Also known as the Swedish massage, a full body massage is no doubt the most popular and sought after kind of massage in the West. In fact, this kind of massage has brought about variations such as the deep tissue massage, sports massages, aromatherapy massages, and so many kinds of massages that have become popular in the west.
This kind of massage makes use of anatomy and physiology concepts, in stark contrast to the meridians and sen lines that Asian massage disciplines follow. Therapists who perform the whole body massage use techniques that stimulate circulation and flush out the circulatory system. It’s also means to loosen tight muscles and relieve people of pain.
If you’ve never had a massage before or you’re not used to going to the spa often, getting a full body massage is great for beginners. People who get the typical 50 to 90 minutes of a full body massage often like the results. And depending on your preferences, a full body massage can be as slow and gentle or vigorous and intense as you want it to be.
Note, however, that if you’re looking for something to relieve your chronic muscle pain, you might be better off with a deep tissue massage. The same goes if your doctor recommended otherwise. Regardless, all therapists are trained and licensed to provide a full body massage.
What Happens During a Full Body Massage?
In short, expect lots of oil and various massage strokes. The therapist is going to lubricate your skin with massage oil, which can vary depending on the spa. Sometimes they even let you choose the kind of oil you want based on the scent. Using the massage oil, the therapist will be employing a series of strokes that are meant to relax different muscle groups in the body.
These strokes will warm up your muscles, allowing for tensions to release easily. You’ll eventually feel the “knots” in your muscles break up and you’ll feel much better. As a result, you’ll be feeling a lot more relaxed.
Your therapist is also going to be asking you questions about your health. Certain conditions like allergies, high blood pressure, or pregnancy make it dangerous for you to get a massage, or at least require a more cautious approach. During this time, you can also tell your therapist about any part of the body you might want more focus on. Don’t worry; therapists are accustomed to accommodating these kinds of requests.
Once you’re done with the consultation, the therapist will ask you to change into the spa’s massage outfit, which is usually composed of a pair of shorts or a towel. You will then be asked to lie flat on the table - face up or face down depending on the situation. The therapist will also give you some privacy to give you time to change and get ready.
What are the Benefits of Getting a Full Body Massage?
All it really takes to enjoy the benefits of a full body massage is to visit the spa and get it once. After that, you’ll immediately feel your body feeling more relaxed, owing to the fact that your whole body’s systems have been refreshed. You’ll also feel less anxious and you might even feel a lot better about yourself.
Full body massages also tend to improve your blood circulation, which actually helps with a lot of things such as your energy levels and metabolism. It also helps improve your lymphatic system, which is responsible for getting rid of the waste products in your body, which just has a lot of benefits in itself.
Whatever muscle spasms and cramps you’re experiencing is likely to disappear or at least improve. As such, a full body massage could be the solution for many who have conditions like sciatica or arthritis.
Not all conditions, however, call for a massage, as it could make things worse. For instance, if you have a fever, some kind of inflammation, osteoporosis, or some specific infections, you shouldn’t get a massage without consulting a doctor about it. Sometimes this sort of thing is even outside the field of expertise of a massage therapist, so you will have to ask a physician about it.
What about Nudity?
When you get a full body massage, the therapist is going to need to be able to touch most of your body. This is why they usually only give you a towel or sheet to cover up with while you’re practically nude. Don’t worry, you won’t have to be lying down naked on the table - you’ll still be covered by a sheet or towel and the therapist will uncover the parts that he or she will be massaging at the moment.
In case you’re not comfortable with being nude under the sheets, you can request to keep your underwear on, which is a widely accepted practice among many massage enthusiasts.
The Massage Routine
As you lay down on the surface with your head on a u-shaped cradle, the therapist will begin the massage. Note that each therapist or every spa has its own style of providing its full body massage. However, they all have the same goal in spite of their varied technique. Therapists will usually start with the back and move down to your legs before having you flip over to massage the arms and the front of the body.
During this time, just relax and enjoy the massage. Try to feel the strokes and pressure placed on your muscles and how they tend to loosen up as the massage progresses. Or you can just take a snooze and feel better when you wake up. It’s really all up to you.
Remember; don’t hesitate to try out other kinds of massages that are usually offered by the spa. Chances are, these are variations of the full body massage and have different points of focus, which could work to your advantage. Remember, if you have any questions never hesitate to ask the spa itself.