscle knot?
I like the description from LIVESTRONG.com and added some of my own take on it.
-Adhesions in the muscles are commonly referred to as knots or trigger points.  The knots are found around irritated patches of muscle fibers where the tissues fill with fluid and junk molecules preventing healthy blood flow to the muscles. Since there is little or no blood flow to the tissues, the muscle becomes attached to the bone or another muscle.

Knots can take years to form so guess how long it would take to break them up?
Longer than 56 minutes!!!
It may take months, maybe years, depending on various factors such as age, intensity and how often your fat ass is on the couch watching a ‘Pawn Stars’ marathon (been there).
So, I beg you – please don’t come in once every two years for a deep tissue massage and expect me to ‘fix you’.  I can’t even verbalize the awful things I want to do to you when you ask that of me.

For some strange reason, some clients enjoy the idea of having a lot of knots as if it were some competition they’ve won.
Tooooooooo many times, a wife will say to her husband “See honey, I told you I have a lot of knots!”.  What exactly are you bragging about?
When you have a yeast infection, do you ask the Dr. if he’s seen any as bad as yours (that time doesn’t count! I never asked, he just announced to his staff that I had the worst of the day. Wait a minute, I do recall a slight feeling of pride).
I attribute most tight and aching backs to bad posture, repetitive strain, lack of stretching dosed with a massive amount of stress with no outlet to relieve it.What can you do to increase the chances of having a healthy back with minimal back pain?  Start now with a regular exercise routine.  It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s something you like that has both aerobic and strengthening components.  CORE strengthening is the key.  If your abs are strong, it will relieve a lot of the pressure on your back to do all the work.  Drink water, consistent restful sleep, healthy diet consisting of green things (salad, not guacamole flavored Doritos) and hot baths as often as possible.
Hot/cold therapy. 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off. That’s gonna have to be a totally separate post. Too much info and I’ve probably lost most of you already.
Oh and duh – lots of massage…
Unless you are getting deep-tissue or sports massage, you can get a massage as often as you want.
Once a week would be ideal but monthly would be very beneficial.
If it’s not in your budget, alternate with going to the Asian Tui Na places.  No, it’s not luxurious – no plush robes or slippers and don’t expect any cucumbers or mint leaves in your water but you will get the shit beaten out of you for approximately $50.  You will absolutely hear the guy in the next room (most of them use curtains for walls) loudly instructing the therapist what to do and you will probably be throwing your clothes in a plastic bin under the table but they’re awfully good.  Some of them may even be licensed.
Everyone has knots.  It sucks but it’s better than herpes.

Yes. It’s dirty. Now shut up & put your face in it.

You’d be surprised how often a client, once they’re on the table, asks if the face cradle cover is clean .  You can ask if you want but I promise you the answer will NEVER be “No, it’s actually filthy, now shut up & put your face in it”.  You can ask for a clean one, but know you are now a giant pain in the ass.

Yes, I’ve forgotten to change them a few times.

Yes. Sometimes we run out and need to re-use one.

Yes. It’s gross.

Sorry.  Everything will be o.k..

Can we move on now?

Are there seriously acupressure points that can cause a miscarriage?

It depends who you ask.

Since this is my blog, I am assuming you are asking me, so no.  I think it’s a load of horse shit.  Jesus – that was a pretty big statement to own.

I believe in the general philosophy & benefits of Shiatsu massage (this link takes you to a very basic & simple understanding of Shiatsu).
I’ve taken Shiatsu classes in massage school & it is an amazing form of massage therapy. However, when they warned us in massage school to never press on certain acupressure points because it may stimulate the uterus and cause miscarriage, I was smothered by a truckload of skepticism. 

The absolute BEST massage I’ve ever experienced in my life was a Shiatsu session in a spa in California.  I don’t remember the name of the spa since it was over 10 years ago and my long term memory is only a distant memory.  I absolutely lost my mind the other day when I forgot the date my daughter was born!  I knew it was in May and it had a 2 in it but it was gone – I almost called her dad to find out, but realized I was risking him having me committed, or even worse, not being committed. Back from squirreling (I can’t help but giggle every time I use that term now), the massage… what I do remember is this – I was initially surprised because I never had a Shiatsu massage on a table, and assumed it would suck.  I was never more wrong about anything in my life.  (Wouldn’t that be awesome if that seriously was the biggest thing I was wrong about in my life?)  This therapist moved around the table like a whirlwind. One minute he was working on my feet, then hopped over the table to stretch my neck – it was insane!  When I got up off the table, I felt drunk ,without the nausea & vomiting.  I couldn’t drive.  I was in the heaven I don’t even believe in.

HOWEVER, do I believe that by pressing on certain pressure points on the body you can expel a fetus?  No.  No I certainly do not.

And I am considering conducting a nationwide search to find the ignorant douchebag who wrote this claptrap of complete garbage:
“How to use Acupressure to Complete a Miscarriage”.
There are a few things about this article that are causing me complete distress.  One of them is the nonchalant manner in which it is written. It could easily have been a guide on How to Fold a Paper Airplane, rather than a step by step guide on How to Kill Your Unborn Child.  My absolute favorite part of this entire outline is this:

Things You’ll Need

1-  Pencil with eraser on end (preferably used, as tip should be rounded)

(Are we assisting our 5 year olds in an elementary school project for the science fair?! Should it be a #2 pencil?)
The following was also amusing:

Tips & Warnings

  •  This method isn’t guaranteed to work. It is believed that these two points in acupressure may cause miscarriage. If it is vital that you not have a baby (ex. you may die if you give birth) then you should probably just pay for an abortion to be on the safe side.

I am not claiming, by any stretch of  the imagination, to be an expert on acupressure or miscarriages/abortions (although I could be) (wow, that’s gotta be too much information for possibly everyone); If simply applying pencil/finger pressure on points on the body could possibly expel a fetus, wouldn’t it be a HUMONGOUS, widely accepted, alternative to the traumatizing experience & expense of getting an abortion?
Please advise me if I am incorrect.

In fact, I am informally begging you to.