If you’ve ever had regular massages, chances are you’re guilty of letting the maintenance stuff slip between treatments or only booking in after your body has been suffering.
Regular massage is only part of the puzzle in keeping your body feeling optimal, and how you look after yourself while you count the days to your next visit can make or break a good treatment plan.
Here are some tips on how to get the full benefit from one massage to the next.
Regular stretching doesn’t need a large chunk of your day carved out to achieve. You can use any little opportunity for stretching, such as while you’re watching television, waiting for the kettle, or just before you jump into bed. Daily stretching will help relieve tired and sore muscles and reduce tightness so you can stay functional throughout your day.
Your muscles love water. They crave it.
Water is essential to help your cells flush toxins and waste from the body, especially after a massage where those toxins are mobilised through the manipulation of your muscles and after they’re loosened and relaxed.
Rest (but don’t become a couch potato)
Resting is critical to your muscles’ recovery, but while resting is important, becoming an awkwardly positioned couch potato might undo some of the hard work your therapist has done. Listen to what your body needs and rest when you need to, but make sure it’s coupled with some light activity to keep your muscles and joints moving.
Run yourself a bath
Baths are relaxing regardless of whether they’re between massages. Sinking into a nice warm bath (with some magnesium-rich Epsom salts) triggers a thermal effect for your muscles and helps to increase blood flow, adding to the healing process.
Avoid going too hard with exercise
You feel incredible after a good massage. Your joints are moving freely, your muscles aren’t aching, and you’re ready to dive straight into a hard workout. Despite feeling back to their optimal selves, your muscles still need to rest and recover post-massage, not immediately tense up again. By diving in too early, your body won’t get a chance to take full advantage of the effects of your massage.
Take any opportunity for time out
Getting your body to a calm and relaxed state on a regular basis is key to giving your muscles a chance to relax and unwind, as well as your mind. Regular meditation, self-reflection, or any quiet and peaceful moments where you can do some deep breathing and focus on relieving tension will put your body in the best position to keep performing at its best each day.
The greatest gift to yourself is a little bit of attention