A great massage is like a mini vacation. For the hour of your session, you can forget about all of the stresses and “to-do” lists that keep you busy as a bee in the outside world and allow your mind to clear and your body to relax. Entering back into the chaos post-massage—although often necessary—can leave you feeling as though your session never happened by the end of the day. Prolong your mini-vacation relaxation by taking these ten steps after your next massage:
When your massage therapist works your muscles, toxins are released from their muscular strongholds and left with nowhere to go. Drinking water helps your body with the removal of these toxins, flushing them out of your system altogether. Water is able to do this by aiding the circulatory and lymphatic systems in the execution of their functions. The circulatory system has the dual duty of delivering oxygen and nutrients to muscles, organs, and other tissues and carrying away waste. The lymphatic system likewise removes toxins while charging immunity. If left untouched, toxins can cause aches, pains, and fatigue. For this reason, drinking an extra glass or two of water after your massage can help you to feel your best for the rest of the day—and beyond. At the same time, avoid tea, coffee, soda, and alcohol, which have a dehydrating effect on your body.
What goes in…must come out. After your massage, use the restroom as much as you need to—which will probably be more than usual. This is your body’s way of clearing out toxic buildup. Be sure to continue to replace expelled fluids with more water!
Your body is working hard to clean house. Satisfy your hunger to give your body the energy it needs to keep up the good work.
The relaxation of your massage may leave you wanting to rest all day, and that’s okay. If you feel tired, give your body the sleep it needs by taking a nap. If you just want to settle into a comfy spot and read or watch TV, do it! Often times, when our bodies crave relaxation, it’s because we need it.
Taking a warm bath or shower after your massage will keep you relaxed and your body happy. The warm water will gently promote circulation and allow your body’s systems to more easily collect toxins. While warm water will hydrate your skin, hot water can dehydrate it, so be sure to keep your water at a moderate temperature.
6. Ice, Ice Baby
If delicate areas on your skin have become inflamed, or if your muscles have become sore as a result of your massage, apply ice in intervals to the affected areas. Wrap a bag of ice in a towel, and hold it on the area for ten minutes, then off for another ten. Repeat as many times as you’d like.
Just as massage stimulates the physical release of toxins, it can also stimulate an emotional release, causing us to feel previously unrecognized happiness, sadness, fear, and anger. It is essential that, after your massage, you don’t ignore these feelings, but acknowledge them and consider their sources.
8. Listen to Your Body
Your massage may have left you feeling a little bit sore, which is normal and even expected. After all, you have just engaged in a sort of passive workout, which exercised your muscles even while you rested on the massage table. Pay attention to your soreness; note where you experience it, how sore those areas are, and how long the soreness lasts. After a day or two, your body should feel back to normal. If your soreness is severe, or if it lasts for more than two days, let your massage therapist know before your next session.
It’s even possible that, a day or two after your massage, you’ll start to feel as though you are coming down with a cold. This feeling may be caused by remaining toxins in your body. Taking an aspirin, ibuprofen, or dissolvable vitamin supplement can help to reduce inflammation and get you back to feeling 100 percent.
9. Get an Adjustment
After a massage is a great time to schedule an appointment to see your chiropractor. Your freshly loosened muscles will make your adjustment all the easier, and you’ll feel as good as new afterward.
10. Channel Your Inner Yogi
Post-massage is also a great time to practice light yoga. Do some simple stretches to build on the muscle-lengthening work of your massage therapist.
Of course, even if your relaxation time has to be limited to your mini vacation on the massage table, it’s well worth it. But, if you can spare the time, let your next massage be the beautiful start to a deeply relaxing day.
Elements Massage is where relaxation begins. Put your next session in the books by calling (480) 719-7199.