At a basic level, massage therapy is the pressing, rubbing, and manipulation of soft tissue to include muscles, tendons, and ligaments. On a deeper level, massage therapy is a relaxing and soothing experience with healing powers. Not only do massages relieve tight muscles, knots, and soreness, but they also offer relief from stress and anxiety. Moreover, they trigger the release of plenty of endorphins (otherwise known as the feel-good hormones). Indeed, a good massage will leave you feeling like you have a new lease on life, so it’s only natural to want to extend the benefits of your massage beyond your therapy session. Ahead we offer a few tips to help you keep that post-massage feeling.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER A MASSAGE
After getting a massage, you’ll likely feel loose and maybe even a little lightheaded for several hours after. It’s also possible you may feel sore or sensitive if you received a deep tissue massage; as these massages involve intense stimulation to muscle groups across your body.
HOW TO EXTEND THE BENEFITS AFTER A MASSAGE
Aside from feelings of relaxation, massage therapy can help improve blood circulation, mobility, and your ability to sleep. To extend the benefits, make sure to do these things after a massage:
TAKE A RELAXING BATH
A warm bath can be quite relaxing but beyond that, think of it as a way to continue the process of releasing tight muscles and alleviate any lingering soreness. While the warm water (not hot) can do plenty on its own, you can also add Epsom salts to your bath to help flush toxins from the cells and ease muscle pain. Consider a calming bath soak like Milk & Honey’s Blend Nº 08 infused with lavender and eucalyptus. And for particularly tight muscles, try following it up with Milk & Honey’s soothing Arnica Balm to stimulate your circulation and reduce pain and swelling.
It should come as no surprise that your muscles are warm after your massage, and for that reason, it may be an ideal time to gently stretch problem areas. Not only will it help you maintain that relaxed feeling, but you’ll also find that you’ll be able to achieve a deeper stretch with very little effort.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
After your therapy session, your massage therapist may advise that you drink plenty of water, and there’s a good reason for this. Massage therapy often releases toxins and metabolic waste, which needs to be flushed out. This process could go on for up to two to three days after your massage, and drinking plenty of water will facilitate the process. Moreover, it will keep dehydration and fatigue at bay.
After a massage, your muscles may likely stiffen up a bit; this is especially true of deep tissue massages. To minimize any discomfort, consider a little light exercise (like walking) to keep joints mobile and stimulate blood flow.
TRY A SELF-MASSAGE
A foam roller or tennis ball can be particularly useful for working trouble spots a little more. These tools have the added benefit of releasing tight muscles and pinpointing crunchy muscles, so you can extend the benefits of your massage and maintain the progress you’ve made between appointments.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, REST IF YOU NEED TO
While light exercise and stretching are often recommended, everyone is different, so it’s equally important to listen to your body. If you feel like you’d rather sleep, then go for it. Remember that while massages can be healing, it’s a process. By giving yourself time to rest, you’ll undoubtedly aid your body’s repair and regeneration processes and extend the benefits of your massage even further. If you’d like to book a massage, do so with the experienced massage therapists at milk + honey spa. Check locations, book now, or purchase a gift certificate for future use!