What To Expect:
People frequently ask what they are supposed to do after a massage. Well, let us go over how you may feel post massage first. There are different variables that play into how you might feel, depending on the pressure of the massage, severity of an injury, a person’s hydration routine, stress levels, etc. After a massage, you could feel sore, cold, tired, dizzy, or even like they are walking on clouds, among other things.
For example, if a person prefers to get a “no pain, no gain” massage (more deep tissue or therapeutic), it’s a pretty good chance they could experience post workout type soreness for several days or feel dizzy immediately after. On the other hand, if they come in and desire a “fluff and buff” massage, they could feel like they are in a euphoric/walking on clouds state or extra tired for a period of time.
Post Massage Care:
First things first, it is very important to drink plenty of water post massage. While everyone has a style of massage they enjoy, every massage session has similar guidelines to help you maximize your experience. Hydration is a game changer. It is very important to drink plenty of water in the 24 hours post massage. Drinking water helps flush out any naturally occurring toxins that may have been released from your muscles during a massage. If you decide to forego drinking water, your body struggles to remove those toxins which can cause flu-like symptoms. Remember that coffee, tea, sugary, and alcoholic drinks are diuretics, they dehydrate you. It is best to stick to plain water.
Keep mobile. This doesn’t mean vigorous activity, rather think of it as a winding down exercise. Try a short walk and/or some gentle stretching. You are helping the body reestablish connections and cement more efficient patterns of movement. If soreness does occur, you can apply heat or ice for 10-15 minutes per affected area. If the tender area is the site of an acute injury or is inflamed, use only ice for treatment.
Engage in active recovery. If you have a foam roller, tennis ball, resistance bands etc. the next few days are an excellent time to add them into your daily routine. If you’re needing suggestions on how to use your equipment, YouTube is a good resource to get the best results from use. Make a point of doing any stretches or exercises given to you by your therapist, those exercises and stretches help you retain the progress from your last massage.
Finally, book ahead of yourself. While massage can be a great reactive pain management tool, it can be an even greater proactive one. Regular massage (perhaps, once a month) allows for “maintenance work” or the option to work on flare-ups without spending every session stuck at square one and dealing with harder post massage care.