There are many ways in which you can maximize your massage experience. Most people book their massage sessions with the expectation that they will “feel better” after the massage. This is the goal of the Massage Therapist as well! These five tips (in no particular order) will help you to make the most out of your experience, and maximize and elongate those great post-massage feelings.
1. Properly Hydrate.
It is important to be properly hydrated going into your massage session, as well as drink plenty of water afterward. The general recommendation is to drink “half your body-weight in ounces of water” every day. This also means for every caffeinated drink, add an additional one to two 8 oz glasses of water. Hydration is very important for optimal effects of massage, to include proper lymphatic drainage of toxins from our body.
2. Nourish With Food.
Proper nourishment is important before and after a massage. It is usually recommended to have a lighter meal no sooner than an hour before your massage. This allows you to not be uncomfortable during the massage because of digestion issues. It is also good to eat a healthy and nutrient-dense meal after your massage. Avoid sugar and processed foods.
3. Gently Stretch.
After a massage, gentle stretching and active movement of the body is indicated. This can help to maximize the muscular and connective tissue elongation and relaxation. Stretching is most beneficial when held for 30 seconds each stretch, and breathing into it. It is important to keep it gentle, just to the beginning of stretch, and not overstretch or cause pain.
4. Lightly Walk and Move.
Our bodies do well with movement – and this is so good for us for many reasons! Light walking can improve range of motion, decrease stiffness or tightness, aide in digestion, allow for improved blood flow and circulation, and work our heart muscle. “Mindful movement” is also great, meaning to move your body in all available ranges while feeling the effects. Just be sure to keep it gentle and light, nothing too strenuous after a massage.
5. Allow For Rest.
Try your best to allow yourself the rest and quiet after a massage. It is often indicated to block the rest of your day or have your massage at the end of the day when you can go home and rest afterward. If not able to do that, at least try to extend those relaxing and calm feelings from the massage for as long as possible. Avoid stressful events or meetings, and don’t do any strenuous activity or exercises after a massage.
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