September 7, 2021
From pain relief and improved circulation to reduced stress and enhanced performance, massage therapy has many benefits. But to make the most of your massage session, there are some easy things you can do to maximise the outcomes with minimal effort.
Start drinking water at least 24 hours before your massage to make your muscles softer and more pliable. Being hydrated also makes connective tissue or fascia more pliant. This can help reduce discomfort during a massage. Being hydrated also helps your body flush out toxins more easily. Continue to drink lots of water after your massage to keep on flushing out toxins. Remaining hydrated after your massage can also reduce possible post-massage muscle tenderness.
Massage can trigger your digestive system so it’s better to avoid eating immediately before a massage. Eat a light and healthy snack of fruit or vegetables a couple of hours before your massage. Eating something heavy just before a massage can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.
Try to bath or shower before making your way to your massage. Warm water helps to relax and loosen muscles which can help reduce discomfort during a massage. A warm bath with Epsom salts (also known as magnesium sulphate) is ideal before a massage because Epsom salts helps to relax muscles. Even better, try floating before a massage! Packed with dense Epsom salt-water solution, there’s not much more that can better prepare your muscles before a massage than a weightless and tension-releasing session in a float tank.
Be on time for your appointment so that you’re more relaxed and less rushed to be able to fully communicate the reasons for your massage with your massage therapist. And work out the best time that suits your schedule and body. Some people feel invigorated after a massage, others feel heavily relaxed. So consider this in planning your massage around meetings and commitments. Also, because a massage is like a form of a workout -- massage can potentially work your muscles like exercise – avoid rushing to the gym directly after a massage.
If your therapist is applying too much pressure let her/him know. Massage shouldn’t be painful or uncomfortable. Talk to your therapist to minimise discomfort and maximise outcomes. Also, let your therapist know in advance why you’re there -- from a sports injury to reducing stress. If you experience any soreness after your session, let your therapist know. S/he may recommend some at-home remedies to alleviate any tenderness.
If massage is too painful your muscles will contract as a defence mechanism, which is counterproductive. Communicate with your therapist throughout your massage for your comfort and to reach the right amount of pressure. Deep tissue massage is generally used for more chronic muscle pain. A Swedish massage is more relaxing.
During your session remember to relax and breathe throughout. If too much pressure is applied and it becomes a bit painful you may tend to hold your breath. Rather let your therapist know that s/he is applying too much pressure. Breathing is important to get oxygen to your muscles, which further optimises your massage.
You may have some muscle discomfort after your massage so wearing loose clothes will be more comforting.
To maximise the whole-body experience, eat a healthy meal full of nutrients after your massage. Deep tissue massage stimulates blood flow, so make sure your blood is carrying the nutrients your body needs to further facilitate the recovery of your muscles. Also get a good night’s rest to help your muscles restore.
Try to avoid caffeine after your massage. Caffeine can cause muscles to become tense so a cup of coffee can undermine the benefits of your session.
If you’re feeling unwell or run down, massage may make your feel worse. Reschedule your appointment if you’re not feeling well.
In most cases, massage every second week is good in that you don’t decrease your muscles’ and body’s natural ability to heal. Unless you’re a professional athlete, where you may need massage more often.Massage therapy can help you relax and feel great! By following these easy tips before, during and after your massage, you get to enjoy your session to the max as well as extend the benefits for enhanced health and wellness.
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