Maximizing the Afterglow of Massage
May 6, 2014
New clients often ask me how frequently they should get massaged.
How often you receive massage depends on why you’re seeking it in the first place. Generally speaking,
- Monthly - monthly massage may be enough to sustain you.
- Weekly or Alternating Weeks - if you’re seeking massage for chronic pain.
- More Frequent than Weekly - When addressing an acute injury or dealing with high levels of stress or just beginning a new exercise program.
- Daily - While daily massage would be delightful, practical consideration such as cost, time, and physical need likely determine the frequency of treatments.
Overall, maintaining a schedule helps the body become conditioned and prepared for sessions at specific intervals. Muscles have memory and if conditioned to relax have the tendency to stay that way.
Whether getting a massage weekly, monthly or just every once in a while, the following habits can maximize and extend the afterglow of treatment.
- Drink plenty of water. Massage releases toxins such as lactic acid and carbonic acid that need to be flushed from your body. Massage also promotes circulation, increases blood flow and oxygen and stimulates the lymphatic system which helps rid the body of pathogens. Hydration supports these functions helping to release these impurities.
- Stretching 5 to 10 minutes a day between massages will help muscles from tightening up again and keep the life energy(chi) flowing.
- Exercise. However, if you’re receiving massage to help speed up muscle strain recovery, you may need to ease up on the exercise and give your body time to heal. Try something more gentle like swimming, walking, or Tai Chi.
- Get sufficient sleep. After massage, respect how your body feels. You may need to take it easier, move slower or perhaps do a little less for a while.
- Diet. Eat the right foods and not too much of them. Plenty of organic fruits and vegetables is optimum and limit anything with a face. And if you do partake in meats, think of using them as sides, rather than the main course.
Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care plays a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember, just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it’s any less therapeutic.
Adapted from Total Body Health with Massage