What to Do After a Massage?
You just got a massage, and you’re feeling great! Now, what? There are some things everyone should be doing after they receive a massage, whether it’s their first or their fiftieth. The first step after any massage is to drink! No, don’t go to the nearest bar, or break out that bottle of wine you’ve been saving. Drink water! And LOTS of it! If you’ve read our blogs before, you know that massage releases toxins into your body as it breaks down tension and adhesions. Your circulatory and lymph systems filter these toxins out and get rid of them. What do those two systems have in common? Water! You need elevated water levels to help your body flush out those toxins, so drink up! You may want to grab a small snack after your massage as well, plenty of people complain about feeling hungry directly after a session. Massage increases blood flow as well as increasing the function of other body systems- including your digestive. Grab a small snack to quell that immediate hunger after a massage and tide you over until your next meal.
Once you’ve had a drink and a snack, it’s stretch time. Your massage therapist didn’t just loosen your muscles up so you could sit for the rest of the day! Stretching will help with muscle recovery and keeping them loose and happy. Continue to stretch through the rest of your day, and increase the amount of stretching you do over the next few days following the massage.
Now, you may rest! I always suggest to my clients that they take a hot shower, or preferably an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts are made of magnesium sulfate. This compound dissolves in the water and is absorbed through your skin. This helps to open your blood vessels (there’s that blood flow again!) and also keeps those next day aches and pains away. The warmth of a hot bath or a hot shower helps to keep your muscles relaxed. Take some time and allow yourself to relax. Clients tend to feel sleepy after a massage, if so, try to take a nap!
The next step after a massage is something all body workers preach- listen to your body! If you’re tired, then allow yourself to be tired and have some recovery time. If you feel the need to stretch, then stretch and keep those muscles loose! The most important thing is to pay attention to when your body begins to tighten up again. How long after the massage did it take for your body to tense back up? Were you doing a certain action or under any stress to make it tense up or lock up? This will help your massage therapist understand how your body responds to massage and outside stimuli. The final thing you should do after a massage is simply book the next one! Keeping up with your maintenance is key to keeping your body healthy and happy!