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9 Do's and Don'ts of Receiving Chair Massage at Your Office

Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Favorite Corporate Wellness Perk

Hanna Kim - January 17, 2020

It’s your lucky day! Your boss may have scheduled chair massage for your office for a job well done or as a way to promote workplace wellness. Massage offers many wonderful benefits - it melts away workplace stress, improves mood and productivity, and relieves muscular tension.

There’s seemingly not too much to chair massage - you hop on the chair and get your relaxation on. If you’re new to office chair massage or massage in general, you may have some questions. Here are some pointers to help you familiarize yourself with chair massage before your next session:

DO Consider Your Outfit for the Day

LoDo Chair Massage therapists will arrive at your office equipped with their massage chairs, which generally look like the one in the photo above. We recommend wearing something other than tight-fitting or short skirts so you can comfortably maneuver yourself in and out of the chair.

DO Wait for the Massage Therapist to Cue for You to Sit Down

We get it: you're excited to get your massage. It’s worth it to wait for the massage therapist to let you know he or she is ready to receive you as their next client. They might not have had a chance to reset yet. During the hotter months, the last client may have left the seat a little sweaty, and it’s not entirely out of the question for someone to drool a little from being so relaxed. Massage therapists are human too - they may need a bathroom break or a quick stretch.

DO Mention Any Physical Conditions

It’s important to mention any physical conditions like injuries and surgical sites - both past and present - as these conditions may affect your massage. For example, if your shoulder is prone to dislocating and your therapist stretches it too far back, the unstable joint may re-dislocate.

We recommend that pregnant women mention if they are pregnant. Most women are “showing” past their first trimester, but massage therapists don’t want to make any assumptions. They can adjust the massage chair or have you seated in a different position so you are more comfortable.

DON’T Avoid Chair Massage Because You’re Pregnant

There’s a lingering myth that massage therapy should be avoided by pregnant women because it could trigger a miscarriage, but there is no scientific evidence to show this. On the contrary, massage can be a wonderful tool to alleviate the side effects of pregnancy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists report back pain as one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. Massage releases feel-good hormones that alleviate pain and relaxes the body.

DON’T Get A Massage If You’re Starving

Getting a massage can trigger dizziness or even fainting on rare occasions. This generally is not an issue for most people but it’s something to take extra precaution with for those who have lower blood pressure, issues with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), or are taking certain medications. 
If your chair massage is scheduled first thing in the morning and you haven’t eaten yet, consider grabbing a quick bite beforehand or trading time slots with a coworker later in the day. If you feel dizzy during the massage, let your therapist know and lift your chest off slowly and take a few deep breaths before fully getting up. If you’re still feeling unbalanced, you may want to sit with your head between your knees or lie down on the floor to let the blood flow back towards your brain.

DON’T Get A Chair Massage If You’re Sick

A massage might sound nice and soothing when you’re feeling under the weather, but it may actually worsen your symptoms. You don’t want to expose the massage therapist and your co-workers to your germs either. Staying home from work to get rest is best when you’re sick.

Avoid chair massage if you have any contagious skin conditions like pink eye, a cold sore, or a wart as well. If you’re extra lucky, your office offers massage on a recurring basis and you can catch a session when you’re feeling better.

DO Stay Hydrated

No, it’s not to help release toxins. It’s a simple suggestion to hydrate more throughout the day since many of us prefer other beverages to water.

If the chair massage event is during your office’s happy hour or a holiday party - consider skipping out on alcoholic beverages since intoxication is a contraindication for massage. Try to avoid any caffeinated or overly sugary drinks as well, as these can negate the relaxing effects of massage.

DO Listen to Your Body

Your massage therapist will likely ask you a few questions before starting your massage about what areas of your body are tense and what kind of pressure you like, but everyone’s bodies are different. Our experienced massage therapists have a general idea of what clients like, but they’re not mind-readers. If you feel uncomfortable, be sure to let your massage therapist know so they can adjust their techniques so that it is an enjoyable experience for you.

It’s also important to know that our bodies are not just physical forms - sometimes parts of our bodies hold emotional memories due to past trauma. Receiving massage may unexpectedly release those emotions, so let your massage therapist know if you need to stop the session for any reason. Be sure to seek out additional resources, like a mental health professional to help you process your emotions in a safe space.

DO Relax and Enjoy Your Massage!

Your chair massage session is a time for you to relax. We discourage folks from texting; in fact, putting your phone on silent if possible as to not disturb yourself or others if there are multiple on-site massage therapists in the room. Help yourself get as much relaxation as possible for the most benefits. 

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