So you have just had a massage, and you feel nice and relaxed. You know that your massage therapist mentioned some tips and hints for when you get home, but you weren't really paying attention or you were too relaxed...
You had a massage for a reason - whether to relax, to treat some niggling tightness, or an injury that you wanted to speed up the recovery process. Or you were simply having a regular tune up. Whatever the case is, you want the effects to be long-lasting. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your massage.
This is a big one! Water is your best friend! Our body is made up of 50-75% water. We also know that when we get a massage it helps remove the toxins within our body. Water helps flush out these toxins.
Massage helps to increase the circulation of both the blood and the lymphatic (waste product) system. Your blood needs water in it to keep it moving and doing its job of bringing oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, organs and other tissues.
It also helps to take away the waste products such as lactic acid created by the cells in these areas. Without adequate water in our body, the lymphatic system becomes sluggish and doesn’t work properly.
This can lead to low immunity as well as aches, pains and fatigue from the build-up of these toxins. Keep that water intake high and you will be ensuring that the effects of your massage are long lasting.
So, you have just taken some time out. You feel more relaxed, your muscles are looser, you feel calm and content.
While sometimes it’s unavoidable, try to book your massage for a time when you know you can go straight home after it. Your muscles have just been worked and manipulated, similar to an intense workout — this is your time to recover, repair and retune yourself. It is also best not to do any intense physical activity after a massage.
3. Pay attention to how your body reacts
This is also normal to sometimes feel a little sore after a massage , and it’s most common after deep tissue work, but can happen after a more gentle massage as well.
If you have regular massage (which is the best option for optimal health), you might find this soreness decreases over time, however it does depend on what you do between visits or how often you get treatments.
This soreness should not be too severe, more like the ache after a moderate exercise session. And it shouldn't last more than a day or two.
So don’t stress about it! It’s also important to tell your massage therapist at your next session if anything was particularly painful so that the treatment can be modified next time.
4. Reinforce healthy patterns
Massage can solve a lot of muscular problems. But often, these problems can re-occur if we don't address the source of the issue.
If your massage therapist or physiotherapist has given you any corrective exercises or activations, doing these within 12 hours of your massage will ensure that healthy movement patterns are ingrained in your neural pathways - basically, creating new, positive pathways from the brain to the muscles, overriding the previous negative patterns.
This is really important to reinforce positive movement patterns and help you perform at your best.
As always, give us a call on (02) 4983-1765 and let us help you move well and feel great!