Tips for staying present during your massage
At The NOW, we believe that taking time to relax & reset is a vital part of your self-care routine. However, we know that with busy schedules, constant notifications, and the stress of modern life, turning your mind off and enjoying a much needed massage can be easier said than done! Just because your body slows down, doesn’t mean your mind will follow. Your mind may race through your to-do list, or replay something you’ve been anxious about- not an ideal situation when you’re trying to relax! Tuning in to the power of mindfulness can help keep you calm and make the most of your massage. Check out our favorite ways to be present and tune out.
Mind Your Mantra:
Repeating a specific word or phrase during your massage can help you focus on both the present moment and keep your mind from wandering. You mantra is as unique as you are! It can be a feeling you’d like to cultivate or an intention you’d like to set for yourself. Try starting with “I am…” and fill in the rest. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple–like how you’d like to feel once your massage is finished, for example. According to yoga instructor and meditation specialist Amber Voiles, “A mantra is like the breath—something happening in real time. Any time we give our attention to what is happening NOW we’re able to embrace being in the moment.”
Mantras aren’t complicated, but that doesn’t mean they’re not effective. Studies have actually shown that working with a mantra can lower stress and anxiety. Repeat as often as necessary during your massage, and whenever you need to get back to the NOW after your treatment.
Deep, focused breathing is another simple trick to keep your mind in the present. Deep breaths actually work to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the key to relaxation! Silver Lake Massage Therapist Taylor Hall recommends breathing in counts of four (inhaling for four counts, holding for four, and then exhaling for four) to keep your mind still and your body relaxed. You can also use this technique at home if you’re ever feeling stressed or overwhelmed. We love practicing this with a few drops of the Nourish by The NOW Classic Body Oil, which is made with aromatherapeutic benefits to soothe and restore your senses.
Paying attention to your breath can also help with the therapeutic benefits of massage. Breathing into any tense or sore muscles can help make your treatment more effective and provide relief. Deep breathing also helps oxygen circulate in the body, promoting healing.
Scan Your Body:
The key to an effective mindfulness practice is to find ways to become attuned to your surroundings. During your massage, notice what you’re experiencing- soothing scents, the relaxing crash of ocean waves, and the warmth of the table can all help you stay in the moment. This is also a great time to check in with your body. Mentally scan yourself from head to toe, taking notice of where you might be holding stress or tension. Body scanning is also a great tool to help you communicate your needs with your massage therapist. Pay attention to any emotions that come up, acknowledging them and letting them pass.
Using one or all of these simple techniques can help you find your zen during your next massage and beyond. Whether you’re on the table, at a boutique, or on the go, staying in The NOW is easier than you think!