Going for a massage has many benefits. It helps our muscles to relax, destress us and kickstarts detoxification. There’s nothing like that calm elevated feeling you get after your massage. Depending on how frequently you go for a massage, whether for relaxation or remedial therapy for an injury, you might find yourself wondering if there’s a way that you can prolong the benefits of your massage.
If you want your muscles to stay relaxed and keep your lymph fluids circulating and flushing out toxins, you will have to implement some massage aftercare. If you only go for a massage once in a few months, it will be difficult to stretch the benefits between sessions. The more frequently you go for a massage (say weekly) and the better your aftercare, you should be able to keep the benefits lingering between your sessions.
Here’s some of our best aftercare tips to prolong the effects of your massage.
- Choose the right time to go for your massage
The day of the week, and even the time of day you decide to go for your massage can make a crucial difference. Schedule your massage at a time where you will be able to relax afterwards. Going for a massage in your lunchtime might not be the best choice, as you will have to return to work afterwards and that can increase your stress again and encourage bad posture in front of your computer. This can effectively erase any work your therapist has done during the session. It may be more beneficial going for a massage after work on a day where you know you will not be needed to work overtime or be very active at home afterwards.
- Go to bed early
When we sleep our bodies’ natural restoration system kicks in. On the day you go for your massage, try to go to bet earlier. This will help your body to incorporate the relaxing effects of your massage into its own restoration process and will help your muscles to stay switched off.
If you were full of stiff muscles and kinks before your massage, your therapist has probably worked really hard to help you to get rid of them. Massage increases range of motion and flexibility and doing some easy and relaxing stretches in the days after your massage will help you to maintain flexibility. Ask your therapist for recommended stretches or take part in a gentle yoga stretching class.
- Avoid strenuous activity
To make the benefits of your massage last, you should not take part in any strenuous activities or vigorous exercise afterwards. This will allow the muscles to tense and spasm again and cut short the benefits of your massage. Rather do some stretching as mentioned above.
- Stay hydrated
Hydration is key after a massage. Massage increases blood circulation and fluid movement through the body. It stimulates the lymph system to get rid of any toxins and impurities, even lactic acid. Optimal hydration will help to flush out these toxins, boosting your body’s natural detoxification process and restoring your energy.
- Try to avoid muscle guarding
Muscle guarding happens when the body tries to protect a muscle that it feels might be in danger of damage or injury. If you are going for a massage because of an injury, you need to avoid allowing your muscles going into this state. This will only happen when the muscles feel sore after your massage and you can take some recommended pain medications like anti-inflammatories to resolve the soreness and stop any new muscle spasm occurring because of muscle guarding.
Massage aftercare is an important part of massage therapy. If you would like to prolong the benefits of your massage, you can implement these easy tips and see just how long the effects of your massage can last.