So, you’ve had a massage and now you’re feeling relaxed and released. That feeling is one you want to last longer, and your therapist wants the same for you. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can prolong those relaxed feelings and get better overall results from your massage.
Is Post-Massage Care Important?
Post-care might be a phrase you associate with surgery, but in massage therapy, it’s an essential part of any treatment. A registered massage therapist will do everything possible to provide a high-quality, effective treatment at the clinic, but what you do at home can ultimately shape your overall massage experience.
In this blog post, we want to provide you with as many at-home care activities as possible so that you can get more out of your massage appointment. Many of our registered massage therapists in St. Albert will provide you with thorough post-massage care instructions, but this is a nice summary for when you need it!
At-Home Post-Massage Care Techniques
Massage therapy and other manual therapies
Drink Plenty of Water
This is possibly the best thing you can do after a massage or manual therapy treatment. Massage releases many built-up toxins in the body. In order to fully flush these toxins out, your body needs plenty of water. We recommend drinking a couple of bottles of water after your massage. Ultimately, this will help ensure those toxins are removed, leaving you feeling refreshed and giving your immune system a major boost!
Take a Bath
You’ve already had a relaxing day so far, so why not take it one step further? Pour some Epsom salts into a warm bath and have a long soak. The water’s temperature will soothe your muscles and fascia and open your blood vessels for extra healing. Meanwhile, the magnesium in the Epsom salts will give your muscles a much-needed boost.
Allow Emotions to Come Up
We tend to hold our bodies tense when we’re feeling negative emotions, and vice versa. The reverse process can often happen when that tension is released during a massage therapy treatment. This is why any number of emotions might come up after a massage. Allowing them to pass through your mind and accepting them will ensure that your body stays relaxed.
This can be challenging, but you can often make it easier by planning some solitary time where you can laugh, cry, meditate, or do whatever it is you need to do to let those emotions out. The good news is that massage therapy also decreases stress hormones like cortisol and increases “feel-good” hormones like oxytocin, so you’ll likely feel completed relieved once you’ve let it all out.
Sink in and Take Notice
How often do we stop to think about our bodies and consider how we’re feeling? Most people don’t do this frequently. After a massage is a great time to concentrate on your body, check in with how you’re feeling, and take note. Not only will you extend the relaxation that comes with a massage, but you may also become more attuned to your body’s needs on a regular basis by making this a habit!
Eat a Healthy Meal
After a massage, your body needs to refuel. Most people don’t like to eat large meals before a massage, so be sure to have a healthy snack on hand or head home and prepare something that will give you a boost of energy. Your blood pressure may also be lower than usual after all that stress is released, so having a healthy meal will help you feel less light-headed.
Get Some Extra Rest
A nap after a massage sounds like the perfect day for most people. While you might not always be able to stretch out for a nap right after your appointment, at least try to take it easy for the rest of the day if possible. Remember that this process is about healing and re-energizing, and there is nothing like rest to help you heal. Just like a workout, your body needs time to restore itself. Head to bed early if you can, too – even just laying back a little sooner than usual can help prolong the results of your massage.
Book Your Next Appointment
There are plenty of times when clients will call and request an appointment ASAP because they forgot to reschedule the last time they were in, and now they’re feeling doubly sore or stressed. At those times, they often wish they considered their next appointment while they were still thinking about it the last time! If it works for you, we can also set recurring appointments to make sure this doesn’t come up.
Setting recurring appointments can also benefit your health more in the long-term. The therapists at Urban Massage & Wellness in St. Albert often work with therapy plans customized to individuals, which take into account your pain points, conditions/illnesses/injuries, goals, and other information. Your therapist will often tell you how frequently you should come in for various types of treatments, and meeting these timelines will help ensure you experience more relief, faster.
What Not to Do After a Massage
Complete an Intense Workout
Some people feel energized by a massage, and while that’s great, it’s not the best time to head to the gym or go for a run. Your muscles are still recovering and healing, and you may even be more susceptible to injury because of this. If you find that you can’t slow down and rest, do some light exercise like walking. And, if you can, book your next massage for a time when you know you can head home to relax and take it easy after.
Grab a Latte
Although it can be tempting to treat yourself after a great massage, it’s best to avoid caffeine and reach for water or herbal tea instead. The caffeine in coffee can tense your muscles and dehydrate you, which means that incredibly relaxed feeling will taper off faster than you might have hoped.
Learn More About How to Benefit from Massage & Manual Therapy
If you have questions about preparing for your appointment, what to expect, or how to indulge in some post-massage care, learn more from Urban Massage & Wellness’ Massage FAQs and Osteopathy FAQs. Or, reach out to our team directly with your questions and concerns – we’re always happy to help you enjoy your massage experience even more!