The healing powers and therapeutic properties of a massage can be of great benefit to your body and mental health. Massage therapy can relieve actual pain, improve range of motion, boost your immune system, and provide stress relief. However, your therapist should advise you on the dos and don’ts after having a relaxing massage to ensure the best possible results. You will want to hang onto that awesome feeling of post-massage as long as possible provided you know what to do and what to avoid to make the most of it. This article looks at what you should not do after having a massage.
- Alcoholic Drinks and Beverages
Massage therapy releases impurities or toxins that may have accumulated in your muscle tissues over time. Therapists recommend drinking a lot of water after a massage to hydrate your muscles and flush out the toxins from your system. Drinking caffeine or alcohol reverses the effect of massage by increasing your body’s need for more water. This means that the toxins that need to be flushed out after massage may accumulate causing extreme fatigue and drowsiness. Instead of alcohol, drink plenty of water to get rid of toxins and metabolic wastes that were extracted from your muscles during massage.
- Strenuous Exercises
There is no doubt that you can achieve more health benefits when you combine massage with regular exercise. However, it is important to avoid straining your muscles after having a massage as it increases the risk of muscle damage. Although you may feel like moving mountains, muscles that have just been worked out during massage can reduce your performance, as they require some time to heal. It is recommended to allow yourself sufficient time to recover after an hour of pulling and stretching your body muscles.
- Eating Heavy Meals
Professional massage therapists usually recommend eating light meals before and after a massage. Eating a heavy meal can make you feel sluggish and bloated rather than reenergized. A good choice is to eat a vegetarian meal such as lightly stir-fried or warm-steamed vegetables with rice or pasta and some herbal tea. Most people feel lightheaded after a massage probably because you are dehydrated or feel exhausted from the hands-on manipulation techniques used by your therapist during the sessions. A little snack can provide an energy boost since your body does not require a lot of energy for the digestion process. However, eating heavy meals after a massage can increase your fatigue since much energy is required for digestion.
- Avoid a Scorching Hot Bath
It is not a good idea to bathe with hot water after a massage as it increases the risk of inflammation. Instead, you should soak yourself in a nice warm bath as it allows your body to relax completely. You can add Epsom salts to your bath to alleviate any aches and pains. The warm water opens up your blood vessels while Epsom salts absorb through the skin to increase circulation. It is also recommended to use ice on an inflamed area as it reduces swelling by constricting the blood vessels around the affected part of your body.
- Wearing Tight Clothing
Most people going for a massage after work might probably be wearing suits or heels. Tight clothing can make you feel uncomfortable after a massage as it reduces blood circulation to other parts of your body. It is advisable to change into some sweat pants or loose clothing after having a massage so that you can feel comfortable and relaxed a little bit longer.
- Ignoring Tight or Painful Muscles
Just like any other stellar exercise session, it is common to feel a little sore after a massage therapy because your muscles were worked on a little bit hard. It is important to lessen immediate soreness through icing as it helps to constrict blood vessels around the affected area. Since your muscles are warmed up, light stretching can be a great alternative after having a massage. Consider light yoga exercises or seek extra help from your chiropractor. It is also important to schedule regular visits with your massage therapists in combination with daily exercises to ensure you get the most out of your therapy session.
Massage works best when done cumulatively, which means that the more therapy sessions you have, the better you will feel. However, it is important to consider the dos and don’ts of post-massage as it allows you to realize the benefits of regular massage. Your massage experience will last much longer and you will take with you the potential health benefits to your next massage appointment.