It’s no surprise that a massage can seriously soothe your mind and body, and you already know a relaxing massage has impressive health perks, like better blood circulation, boost immunity, anxiety relief, and even improved sleep quality. But beyond the obvious, there’s a lot to wonder about the magic of massage.
So, let's say you’ve had your massage, you’re feeling restored and relaxed. However, do you know that there are things you can do to maximize and extend the marked improvements of the massage and enhance the entire experience?
Here are some things you’ll definitely want to avoid to make sure you get all the benefits of massage therapy (think stress reduction, lymphatic detox, reduced inflammation, improved breathing…)
Stay Hydrated. Don't Forget to Drink Water
Drink plenty of water before and after your massage. I can’t stress this one enough. Getting a massage can be a dehydrating business. Fluids are released from the tissues during the massage, into the bloodstream, and then to the kidneys to be excreted so it is important to adequately replenish the lost fluids. The National guidelines recommend that women consume 2 liters of water a day and men 2.6 liters. Avoid alcoholic, sugary, and caffeinated drinks. Along with water, opt for healthy options such as coconut water, fresh fruit or vegetable juice, or herbal teas. Alcohol is a big No-no! Don't be tipsy prior to your massage. Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics. Basically, this means that you lose more fluid than you gain when you drink it.
Eat a Light Snack
A full meal right before you hit the spa is a no-go. Do not eat 60 minutes prior to the appointment. Of course, don’t starve yourself in the preceding hours, as you may feel dizzy or lightheaded during the massage as a result, but eating lightly one to two hours beforehand will allow for digestion while not making you feel uncomfortably full. Plan ahead to avoid eating a normal-sized meal within an hour of your appointment. Much of our blood travels to the small intestine, located in our body’s core, so the blood can collect nutrients from food consumed. Also, it would likely be uncomfortable lying on a very full tummy while someone is pressing on you from above. That doesn't seem to be fun! It’s also best to avoid a heavy meal after a massage, but you also want to make sure that you are getting enough nutrients. A heavy meal will only make your body feel sluggish, bloated, and lethargic, instead of energized. A light healthy snack will leave you feeling energetic and won’t take a toll on your stomach. Save the heavy meal for later in the day.
Have a Bath
While your intentions might be in the right place, a hot shower prior to your massage is actually not recommended. “A hot rinse right before your massage can increase your circulation as well and your chances of sweating through the session. Also, it’s tempting to soak yourself in a steaming hot bath after a long, relaxing massage. Take a little more time out, and allow your body to relax completely. A scorching hot bath will increase inflammation, which isn’t a good idea after a massage. Sink only into a nice warm bath after a massage. The warm water helps to open your blood vessels, therefore helping to increase circulation.
Stay Home If You Feel Ill
While you can’t control when your immune system fails you, it’s best to cancel your massage if you’re feeling under the weather. What should be common knowledge is often not. A lot of people still come in for treatment when they are sick. This is never a good idea. Colds, flu, fevers, infections, and stomach bugs are all contraindications for massage. Not only do you risk infecting the practitioner (We really don’t want your germs) but in most cases, the symptoms of your sickness will increase in severity after a massage and your body temperature will rise. Please stay at home until you are well and truly over your illness.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Make sure you get your workout in before your massage. Try to book your massage for a time when you know you can go straight home after it. Now that you feel more relaxed, your muscles are looser, you feel calm and content. A massage sets your body and mind to relax mode. It’s best to let it continue in that state of being instead of ‘waking them up. Also, doing any kind of strenuous activity – like going to the gym – can injure your muscles. It is always best to wait for 24hrs after a massage before going and doing an intense workout session. After a deep tissue massage, your tissues are inflamed and tender, the exercise will only add to this inflammation. Let your muscles recover before getting back to your exercise regime to avoid strain or injury. Put your feet up, read a book, watch some TV, have a nap…whatever helps you to continue to feel good, and helps to prolong that calm feeling of wellbeing.
Each of these little things can help you get the best out of each treatment. More importantly, it can help you to keep the benefits going for longer — and we all like value for money, right? Medcursor also provides affordable, comfortable, and reliable massage products that utilize modern technologies and support healthier lifestyles.