Post-Massage Self-Care

Here is our suggested after care following your massage in order to gain the most benefits:

  • Drink water – water is the best ingredient for not only hydrating, but also facilitating our body’s ability to heal itself, assisting in getting lactic acid and other toxins out of our soft tissues. The knots and constrictions your massage therapist just helped release will tend to bind right back up if you’re not drinking a higher quantity of water after your massage.
  • Stretch – taking some extra time to stretch and lengthen the muscles and fascia, after your massage therapist just released adhesions and increased blood and lymph circulation, is a fantastic way to realign the body, training your nervous system to allow improved range of motion and assist in quicker soft tissue recovery.
  • Eat – if you feel lightheaded, disorientated, or even experience slight nausea after a therapeutic massage session, it might be a good idea to consume a small, healthy snack – maybe bring one with you for just after your session. Remember, massage increases blood and lymph circulation, thereby also improving digestion. Along those same lines, it is not recommended to go into your massage session just after a big, heavy meal, which may result in general discomfort, feeling gassy, or even the need to interrupt your massage session with a trip to the bathroom! The more ideal healthy snacks could include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds – water-containing foods that will also help with hydrating the tissues and quicker, more thorough recovery.
  • Rest – it is very important to allow the body and tissues that were just worked through time to rest and heal after your massage session, even if you feel more energized afterward. Flushing out lactic acid and other toxins utilizes energy, even if we don’t realize it right away. Certainly, life sometimes doesn’t like to slow down for us, but it is not generally recommended to schedule appointments immediately following your treatment. Ideally, you want to set your massage session on a day when you have a lighter schedule, gifting yourself with additional time to rest or nap, prolonging your deep, relaxed state of mind and body for as long as possible.
  • Soak – enjoying a bath is one great way to rest after your amazing massage session! Adding Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) to the bathwater may further assist in releasing those toxins and relieving pain and/or soreness post-massage. Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies at the cellular level, helping with balancing our nervous system, proper muscle function, improved immunity, keeping our bones strong, as well as regulating blood glucose level and heart rate.
  • Contrast hydrotherapy – whether acute or chronic, sometimes the body has a difficult time healing from injury as quickly as we would like. If mild inflammation (swelling) is present after your massage session, applying a cool/cold compress can help calm the area down and ease the swelling. In the case of more chronic muscle tension, where there is no inflammation, but the tissue doesn’t seem to want to “let go”, a warm/hot compress will help infuse the area with a fresh blood supply, further hydrating the tissue, allowing it to calm and more easily release. If find you are experiencing both symptoms simultaneously, Contrast Hydrotherapy can be quite beneficial, utilizing both cold and hot compresses – generally a good rule of thumb is to apply the cold compress first for not more than 15 minutes, then apply the hot compress for half that time, finishing with one more cold compress, the same amount of time as the first.
  • Allow emotions – it is normal to experience unexpected emotions that may come up post-massage. Our tissues can hang onto traumas, injuries, and stressors from our past and present, and when your massage therapist helps release the soft tissues of your body, these can sometimes want to release as well just like the lactic acid and other toxins. It could be highly beneficial to notice and listen more intently to these feelings, find a safe space for yourself, and allow them to arise and process out of the body in a nurturing, unharmful way. This is a wonderful opportunity to tune in more deeply to your mind and spirit and honor your body for doing all that it does for you and others every day out in the world!
  • Communicate with your massage therapist – it is not normal to be sore or in pain for several days after your massage, nor to see heavy bruising of the skin. If you notice these symptoms, it is possible your massage therapist worked the soft tissues too deeply for your body – even if it “feels fine” during the session. You should always feel comfortable in letting your massage therapist know at any moment if the pressure is too deep, and/or if you experience long-lasting symptoms of soreness, pain, and/or bruising. No two bodies are exactly alike, so communicating these details also helps your therapist to genuinely customize your massage experience!