What To Do (And Not Do) After Your Massage
Having a massage scheduled is REALLY exciting and when that day approaches, you know that it’s going to be the highlight of your day. However, you may not be prepared for what you should do or not do post-massage. Here are some tips to get the most out of your massage treatment:
Receiving a massage can help flush the toxins from our bodies and by drinking water, we’re also helping to flush those toxins out. A massage helps in increasing the circulation of blood and the lymphatic system. Our blood needs the water to keep it moving and to provide us with the oxygen and nutrients that our body needs. Without enough water, our lymphatic systems can’t do its job properly, resulting in low immunity, pain and fatigue from the build up of toxins. Our massage therapists recommend drinking more than an average amount after a massage to replace the water you lose when using the restroom (several trips to the restroom is common post-massage).
A massage stimulates the metabolism, so we recommend having a meal post massage. Your blood pressure will also drop from receiving a massage as you become more relaxed. Give your body the fuel it needs. However, avoid eating heavy prior to your session as this may cause discomfort during your session. If you are hungry and have to eat before your massage, have a smoothie, low fat milk, almond milk or soup to take the edge off of your appetite. Anything to prevent distracting growling of your stomach so you can completely relax!
Take a bath
Dead Sea Salt or Epsom Salt can work wonders after a massage.The salt will help ease any pain and with warm water you can increase the blood circulation in your body. A nice warm epsom salt bath can also clear your sinuses, chest and increase levels of serotonin. In addition, your muscles will be tenderized to a greater level just by soaking.
Tip: Incorporate some light stretching during bath time for more tension release and reduction of soreness.
Allow yourself to go through the emotions
A massage can release all that you’re harboring inside, so it is common for people to feel emotional post treatment. Allow the emotions to pass like a cloud in the sky. The cloud may pour and thunder on you, but it will eventually pass. Tears also help in getting rid of toxins. Tears that are produced by emotional stress help the body release chemicals that raise cortisol (stress hormone). As a result, this also further reduces tension and elevates your mood.
Avoid Strenuous Exercise
A massage is a passive exercise, therefore a strenuous exercise post treatment may cause delayed onset muscle soreness that will leave you feeling achy-er than usual. You may also undo the work of your therapist and the muscle tension release that was worked on will go to waste. Also note that without enough water after your massage, you may become dehydrated when sweating more at the gym. Allow your body to catch up. It’s also common to be sleepy and a little disoriented after a massage, so it is best to rest or relax. A simple walk or stroll is fine. Plan for your post massage experience to linger if you have the opportunity.
Don’t rush back into your busy life. You deserve this break for your body's recovery from tension and stress.
Keep the positive energy
After your massage you are feeling lighter, calmer and refreshed. Make sure that when you leave our doors, you keep that calm and positive energy flowing. Do an activity that makes you happy, whether that’s watching netflix, reading, writing, etc. Avoid anything draining or negative. Scheduling a massage for yourself is truly a form of self love and compassion, so please make sure that this energy doesn’t end when your massage does, and that you carry that compassion with you always.
Listen to your body
Be attentive to your body’s reactions. After a massage you may need a nap or that bath to give the body what it needs post treatment. If you receive a deep tissue massage, it is common to feel soreness after.
With these tips, you are sure to come out of the massage room rejuvenated and well equipped to have the benefits last you for a significant amount of time. Massage therapy has an accumulative effect so make it a good habit to rid yourself of the harmful effects of stress and muscle tension as regularly as you can. Your post massage body and mind will thank you for it
Text by Gloria Mendez, Robin Ehrlich