You’ve drifted and maybe snoozed during your massage. You rise from the table in a state of bliss and release. Yeah…. The therapist is recommending what to do now your massage is over. Your post-treatment care determines what you get out of each session, and how long your release and state of relaxation will last.
No…… not booze or caffeine …. Drink water or a herbal tea! Massage improves your circulation (both blood and lymph) and it hydrates tight tissues. Those moments when you feel a flush of warmth and relaxation happen, when circulation is restored to nutrient deprived constricted tissues, trigger or tender points. Massage releases lactic acid and metabolic waste into your body. BUT you need to be well hydrated for the waste to be flushed out. It is really important to drink water to flush that waste out of your system and it ensures the benefits of your massage are not wasted.
Go for a walk after your massage treatment to ease out any residual tension. Your tight and constricted tissues may have been released, but it is up to you to maintain the release by following through with the exercise and stretches your therapist recommends to really get the benefits.
Stretching, exercising and moving helps realign your muscle fibres, improve muscle recovery and maintain the glide of your tissues. It also helps to retrain your nervous system and re-establish muscle firing sequences. This is important because it is your nervous system that limits mobility by tightening muscle and other connective tissues.
It’s not always possible, but try to schedule your appointments at times when you can relax afterwards. Charging back to work or dong the shopping will shorten your sense of deep relaxation. Listen to your body. Sleep or curl up and read or simply chill out in your favourite way. This is your time to repair, recover and rejuvenate yourself. Allow yourself to have the best sleep you have had for weeks.
Keep warm. This will increase the blood flow tissues that have been released. Have an Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate) bath to help you relax and rest while also helping with any residual aches. The warmth will increase blood flow. Soak in a Jacuzzi or spa and let the water movement work deeply on your sensations and nervous system to release sleep and relaxation hormones. Baths not your thing then a warm shower will do nicely. The key word is warm – not hot or cold.
RELEASE YOUR EMOTIONS
As your body relaxes, it’s normal for any emotional baggage to be released.. While on one occasion you might feel elated, refreshed and energised, there may be other times when you feel the need to cry. This is okay. Embrace it. Allow it to happen. You’ll appreciate the emotional release afterwards!
Massage therapy stimulates blood flow and digestion. No…. this is not the time for cakes and chocolate.
Light healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts or a light meal will give your gut something to work on. The increased blood circulation will help with digestion and nutrient absorption.
Go to the toilet. It is not unusual for you to need to go frequently. The increased circulation will draw excess fluid and waste from your tissues. Your kidneys and gut will be stimulated to get rid of wastes. It is the equivalent of pulling out the plug.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
It is quite normal to feel achy after a massage; especially if you were really tight and sore beforehand. It is not normal to experience sharp pain. This may be a sign that a residual trigger point has fired up. Ring your therapist who will discuss the best action…. a quick visit, stretch or other remedy. Your aches should be gone within 24 to 48 hours. Always tell your therapist how your body responded to the last treatment. This way the treatment methods can be modified to reduce any after effects.