What type of massage should I try... if any?
I'm mustering up the courage to schedule a massage, and, given my quirks described below, I'd appreciate any recommendations as to the kind of massage I should have, if any, and the type of questions or requests I should ask of the therapist.
I'll be running a half-marathon in a little over a week and I may have an opportunity to schedule a massage two days after that race. This would be partially a reward for finishing the race, but primarily an attempt to get over my fear of having a massage. I'm a mediocre but dedicated runner. I'm not experiencing any particular running-related pain or injuries; this just happens to be when I have a window of time to schedule a massage.
I'm scared of getting a massage, even though I suspect it would be helpful and would ultimately feel good. I am very inflexible and I find the little stretching I am able to do to be painful and difficult. (I find it painful to use "The Stick" on my legs, for instance, for any other runners who are familiar with that device.) I've had substantial reconstructive surgeries on both of my shoulders, too, and I tend to flinch when anyone touches my shoulders or upper back. In general, I find it very difficult to relax, either mentally or physically. I'm nearly always "tight" and I often experience mild discomfort and, rarely, some pain in my neck and shoulders as a result.
I'm not particularly concerned about post-massage pain (this question
was helpful in that regard); I'm more concerned about discomfort and pain, and the inability to relax, during the massage.
It may be that I'm the sort of neurotic, stiff, physically sensitive person for whom massage just doesn't "work." Since everyone I know who's had a massage has liked it, though, and since it just might do me a world of good, I'm willing to try a massage to see if I'll benefit... with a lot of trepidation!
Is there a particular type of massage that might be appropriate? Swedish massage is what some have recommended, as it is apparently more gentle than deep tissue massage.
I assume I will need to explain my concerns to the therapist, and I'm fine with that. I'm sure that trying to relax ahead of time, arriving early to get acclimated, and doing what I can to maintain a positive mental attitude will be helpful, too. Are there any particular questions you think I should ask, given my specific concerns?