Massage Therapy After-Care: How to Maximize Massage Benefits at Home
Massage therapy is widely known to benefit both the body and mind in many ways. During your appointment, you’ll feel more relaxed, experience a reduction in pain and a boost of blood flow throughout the body. So, how can you prolong these benefits after you leave your appointment?
To ensure that you are experiencing and receiving the maximum benefits from your massage, here are some helpful tips for incorporating in your homecare.
Drink water! You have most certainly been told by your RMT to fill up on fluids before and post-massage. The reason behind this is because massage therapy boosts your circulatory and lymphatic system and releases built-up toxins that were stored in the muscle tissues. Massage therapy stimulates your body to direct these waste products to your organs for proper removal.
Staying hydrated before and after your massage will help your body to flush out the toxins from your system. Be sure to double up on your water intake the day of your massage to help maximize this process.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol and diuretics
As mentioned above, the body will be stimulated to release toxins through your organs. Substances such as caffeine, alcohol or diuretics can interfere with the elimination process of metabolic wastes leading to dehydration. When the body is dehydrated, you can experience headaches, nausea and fatigue.
Stick to herbal teas and fruit-infused water to support your body’s natural detoxification process.
Use ice and heat
Deep-rooted muscle tension can sometimes require a Registered Massage Therapist to use deeper manipulations of the muscles. These manipulations can cause some temporary inflammation resulting in lingering tenderness in the area. The discomfort can last 12 to 24 hours. To minimize muscle discomfort, try applying ice for 10 to 15 minutes to the area where you’re experiencing tenderness.
While ice is commonly used, some people prefer to use heat if they experience prolonged muscle tension after a massage. Either ice or heat will be ideal.
Have an Epsom salt bath
There are many known health benefits of an Epsom salt bath, including relaxing the nervous system, soothing muscle pain and aching joints, and decreasing congestion within the body. Try having a 20-minute soak in a warm bath infused with Epsom salts after your massage. The Epsom salts will help to extend the relaxing effects of your massage as well as boost the bodies’ elimination of toxins.
Reschedule your workout
With your muscles loosened up and already in the waste elimination process, its best to let your body rest and recover for the next 12 to 24 hours to avoid overworking your system and potentially causing an injury. A bit of light exercises such as a walk or gentle yoga is preferable if you do feel inclined to do physical activity after your massage.
Add some relaxation techniques
After stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system and promoting a detoxification process within your body, the body will be busy restoring and repairing itself. It is important to honour your body after a massage by carrying out some relaxation techniques at home.
Some effective techniques can include diaphragmatic breathing, meditation, journaling or spending some relaxing time in nature. These activities are great ways to keep stress hormones down and stay centred within your body.
One of the most significant benefits to receiving massage therapy is gaining a better understanding of your body. Receiving a therapeutic massage can expand your knowledge of where your body is struggling, where you are holding tension, and where you have healed. Stay connected to yourself, notice when your stress levels rise and how your body responds to it- this will allow you to plan your next treatment before you reach a point of discomfort.
Learn more about massage therapy and how I can help to alleviate pain and tension by booking an appointment with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Marly Hill, RMT