After your session:
After a session, it is good to walk for 10-15 minutes to help your body readjust and settle into a slightly new alignment.
Although you may feel great after a treatment, it is a good idea to let your body rest and heal, especially if you have not had a massage in a while. Avoid any strenuous activity, especially heavy lifting and any sudden jolting movements, for a day after treatment. The intensity of a workout should be mild-moderate. Sustained pressure on connective tissue makes it more gel-like. The technical term for this change is thixotropic effect. This state of increased softness lasts about twenty-four hours, so high-intensity exercise may pull or move the tissue back to old patterns or even induce new strain patterns.
3. Drink Water
Drink plenty of water for one to two days after your session. Some clients have reported feeling fatigued after a session, as massage encourages increased circulation and your tissues release previously trapped toxins into your bloodstream. It is a good idea to flush them out with water, so drink a bit more than you usually do. Drinking water before a massage is highly recommended, as hydrated muscles are easier to manipulate. As myofascial restrictions release, they undergo a state change, becoming more hydrated and fluid or gelatinous. This requires water. Being hydrated allows you heal faster, aides in preventing post-treatment soreness, and ensures that the releases of tight fascia (which occur during treatment) last longer.
4. You May Feel Sore
You may feel some soreness for up to 2-3 days after treatment. The soreness is due to sustained pressure to the deeper tissue layers that assist in the break up of muscular adhesions, and release of toxins to allow for blood, oxygen, and nutrients to better circulate and flow through the area that was restricted. This is a normal reaction to treatment. The therapeutic effects of massage are cumulative, so the more often you get a massage, the better you will feel and the more quickly your body will respond. To help relieve soreness, sometimes drinking the juice from a half a lemon in a full glass of water is helpful in flushing out toxins. Turmeric has been long known in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, and may be useful to treat any inflammation that has been stirred up during the session.
5. Epsom Salt Baths
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is inexpensive and can be purchased at most drugstores. The magnesium in Epsom salt can help relieve swelling and pain. Your skin can absorb the magnesium and sulfate, allowing you to experience the benefits of Epsom salt without ingesting it. Magnesium is crucial in the cellular process that aid in muscle recovery, reducing inflammation and muscle cramping.
6. Remember to S-T-R-E-T-C-H
I don’t recommend vigorous exercise immediately after a massage. When you do exercise, it is important to stretch post-workout. If you sit at a desk for long periods of time, it is vital to take breaks and stretch. A Yoga class is a great way to improve your posture, while increasing your strength and flexibility. Foam rollers and tennis balls are useful tools to use at home for self-myofascial release. Here is a great myofascial release video on SELF CARE.
7. Be Self Conscious!
Pay attention to your postural habits as they become ingrained in your body. Repetition is the key to any good or bad habit, so be aware of how you sit in front of the computer, hold a phone, slouch on a couch, wear your bag, and how you stand and move. Read How to Undo the Damage of Sitting.