What to expect after your massage therapy session:
Most people feel relaxed and/or refreshed after a massage. Occasionally, there may be some post massage muscle soreness. If this happens it usually resolves within a day or two. Following the recommendations below will help prevent or lessen any muscle soreness and promote wellness.
How to get the most out of massage therapy:
Whether recovering from an injury or reducing stress, being proactive will help you reach your goals more quickly.
Stretching is an important part of muscle health. There may be some stretches that are specific to your particular needs that can be shown. Some stretches can be incorporated to your daily living to help keep your muscles more relaxed and less prone to pain or injury.
It is important to drink plenty of water following a massage. Water will help your body flush out the toxins that are released from your muscles during the massage. It is also essential to drink adequate amounts of water regularly for muscle health.
Lean muscle is composed of 70% water. In order for your muscles to function properly they must be hydrated. An average adult needs to drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water per day. (For heart health, the rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.)
The application of ice or heat can be effective for relieving muscle pain and promoting healing. After a deep massage or during the acute stage of an injury, ice is recommended for pain relief and to prevent or reduce inflammation.
Keep the ice pack in place for 5 to 20 minutes at a time. Ice should not be in direct contact with the skin (cover with a towel), and do not ice for more than 20 minutes at a time as it may damage the skin and nerves.
For chronic conditions, moist heat can be effective in relaxing muscle spams and increasing circulation.
Apply heat for 5 to 20 minutes at a time. Do no apply too hot or leave on for extended periods as burning of tissue may occur.
Optimal breathing is important to your health. It provides your body with the level or oxygen it needs to function properly. It is also a valuable tool to control stress.
The first step to regaining optimal breath, and its benefits, is to become aware of your own breathing patterns. Your breathing should be deep and from your abdomen.
To practice optimal breathing, use this breathing technique:
Preferably in a quiet place. lie on your back and place your hands on your stomach.
Inhale slowly and deeply, letting your abdomen expand fully with air.
You will feel the air rise under your hands.
Allow the abdomen to fall as you exhale slowly, at the same time letting go of stress and tension.
Repeat inhaling and exhaling slowly and deeply for a minimum of 2 minutes.
Work up to 5 minutes at a time.
You can also use this technique in a sitting position when you want to decrease your stress level.
Everyone experiences stress. A certain amount of stress can actually be healthy. It can fuel creativity and keep you energetic and alert. However, when events occurs that cause you long term stress, or when many difficult events occur simultaneously, your body may have a hard time coping. Unmanaged stress has been linked to many illnesses and can contribute to symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain, depression and anxiety (just to name a few).
Evaluate your lifestyle and identify areas that can be changed or improved upon to reduce stress.
There is much that you can do to support yourself during times of unavoidable stress. A healthy lifestyle including regular exercise, proper nutrition and adequate rest will provide your body with a solid foundation.
Massage Therapy is one fo the safest and most effective ways to manage stress. Additionally, practicing daily relaxing techniques is an effective tool for many people. You can successfully take control of your stress.