Edouard Debat-Ponson, 1883 Le massage huile sur toile 1883
Musée des Augustins Toulouse
For the last year I have been working with a massage therapist who comes to my house for massage work which I love. It is so relaxing as I don't have to jump in and out of the car, deal with traffic or parking and when I'm done I can stretch out and enjoy the benefits of the work we have done. There are only a few massage therapist willing to do home visits, but I highly recommend them in-between those fabulous Spa get-a-ways.
For a long time I would just have a full body massage and that was it, now with some experience and confidence behind me I know to ask for work on specific areas like my feet, hands, chin and eyebrows which really helps eliminate built up stress. You would be surprised to know just how many muscles there are in the eyebrows and how fabulous it feels to work on this area. Today we also worked on my forearms which are tender from all the computer work I've done since returning from my fabulous Christmas break. Working with someone who knows your body is ideal, as they can determine subtle changes from one massage to another and keep on top of problem areas.
My massage therapist works on both the superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue utilizing her hands, fingers, elbows, and forearm to stretch, knead and promote overall relaxation. She adjusts her overall pressure to meet my own comfort zone sometimes applying a lot of pressure, while other areas, which are more tender, are treated very delicately. Massage should not hurt!
Selecting what type of massage work you want is much more difficult; Wikipedia states there are over 80 different massage modalities! Spa Girls recommendation: Ask your favorite Spa expert what massage work they offer and discuss your desired outcomes to find the best type of massage to consider, and don't be afraid to try something new once in awhile.
In most cases massage work is done without any clothe,s but don't panic, you are completely covered up and only areas being worked on are exposed. If you are not comfortable completely undressing, by all means leave on your undies. But remember, your butt has some of the biggest muscles in your body, and it shouldn't be neglected when having massage work done.
Another choice you need to consider in professional settings is the position you like to be in while having a massage as there are a variety of choices: on a massage table, sitting or kneeling on a massage chair, or lying on a mat on the floor. I think people generally fall into two categories, you are either a recliner or a sitter upper, I am definitely a recliner, so I love to have my massage work done on a wide comfortable massage table and preferably one that is heated.
For general well-being having a massage two times a month is ideal, if however you have problem areas your massage therapist will establish a more rigorous routine.
Learn more about the history and variety of massage work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massage