28 Feb Okay, so I’ve had my massage…What now?
Okay, so, you just came out of your massage, you’re feeling loose, relaxed and ready to reintegrate into the world. As you fumble around for your private health care card, your therapist mentions something to you about what to do when you get home, but instead you just nod and don’t really take it in.
You finally get home and think, “wait, what was I meant to do?”.
Well, you’re in luck. Here’s what you need to remember each time you receive a treatment!
(Keep in mind that there is really no one size fits all approach to post treatment, but these two approaches are what is prescribed the most.)
First of all, hydrate, hydrate and hydrate!
The benefits of proper hydration alone are awesome, but in this instance we will be discussing how these benefits extend to post-massage practice.
Let’s talk about the whole notion of what makes a healthy muscle versus that of an unhealthy one. Well hydrated muscle tissue will be almost spongey, thus allowing blood to pass freely throughout the vessels. Meanwhile, dehydrated muscles tend to have a tightness about them, feeling more compacted and restrictive in movement.
Generally speaking, when you undergo a soft tissue treatment, these areas of muscle tension and restriction are usually the primary focus points.
The therapist works to break up the adhesions that have formed in the troubling areas of muscle, allowing increased blood flow, increased movement and to restore the tissue to a homeostasis (where the bodily function restores to balance).
When your therapists works on these areas, the metabolic waste that has been trapped due to a lack of blood flow is now released and on its way out of the body via the lymphatic system.
Nutrients and oxygen are now being delivered to the muscle at a faster rate, with these mechanisms requiring water from your blood stream. It is this which may give you a feeling of dehydration or thirst post-massage. Similar to why you need more water when working out, your muscles are using more oxygen, and water is necessary for this exchange (meaning it also gets used up at a quicker rate).
Heat can be administered in a variety of different ways, the first of which is simply taking a hot shower or bath. If you’re deciding on a hot bath, try some magnesium salts, we currently sell them in the clinic.
The upside to these is that they’re super easy to use, however the downside is that this method isn’t necessarily muscle-specific.
Our suggestion is to apply a heat pack to the targeted area. The great thing about a heat pack is that a specific area can be targeted whilst you do other things. For example, if your shoulder was worked on during your visit to Health Place, a heat pack can be applied while you watch TV, work at the office, etc.
As previously stated, no umbrella method exists post-massage treatment – it’s often based on a case by case scenario. So, be sure to listen to your therapist after your treatment to find out what’s best for you!