Things to Do Before and After Massage
Massage treatments aid rehabilitation from injury; reduce pain; relieve stress and anxiety; relax muscles; and promote general health. A massage is a very hands-on experience involving rubbing, kneading and working soft body tissues, such as muscles, connective tissue tendons, and ligaments.
Here are some simple things you can do before and after your massage to ensure that you enjoy optimal benefits.
Related: Health Benefits of Massage
Before The Massage
- General Hygiene
A shower might be best, but using a moist rag or washcloth to refresh your underarms isn’t a bad idea. Cover wounds and plantar warts but don’t be overly concerned about acne, psoriasis, eczema and other non-communicable skin conditions. Just ensure to note them on the intake form. Get a doctor’s’ clearance if you have open sores or a communicable condition.
- Food Intake
The massage stimulates your body’s digestive processes and might leave you feeling hungry. Also, the relaxation massage can lower your blood sugar level. Have a light snack about an hour before the session and if you’ve had a big meal, allow your body to digest first. Avoid any alcohol prior to the massage session.
If the gender of the practitioner matters, let the office know beforehand.
During The Massage
Related: First Massage Procedures
It is in your best interest to communicate your needs before the session. Share your reasons for getting the massage (for relaxation or for specific injury) and your reservations (if any) about the massage process itself.
- Personal Comfort
Undress as much as you are comfortable with, bearing in mind that exposing more of the areas to be worked allows for uninterrupted access to them and for the flow of the massage.
If the music or lighting is not working for you, speak up. Some therapists may engage you in a constant conversation. If you prefer silence, then say that too.
You may feel drowsy and dose off during the relaxing massage. While it is ok to doze off for a short period, avoid completely falling asleep for the most part of your massage session. It would not only diminish some of the therapeutic benefits, it might also affect having a quality sleep at night for some individuals.
After The Massage
- Take Your Time
Don’t get up too quickly, you may feel lightheaded. Sit on the edge of the table and relax a while.
- Have Some Water And A Snack
The detoxifying effect of the massage may leave you a little dehydrated. You can reverse this with a bottle of water. The water will also helps to relieve soreness caused by lactic acid build-up in the muscles (a natural effect of the massage).
Your digestive system was still at work, so don’t ignore the hunger pangs. Help keep your blood sugar levels even with a light snack.
- Communicate (Again)
The massage therapist will ask how you’re feeling. Be honest – say what worked and what didn’t. Scheduling another appointment is always a good idea, since the benefits of massage are better felt over time.
- Things to Avoid
Avoid any alcohol or caffeine after the massage session. It is also advisable to avoid vigorous exercise on the day of the treatment.
- Things to Do
Just go home and relax. Try having a relaxing Epsom salt bath. Then, go to bed early and have a good sleep.
Remember that much of what you do before and after your massage will impact overall benefits you derive from the massage itself. If you are scheduled for a repeat procedure, try as much as possible to incorporate many of the lessons learnt from the previous ones.