Before the massage:
First of all, make sure it is a good time for you for massage. If you have a fever, skin irritations (such as poison ivy or sunburn), or if you are trying to stabilize your medication (because massage can affect the dosage needed) it is better after that.
Before your massage, it is good drink plenty of water and do not eat just before your massage.
Give yourself to be relaxed because if you are stressed, it will take you longer to get into a relaxed state.
During the massage, make sure you feel comfortable, not to be cold, turn off the music or turn on if you like.
To get the most from your massage:
Be as open to the process as you can and relax and try let your thoughts go free. One way to do this is to focus on how you feel and remember to breathe slowly, as this helps you relax. In the same way, tightening your muscles during the massage is counterproductive but if you can't seem to relax your muscles, wait a few moment.
After the massage:
Wait a few minutes as you get grounded, especially if you feel you need and then take your time getting ready.
Then, a good idea is to drink some water to help the body flush waste products.
After the massage, if possible, allow some quiet time and don't go back to work or other responsibilities immediately.
How you feel after the massage will vary based on the way how you did it. Feelings range from being relaxed, centered and renewed, to excited, invigorated, or experiencing a rush of clarity or new energy and insight, to recognizing your true level of fatigue and wanting only to rest, may leave the body free from chronic tightness or acute pain patterns, but may replace it with a mild soreness from the pressure applied. After massage, you may want to rest before jumping back into the activity that produced the soreness.
Realize that the benefits of massage tend to be cumulative, so typically, you will feel relaxed and much better with less or without more pain.